FOXBURG – The seventh annual Foxburg Nature Festival will be held May 16-17, and feature a full schedule of bird walks, lectures, nature hikes, exhibits, a fishing tournament, a 5K walk/run and a canoe/Kayak poker run.
The event is presented by the Allegheny Clarion Valley Development Corp. Inc., in partnership with the Foxburg Team, a group of local businesses and non-profit organizations serving the area.
Saturday concentrates on popular nature activities, starting with Birds and Brew, a guided 2.5-mile hike from RiverStone Farm to the Clarion and Allegheny River Valleys from 7 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ($10 fee).
A pancake breakfast will be available from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Allegheny Grill.
A free Falconry Demonstration will be held from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Lincoln Hall.
The annual Nature Tour and Butterfly Release will take place from 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. at the RiverStone Farm, where participants can explore the plant life around the grounds of the fabled RiverStone Mansion led by local experts ($5 fee).
Herb Hike will follow from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Mineral Springs in Emlenton. The hike includes looking for illusive salamander hiding the lush and beautiful hemlock ravine. Renowned Herpetologist Dr. Kurt Register will serve as guide.
Pontoon float trips start at 1 p.m. The one-hour, nature watching pontoon boat rides and will focus on birds and aquatic life along the Allegheny River, weather permitting ($10 fee).
Downtown Foxburg will become the scene of a bonfire and hot dog roast from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Jeffrey Hall will give a lecture and slide show on the Galapagos Islands at Lincoln Hall. The 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. event will include a catered meal. He has given more than 100 programs for birdie, nature and photography groups, and is an instructor at the Institute for learning in retirement at Slippery Rock University. He is a retired biology teacher and lives in Franklin. The cost for adults is $15; the cost for children under 12 is $5.
An Own Prowl and hay rides close the busy day of activities from 9 p.m. – 11 p.m. Ride through the RiverStone woodlands and gates open at 8:30 p.m. ($5 fee).
Three new events will be held during the festival, including a fishing tournament along the Allegheny River between Emlenton Foxburg and Parker. A canoe/kayak poker run will be held Sunday from Emlenton to Parker on the Allegheny. Registration is at 10:30 a.m. at Otto’s Tavern ($20 fee to participate).
Also, new this year is a two-day open house at the Foxburg Country Club with a putting contest all day on Saturday.
The “Take Flight 5K race run/walk will be held Sunday with registration starting at 9 a.m. followed by the race start at 10 a.m. Registration fee is $25 and pre-registration is $20. People can pre-register at www.simelymiles.com.
A Chinese auction of birdhouses painted by A-C Valley School District students will be held May 17 following the 5K run/walk. The birdhouses are on display at the Foxburg pizza. You can vote for your favorite birdhouse online at the Foxburg Hotel Facebook page.
A vendors and exhibits tent is also scheduled for Foxburg and includes a new Butterfly Tent.
Online registration for events is also available at goo.gl/paHKPn. Registration can also be made at the Foxburg Hotel by calling 724-659-3116 or tickets can be purchased at the information tent downtown if the event is not sold out.
The 2015 Foxburg nature festival partners include the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau, Clarion County Hotel Tax Project Committees, Farmers National Bank, Central Electric Cooperative, the Emlenton Travel Center, H.B. Beels & Son Inc., Knox Country Farm Supply and Swartfager Welding Inc.
Net proceeds will benefit the following community activities: Foxburg Free Library, Boys and Girls Club Along the Allegheny, Skye’s Spirit Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, A-C Valley School District Scholarship Fund, Emlenton VFD, Parker City VFD, St. Petersburg VFD and the Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts.