Historic Parr’s Mill Covered Bridge Puzzles Arrive

Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau News

September, 2022

BLOOMSBURG –The Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau is excited to announce the arrival of its twelfth annual Covered Bridge puzzle. The newest limited-edition puzzle depicts a fall scene at the Parr’s Mill Bridge in Columbia County. Limited quantities remain available for the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. Puzzles are sold for $15, tax included.  A $2 donation from every puzzle sold will be made by the Bureau to the Columbia County Covered Bridge Association.

Puzzles may be purchased at the Visitors Bureau Welcome Center, located at 121 Papermill Road in Bloomsburg during normal business hours (Monday – Friday; 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM).  Puzzles are also available to be shipped anywhere in the continental United States for an additional shipping charge. Mail orders may be placed by calling the Welcome Center at 570-784-8279.

This year’s puzzle photo was taken by Ben Prepelka, who was honored earlier this year as the 2022 Covered Bridge photo contest winner. The Parr’s Mill Bridge spans the north branch of Roaring Creek and connects Franklin and Cleveland Townships. This Burr Truss arch span was built in 1865 by F.L. Shuman at a cost of $1,275. It is located four miles south of Catawissa on Parr’s Mill Road, off Ashton Hollow Road, east of Pennsylvania Route 487. Named after Washington Parr, who purchased the nearby Willow Grove Grist Mill in 1875, the bridge and mill became known as Parr’s Mill Bridge and Parr’s Mill, respectively.

In addition to the puzzles, there are also commemorative Covered Bridge & Arts Festival Christmas ornaments featuring the Rupert Bridge still available. Ornaments are being sold for $25 apiece and are also available at the Welcome Center. In future years, each of the twenty-five historic bridges in the Columbia-Montour County region will be featured with their own ornament.

Covered Bridge Ornaments will be offered for the first time this year.

Things to Do During the Little League World Series

Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau Attractions, News

by Nancy Bishop & CMVB Staff
Originally published in August, 2019; revised for August, 2022

Visiting the area for the Little League World Series in Williamsport? When you’re not at the games in Lamade Stadium from August 17 – August 28, you may want to take advantage of the many other things to do and see in the surrounding area. There are so many fantastic things to do during your stay!

Knoebels is America’s largest free-admission amusement park.

To start, you’re certainly going to want to go to the nationally-known, award winning Knoebels Amusement Resort. If you’re not familiar with Knoebels, there’s no general admission fee for the park – you only pay for the rides you go on. And parking is always free.

Try out Flying Turns, the world’s only wooden bobsled rollercoaster, and go freewheeling, swooping and swerving through some thrilling hairpin turns! Or make a splash on Giant Flume – a great way to cool off on a hot summer day.

Of course, if less thrilling rides are more to your liking, there’s the 100-year-old Grand Carousel, the Giant Ferris Wheel, or Ole Smokey, a miniature steam engine train that will take you on a leisurely ride along a scenic edge of the park and over the stream that runs through the park.

A must-see while you’re attending the World Series is the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum at the Little League complex in South Williamsport. The museum tells a chronological story of the league’s development from its beginning in 1939. It’s been a favorite destination for my grandkids whenever they’re visiting me. They especially enjoy the interactive exhibits.

The Crosscutters are one of six teams in the new MLB Draft League.

Can’t get enough baseball? The Williamsport Crosscutters will have a home game Aug. 26 at 6:35 p.m. vs. the State College Spikes. Part of the MLB’s new summer Draft League, the Crosscutters play at BB&T Ballpark, the second-oldest operational minor league stadium in the country.

Pick your own peaches at Rohrbach’s Farm; photo courtesy of @ladymccoyy_

Looking for a farm fresh experience during your stay in Central Pennsylvania? Be sure to give your tastebuds a treat and visit Rohrbach’s Farm in Catawissa, open Mondays thru Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.. The farm also hosts Big Dan’s BBQ as well as an outlet location of Freas Farm Winery. While at the farm, be sure to try some of the classic Rohrbach’s desserts at the bakery, browse the farm’s gift shop, explore the sunflower field, or pick out the perfect batch of peaches. Great photo opportunities!

Need some exercise after all that sitting at the games? Take your family to Ricketts Glen State Park to lounge on the beach, hike the nationally renowned Falls Trail, or try one of the park’s various programs throughout the week, like “Tremendous Trees” on August 25th or “Compasses, Maps & You” and “Intro to Kayaking”, both on August 26th. 

Don’t want to drive that far? Visit Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, on Rt. 15 in nearby Allenwood. With more than 40 species on site, you’ll see exotic reptiles and amphibians from around the world.

Reptiland is a favorite stop for all ages.

For an authentic Central Pennsylvania adventure, consider exploring the Susquehanna River by kayak with one of the area’s licensed outfitters. To plan a water excursion, Five Mountain Outfitters in Shikshinny, Susquehanna Outdoor Adventures in Bloomsburg, and Riverside Adventure Company in Danville all offer rental services. For a more laid back water experience, simply rent a kayak for a few hours at the Montour Preserve, located just 15 minutes north of Danville. The Preserve is home to Lake Chillisquaque, a 165 acre reservoir lake.

The Montour Preserve is a great place to enjoy nature; kayak the lake, enjoy a peaceful picnic, or explore the fossil pit.

The Montour Preserve also has a fossil pit that was formed some 395 million years ago during the Devonian Period when much of Pennsylvania was covered by a warm, shallow sea.  The most commonly found fossils at the site are Pelecypods (oyster, mussel and clam-type species), Cephalopods, Brachiopods (lamp shells), Byrozoans (moss-like animals), Crinoids, Gastropods (snail-like creatures), Corals and Trilobites. The site is open from dawn to dark year-round.  Admission is free and visitors may keep any fossils they find.  While not necessary, fossil pit visitors are encouraged to come prepared with some basic supplies, including: small geologist’s hammer, soft brush, safety goggles, a bag or bucket to carry fossils and supplies and newspaper or other material to wrap fossils for safekeeping.

Need a few other ideas? Take a tour of Bill’s Old Bike Barn in Bloomsburg, experience mining history firsthand at the Pioneer Tunnel in Ashland, make time for some educational fun at the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum, or see the majestic red deer at Rolling Hills Farm.

We hope you enjoy your visit!

Temporary Trail Closures at Montour Preserve

Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau News


The Montour Area Recreation Commission (MARC) on Wednesday, August 17, will post temporary closures of portions of several trails and one pavilion at the Montour Preserve.

These temporary closures are being made to protect visitor safety while Talen Energy and its subsidiaries continue the construction of a new natural gas pipeline to supply the Montour Steam Electric Station.  Closures are expected to last several weeks and will be lifted when conditions are safe to again allow use.

These closures will affect the following locations:

  • Goose Woods Trail (partial)
  • Wildlife Management Trail (partial)
  • Chilisuagi Trail (between the Goose Cove Picnic Area and the Ridgefield Point Loop Trail)
  • Goose Cove #2 Pavilion

A map of the affected locations can be found at the top of this page.

MARC asks that visitors respect trail closures where posted to protect the safety of the public, MARC’s staff, and construction staff.

For questions or more information, please contact Bob Stoudt, MARC Director, at (570) 336-2060 or RStoudt@MontourRec.com.

Red Baraat Kicks Off Weis Center’s Season

Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau News

The Weis Center’s 35th Anniversary season will kick-off on Friday, August 26 at 6 p.m. with a free concert by global fusion/brass band Red Baraat on the Weis Center Plaza. The rain location is the Weis Center Concert Hall. Tickets are not required.

Patrons are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

The Exchange’s Art Cart will be on site from 5:30-7 p.m. with special all-ages activities.

National Public Radio (NPR) called them “The best party band in years.”

Red Baraat is a pioneering band from Brooklyn, N.Y. Conceived by dhol player Sunny Jain, the group has drawn worldwide praise for its singular sound, a merging of hard driving North Indian bhangra with elements of hip-hop, jazz and raw punk energy. Created with no less a purposeful agenda than manifesting joy and unity in all people, Red Baraat’s spirit is worn brightly on its sweaty and hard-working sleeve.

