DINGMANS FERRY, Pa. - Kayak for ice cream. Race in a potato sack. Learn local settlement history.
Such are a few of the activities the Harvest Festival will offer at the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, says Ricky Bennett, PEEC special events coordinator.
“The festival started eight years ago as a way to uplift people’s spirits after the hurricane,” she said. “It changes and grows with the community.”
The event will include several demonstrations, she said, including a chainsaw artist who sculpts logs.
“He comes to look at a log and decides this should be a salamander, bear, crocodile,” or whatever else he envisions, Bennett said.
Kayaking and canoeing will be free, so visitors can listen to a presentation about the watershed on the edge of a pond, then paddle out to the middle, where someone will serve ice cream sandwiches.
On land, guided hikes will be available, and people can hike on their own, Bennett said. Representatives from Friends of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area will give presentations on how to “engage with the park.” Elsewhere, a bone tool expert will demonstrate how to make tools out of deer or cow bones and then how to use the tools to make items such as cords or belt buckles or fishing gear, she said.
A new addition to the festival is a scarecrow-making contest. Contestants will be required to construct their scarecrows based on reuse and recycling principles, then write a paragraph explaining their process. They can submit a photo of their scarecrow or bring it along. Community and school groups as well as individuals are welcome, Bennett said.
Tie-dye making, crafts, face painting, and games will be available, including potato sack races and “Park Ranger,” in which one person is park ranger and other players each think of an animal. If the ranger asks a question to which the player would answer yes about their imagined animal, that player must run to a designated spot without getting tagged, Bennett explained. If tagged, the player becomes a tree.
Wildlife will also show up at the festival, when Bill Streeter, Delaware Valley Raptor Center executive director, does his show from 3-4 p.m.
Music from the 1950s and ‘60s will be provided by the Martones. Food will be for sale in the dining hall, including some farmers market items.
The Pocono Environmental Education Center is at 538 Emery Road, Dingmans Ferry, Pa. Parking is $5, but admission is free. This event will be held rain or shine. For more information, call 570-828-2319.