AUSTIN – You will be able to celebrate all that is special about the First Fork Sinnemahoning Valley at the First Fork Festival at Sinnemahoning State Park Office and Wildlife Center from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Oct. 12
Hosted by Sinnemahoning State Park and the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce, the festival features area authors, artists and artisans showcasing their talents amidst a backdrop of full autumn color in the Pennsylvania Wilds.
Selected members of the PA Wilds Artisans will be displaying hand-made products, ranging from glass, fiber, wood and stone, to paintings, jewelry, photography and specialty foods. Festivalgoers can watch the artists at work while shopping for gifts or just admiring the local talent. Additional artisan products and Sinnemahoning State Park merchandise will also be available in the Wildlife Center Gift Shop.
Two area authors will be featured hearthside in the Wildlife Center. Ralph Harrison of Dents Run and well-known for his writings on elk and wildlife, will sign copies of his newest book, “Quehanna: the Blemished Jewel Restored,” a historical account of the Quehanna Wild Area and the forest he calls home.
David Orlowski of Austin will be signing his new book, “The Adventures of Buck Bodean,” a story of a mountain man surviving the early years of the First Fork and Sinnemahoning Valley region. Both authors will be available throughout the festival to sign books and answer questions.
The highlight of the festival is “One Hundred Years of Elk in Pennsylvania,” a performance by Van Wagner, an award-winning educator and musician. Asked by Pennsylvania Game Commission to promote the 100th anniversary of the elk restoration in Pennsylvania, Wagner has created a multimedia program that tells the story of the elk’s comeback and celebrates the state’s rural heritage, a fascinating performance that entertains and educates audiences of all ages.
The Merry Music Makers of Emporium kick off the festival with musical entertainment at 1 p.m., followed by a presentation by author, David Orlowski at 2:30 p.m. Wagner’s performance will begin at 3 p.m.
Food and beverages will be offered by local vendors and non-profit organizations including chicken corn soup by the Cameron County Fireworks Committee, God’s Country Kettle Corn by Lou Karija of Austin, and an assortment of bottled drinks for sale by Boy Scout Troop 524 of Austin.
This community-focused admission-free event takes place at the Sinnemahoning State Park Office and Wildlife Center, just off Route 872 in Grove Township.
For a schedule of festival events or for more information about programs at Sinnemahoning State Park, contact Kim Lott, Environmental Education Specialist, at 814-647-8401 ext. 106 or by email at KLOTT@pa.gov. An online calendar of events with information on upcoming programs can also be found at www.visitPAparks.com.
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit. With at least three days notice, interpreters for people who are deaf or hard of hearing are available for educational programs.