By Julie Price
Most people familiar with the Raystown Lake Region could tell you about the picturesque landscapes and recreational opportunities in the area. But, not everyone knows about the unique events that pack the RLR’s calendar all year long. Here’s a sample of what you could experience on your next visit:
-Stroll through downtown Huntingdon during Mayfest, which takes place during the last weekend of April, and see six different historical time periods come to life. You could witness a joust, join in a hula hoop contest, or take an old-fashioned covered wagon ride around town.
-Pedal with mountain bikers from all over the east coast on the Allegrippis Trails overlooking Raystown Lake as part of Dirt Fest, sponsored by Dirt Rag Magazine and the Raystown Mountain Bike Association. The Allegrippis Trails were named one of the Top 4 best bike trails in North America by Mens Journal in 2009. Dirt Fest takes place the weekend before Memorial Day every year.
-Chase the thrill of the Wild West, while the big boys try to go 8 seconds on an ornery bull at the Central PA Rodeo held at the Huntingdon County Fairgrounds the second weekend in June. Hear the sound of pounding hooves, and watch the dirt fly in this high-intensity performance.
-Listen to championship-caliber musicians from all parts of the country perform at the Central Pennsylvania Ragtime Festival in Rockhill Furnace during the third weekend in June. The 2011 festival featured Adam Swanson, the three-time junior champion of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, and Frederick Hodges, hailed by the press as one of the best jazz and ragtime pianists in the world.
-Sing, dance, and worship at Creation – one of the largest Christian music festivals in the United States – on the Agape Farm in Mount Union. This four-day festival in late June features Christian bands, speakers, and authors. Some estimates say as many as 100,000 people attend the show each year.
-Stare in awe at one-of-a-kind vehicles, as well as “Herbie the Love Bug,” and a Delorean DMC-12, just like the one in “Back to the Future,” at the Swigart Automobile Museum Meet in Huntingdon. The meet is co-hosted by the Allegheny Mountain Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, and takes place in early August.
-Learn from artists who hand-craft their wares right before your eyes at Hartslog Day in Alexandria during the second weekend of October. The 2014 festival will be the 39th year for this event, and includes activities for all ages, live music, and food vendors.
-Feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up as you brave haunted houses, haunted Ghost and Goblins cave tour (and haunted hayride and haunted trail) at Lincoln Caverns, and walking tours by lantern light in Hauntingdon. The “Coolest Small Town in PA,” as voted in 2009 by readers of BudgetTravel.com, turns into the “Ghoulest Small Town” during the month of October, and features a variety of scary and not-so-scary activities for adults and families.
-Get transported to a magical place filled with sparkling lights and animated displays during the Rockhill Trolley Museum’s Polar Bear Express in Rockhill Furnace during late November/early Decemeber. Ride aboard an authentic electric trolley car to Blacklog Narrows. An open-air trolley is available for the more adventurous folks. Warm up in the cafeteria with some hot chocolate and snacks after your trip.
There’s never a dull moment in the Raystown Lake Region!