Top 10 Signs of Spring in Valley Forge
King of Prussia,Pa.- Spring bursts forth with color, culture and creativity in Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Here are the season's top 10 events and must-sees, as recommended by the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Opening day of Southeast Pennsylvania's trout fishing season is March 31 and anxious anglers traditionally flock to Deep Creek Lake in Green Lane Park and Valley Forge National Historical Park's Valley Creek in their annual rite of spring. With a Pennsylvania fishing license, rod and reel...and some patience...you can join them.
March 31 also marks the grand opening of the Valley Forge Resort Casino in King of Prussia. The atmosphere's sure to be bright and the night life high-energy, as 600 slot machines, 50 table games, eight new restaurants and a luxurious spa combine to create a whole other dimension to the area scene.
Robins rule spring at John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove in Audubon. The peaceful, 175-acre wildlife sanctuary is home to 175 species of birds, including the American Kestrel, Indigo Bunting, Wood Thrush and Eastern Phoebe, all of which may be seen as early as April.
Dogwood trees, planted in honor of Gen. George Washington, blossom the last two weeks of April and the first two of May at Valley Forge National Historical Park, site of his legendary winter of 1777-78 Revolutionary War encampment. Blankets of pink and white cover Mount Joy and Artillery Park, as well as the area around Washington Memorial Chapel and Inner Line Drive. The Park's Purple Redbud trees also bloom in late April, along Valley Creek and outside the Visitor Center.
The season also signals the annual shearing of the sheep celebration at Peter Wentz Farmstead, in Worcester, on April 14. The historic site, which served as headquarters for George Washington during the fall of 1777, showcases shearing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but also offers live music, storytelling, puppetry and Colonial games for the kids, as well an opportunity to meet the farmstead's six newborn lambs. Scarecrow building, open hearth cooking, spinning, weaving and historical crafts round out the day's activities.
Renowned sculptors like Jay Walker and Marilyn Lutz carve, build and shape art into the landscape at the Abington Art Center, in Jenkintown. This spring, its inaugural Art and Sole 5k walk/run offers a new way to discover the 27-acre sculpture park. Give your mind and its temple a workout on May 5 at 9 a.m.
Also on May 5, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., dance around the maypole at the Annual Colonial May Fair at Pottsgrove Manor, former home of ironmaster and merchant John Potts. Enjoy a variety of the era's entertainment and music as 18th century artisans and crafters ply their trades and sell their wares.
Springtime is playtime for the little ones at Abington's Briarbush Nature Center. Here, they'll learn about the environment as they splash in the shallow stream, dig in the sand pit and crawl through the arrow-wood and willow tunnel at the all-natural playscape. Open Monday through Saturday from 9 .m. to 5 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
The weekend of June 2 and 3, Pennypacker Mills, the former home of Pennsylvania Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker, becomes a period encampment site. Hundreds of living historians and daily battle re-enactments punctuate its annual Civil War Reunion. This fascinating look back at American history is filled with music, storytelling, artillery, sewing and cooking demonstrations. Kids can take the oath of Allegiance, get a medical exam, and learn to march and drill, as part of the "Be a Soldier" program.
It's wet and, often, wild during the yearly, week-long Schuylkill River Sojourn, a 112-mile guided canoe/kayak trip down the Schuylkill River from Berks County, through Montgomery County and into Center City, Philadelphia. It takes place June 2 through 8, and promises some placid waters, a few rapids and plenty of fun as participants celebrate the heritage of the river and the towns, like Pottstown and Conshohocken, along its banks.
For more information about these and other seasonal events, or to plan a spring getaway in Valley Forge and Montgomery County, visit www.valleyforge.org