Reemerging in 2021 with a renewed focus, energy and sound, Red Baraat headlined the Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center with master percussionist Zakir Hussain, performed at the Dubai World Expo and toured its 10th annual Red Baraat Festival of Colors.

The performance is sponsored, in part, by TIAA.

Full Season Announcement and Brochure

The Weis Center’s full season will be announced on Monday, August 15. The brochure will be available at that time.

Plaza Refresh

In conjunction with our 35th Anniversary season, the Weis Center Plaza received a fresh update this summer which included new concrete, updated energy-efficient lighting, and new window decals to reflect 22-23 season artists. Special thanks to Bucknell University Facilities crews for their tireless work on the repaving and lighting projects and to PP&M for their expertise with the decal design, printing and installation.

Please Note

Bucknell’s face covering requirements follow CDC guidelines, based on current rates of transmission of COVID-19 in Union County. When transmission rates are high, face coverings are required of everyone in all public and academic indoor campus spaces, including the Weis Center. Masks are not required indoors when transmission rates are low or medium. This guideline applies to all visitors regardless of vaccination status. Please always have a mask available when you are on campus. KN95s are recommended. To view Bucknell’s current status, visit bucknell.edu/COVID-19.

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to Bucknell.edu/WeisCenter or search for the Weis Center on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Reclamation of Bloomsburg’s Old Rosemont Cemetery

Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau News

Community Bulletin, by Alex Dubil

Be a part of a community attempt to revitalize this forgotten piece of history where the people that built Bloomsburg rest.

I ask the residents of Bloomsburg, descendants of those buried in Old Rosemont and those beyond Bloomsburg, if so inclined to join me to revitalize this asset.  Yes that is right, asset.  Not only do cemeteries serve as a link to our past, but they can be genealogical wonders even in the digital age.  They can be settings for town events, Halloween events.  Some tourists seek them out.  Our ancestors deserve better than the conditions of Old Rosemont.

The tools for what I propose to the public are simple.  Wooden Scrapers (never metal), Squirt Bottle of water and Extra Bottles of Water, Shop Brush or Whisk Brush, 3” Nail or Small Screw Driver to clean out letters of grass and needles, Soft Bristle Brush or Tooth Brush (never wire or stiff bristle), and a Towel. No solvents without approval please, (water & electric not available on site). Under no circumstance should people try to re-etch the stone, or try to move them.  We don’t want anyone getting hurt or put them in the wrong place.  These tasks should be left to a monument company.

To volunteer, contact Alex Dubil at 570-784-1272, leave a message. Cleaning dates are flexible.               

Bloomsburg’s ArtFest Returns August 20th

Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau News

August, 2022

Dedicated to bringing the arts to all communities throughout our region, The Exchange again presents Columbia County’s biggest one-day outdoor art-and-music event of the year.

The 14th annual ArtFest will take place on Saturday, August 20th from 10 AM to 5 PM, in its convenient and attractive location on the Square in downtown Bloomsburg, surrounding the fountain and up Market Street. ArtFest showcases more than 40 artists’ original work, accompanied by seven hours of live music, local and regional food vendors, and fun and educational activities for people of all ages. A summertime art party, ArtFest draws attendees from throughout our region, and it draws artists from across Pennsylvania. As always, the event takes place rain or shine and has no admission fee – free to all!

The exhibitors who will display and sell include painters, photographers, potters, jewelers, sculptors, fabric artists, woodworkers, skincare experts, a bonsai grower, and more. Eight non-profit organizations will also have booths: The Exchange’s Art Cart will provide a hands-on activity for kids of all ages, using simple materials – many of them recycled – to help bring out the beauty inside each person; the Fishing Creek Watershed Association will host its annual container-garden contest; the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership will provide information about recreational and other opportunities along 500 miles of the river; and other non-profits greeting visitors include the Bloomsburg Public Library, the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum, Columbia-Montour Action Together, the River Poets, and The Women’s Center. Local and regional musicians who will perform throughout the day include Dan Hess, Kat Holdren, Kerry Kenny, and the Molly’s Boys Jug Band. In addition, attendees will find great food from local and regional vendors: Dubelicious, the Real Taste Food Truck, Project Pizza Company, and more.

