WHEREIN WE DISH UP CENTRAL PA’S TOP EVENTS
Take the Plunge
I’ve always held the utmost respect for anyone willing to dive into frigid water at the height of winter in an effort to raise money for a good cause. This winter, the region plays host to three opportunities for you to take a frosty, philanthropic plunge (or, if you’re cold-averse, to support someone who is). On January 1, the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area holds the Penguin Plunge on City Island in Harrisburg. Then, the Special Olympics of PA hosts its Polar Bear Plunges on January 31 at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Wellsville and on February 7 in Wrightsville.
more info on Penguin Plunge
more info on Polar Bear Plunge
PA Farm Show
You don’t have to be a farmer to enjoy the 99th annual PA Farm Show. It’s really not all that different from those parties you used to have in college – cooking demonstrations, wine tastings from 24 PA wineries, a horseshoe pitching contest, live music, rodeo and even the “Great Grape Stomp.” (Don’t act like you didn’t stomp grapes during your wild undergrad days.) Of course, the nine-day show – spanning January 9-17 – features annual crowd favorites like the Tractor Square Dance and Sheep to Shawl events, too. Lawdy.
Mount Joy Movie Premier
More than just simply bearing the name of a familiar locale, Mount Joy was actually filmed around Central PA and is produced by and features local talent and musicians. Join the production team on January 10 at Zoetropolis in Lancaster for the film’s debut screening, complete with a Q&A, live music and a VIP option which includes some adult beverages. Mount Joy then heads to Penn Cinema in Lititz for a short run starting January 16.
Grilled Cheese & Craft Beer Pairing
No need for one of those pretzel necklaces at this beer fest. Federal Taphouse in Harrisburg hosts a Grilled Cheese & Craft Beer Pairing event on January 17 in the upstairs barroom. Reps from eight breweries – including Tröegs, Victory, Great Lakes and Helltown – are on hand, each pouring a seasonal brew paired with a different take on the classic grilled cheese sammich. Proceeds from the event benefit the Central PA Food Bank.
Chocolate for a Cause
Ain’t no party like a chocolate party, right? Two events this month put a decadent twist on charitable giving. First up is the Chocolate Moose dinner (and dessert) event – a fundraiser for the North Museum – held January 17 at The Ware Center in Lancaster. Later in the month, Keystone Human Services holds its annual ChocolateBall – a black-tie dinner event with live music and dancing benefitting Susquehanna Service Dogs – on January 31 at the Hershey Lodge. Chocolatefest is also held at the Hershey Lodge the following day (February 1), featuring desserts, cakes and confections from the region’s restaurants, bakeries and caterers.
more info on Chocolate Moose
more info on ChocalateBall and Chocolatefest
Grown Up Spelling Bee
It was only a matter of time before the nerdy world of competitive spelling moseyed its way into the exciting arena of adult drinking. On January 25, Lancaster literary organization The Triangle hosts a Grown-Up Spelling Bee at Tellus360 in Lancaster. A trophy of some sort is on the line. That, and a hefty dose of pride. Here’s to federal drinking laws keeping those pesky 8-year-old spelling wunderkinds on ESPN out of the competition!
And four more…
Fredricksen Library, Camp Hill
If you love you some Sriracha hot sauce, this award-winning documentary is a must-see. Best of all? Snacks featuring the “rooster sauce” are served following the film.
Craft Homebrew Competition
Entries due by January 14
Lancaster Homebrew, Lancaster
You’ve been tweaking and perfecting your homebrew recipes – now put them to the test and enter the Lancaster Iron Brewer Homebrew Competition. Brewers Choice selection will be brewed and featured at Iron Hill Brewery.
Hot Stove Dinner
Best Western Premier, Harrisburg
Dine and drink with the Harrisburg Senators and a few special guests from the MLB’s Washington Nationals.
Cardboard Sled Derby
Roundtop Mountain Resort, Lewisberry
This year’s theme challenges you to channel your favorite childhood toy or game as you prepare to hit the slopes in your cardboard racer.