WHEREIN WE DISH UP CENTRAL PA’S TOP EVENTS
Opening Day Baseball Games
It’s been a long, cold winter, but nothing says summer is right around the corner like the beginning of baseball season. Central PA has four professional teams: the Harrisburg Senators (whose home opener is April 9); the Reading Fightin’ Phils (April 17); the York Revolution (April 24) and the Lancaster Barnstormers (April 30). Teams celebrate the start of the national pastime with fireworks, promotions, parties, concerts and celebrity appearances (including former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel in Lancaster on April 30). Check out each team’s website for a full schedule.
Susquehanna Ale Trail
Craft beer takes the spotlight this month, and the return of the Susquehanna Ale Trail’s annual Brewmaster Tasting Tour, featuring tastings, behind-the-scenes tours and meet-and-greet sessions with the brewmasters on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from April 10-12 and 17-19. This year, the trail has expanded to 14 stops, including some of the area’s newest breweries: Red Lion’s Black Cap Brewing Company, Hanover’s Miscreation Brewing Company and Wacker Brewing Company in Lancaster. Tickets to the Brewmaster’s Tasting Tour cost $15, and designated drivers pay $5.
Berks Jazz Fest
The Berks Jazz Fest celebrates 25 years of bringing the finest jazz musicians and ensembles to Berks County, and this year is no exception. Featured artists include legendary horn player Wynton Marsalis, the Pat Martino Trio, Boney James, Billy Cobham and many more. Concerts take place at various venues, bars and clubs in and around Reading; check out this handy map the event has put together showing all the participating locations. The festival runs from April 10-19. Click here for tickets.
19th annual Taste of Lancaster County
More than 30 regional restaurants, caterers, breweries and wineries showcase samples from their menus at the 19th annual Taste of Lancaster County at the Lancaster County Convention Center on April 19 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. From breakfast favorites to decadent desserts to tasty cocktails, wines and brews, the event is a one-stop-shop for experiencing a wide array of flavors from across the county. Live music, raffles and a silent auction round out the event. Want more? A VIP session is held prior to the main event with complimentary refreshments from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Can you say “mimosas”??
Inaugural Harrisburg Beer Week
The ladies from the craft beer blog Stouts and Stilettos and craft beer and Harrisburg nightlife blogger Sara Bozich love craft beer so much that they up and organized the first-ever Harrisburg Beer Week, running from April 24-May 2. Capital City’s celebration of craft beer features more than 20 Central PA breweries and a full slate of events, including tap takeovers, beer dinners, pairings and other beer-related happenings. A kick-off party takes place at the Abbey Bar on April 24, and other events include a beer brunch at Jigsy’s Brewpub on April 25, The Battle of the Homebrew Clubs at Federal Taphouse on April 26, a screening of Beer Wars – a documentary on the business of beer – at Midtown Cinema on April 29 and the Pennsylvania Women in Craft Beer Conference on May 1 at JPL (471 Wick Drive). Follow @HBGBeerWeek on Twitter for updates.
LAUNCH Music Conference
Everyone knows the music industry has undergone immense changes in the last two decades. Today, bands need to be business- and social media-savvy to stand out and get noticed. The annual LAUNCH Music Conference in downtown Lancaster combines the business of the music industry with pleasure of actually making and listening to music. The music festival and industry meet-up features a lineup of more than 200 artists and bands and a panel of industry professionals from managers and publicists to lawyers and musicians. The festival takes place in various downtown venues in Lancaster, running from April 23-26.
And four more…
Spring Thaw Brewery Collectibles Show
Park Inn, Mechanicsburg
Check out antique beer memorabilia including neon beer signs, cans, caps, crowns, tap knobs and glasses at this collectible convention. And if you’re still on the fence, there’s also pizza and beer.
Taste of the River Towns
St. John’s Herr Estate, Columbia
Sample food from local restaurants and vendors from Columbia and Wrightsville during the sixth annual event.
Royal Square Beer Crawl
Various locations around Royal Square, York
York’s up-and-coming Royal Square neighborhood hosts the first-ever Royal Square Beer Crawl. Tour various art spaces, restaurants, businesses, sample beers and appetizers and take part in activities.
Rock Lititz Bike Race and Block Party
East Main Street, Lititz
The tour de downtown Lititz is a bike race (for competitive and non-competitive cyclists) and block party featuring food trucks and a beer garden. Someone should nominate Lititz for some sort of awesome small town award…