In its open, friendly, and highly-visible location, ArtFest attracts thousands of attendees, among them Bloomsburg University students and their parents in town on the last move-in weekend before the semester starts. Downtown Bloomsburg has plenty of parking; meters require payment from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays, and in addition to coins one can now also pay through the PANGO app: To sign up, go to mypango.com.

Downtown Blooomsburg, Inc. (DBI), the non-profit organization devoted to the betterment of Bloomsburg’s downtown commercial district, founded ArtFest in 2009; The Exchange, the non-profit that operates a Main Street Gallery and produces music events, has produced ArtFest since 2016; and the Town of Bloomsburg has provided the venue and support services each year. DBI and The Exchange thank the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau for their support of ArtFest; the event also receives support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

For more information about Downtown Bloomsburg, visit DowntownBloomsburg.org.

For more information about The Exchange and ArtFest, visit ExchangeArts.org and Facebook.com/BloomsburgArtFest or call 570-317-2596.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Greenway Photo Contest

Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau Art, News

Grab your phone or your camera and submit your best shot in the 11th Annual Susquehanna Greenway Photo Contest: Treasured Towns and Landscapes of the Susquehanna.

This free-to-enter photo contest offers individuals of all ages and ability levels the opportunity to go outside, explore, and capture—via photography—the many landscapes, resources, and towns along the Susquehanna Greenway.  Cash Prizes will be awarded to the first through third place winners within each category: River Towns, Landscapes, Susquehanna Adventures, and Wildlife. Winning images will also be printed, framed, and added to a traveling gallery to be exhibited throughout the Susquehanna region within Pennsylvania, including the State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg. 

“SGP seeks to inspire and celebrate the connections that are shared between our communities and the Susquehanna River,” says SGP Executive Director, Corey Ellison. “Our annual photo contest provides one way of fostering this connection by encouraging people to get out on the Greenway and explore the Susquehanna through a camera lens.”

The deadline for photo submissions is June 30, 2022. Eligible participants can visit susquehannagreenway.org/photocontest to learn more and submit photographs in one or all four categories. Entries must be submitted electronically through the SGP portal and in accordance with contest guidelines.

The Susquehanna Greenway is a 500-mile corridor of connected trails, parks, river access points, and communities, linking people to the natural and cultural treasures of the Susquehanna River. The mission of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership is to continue to grow the Greenway, inspiring people to engage with the outdoors and transforming communities into places where people want to live, work, and explore.

Exchange Gallery Seeks Work for “SITEexchange”

Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau Art, News

Contact: Oren B. Helbok, 570-317-2596, Exchange@ExchangeArts.org

What place in our region means the most to you?  One of our state parks?  Your special place along the Susquehanna River or deep in the woods?  A public historic site?  Where you had your first kiss?

We want YOU to participate in SITEexchange, a public art project conceived by artist Cindi Hron and produced by The Exchange to engage artists in the Central Pennsylvania region.  We want you to observe and record, through artistic means, a site within the region – a particular place, of each artist’s choosing, that exists in relationship to the landscape.  We encourage artists of all ages and levels of experience to submit their work, and each participant may determine how to interpret the idea of site.  Perhaps best of all, SITEexchange will present the art in a fun and novel way by distributing the work via novelty vending machines – gumball machines – located throughout our region.

We will display all the original artwork at the Exchange Gallery in October and November, and we will fold, encapsulate, and distribute copies of chosen submissions during those months through gumball machines at 25 venues in Berwick, Bloomsburg, Catawissa, Lewisburg, Laurelton, Mifflinburg, Milton, and Sunbury!

SITEexchange draws attention to our shared understanding of our multi-county region through its many well-known and maybe not-so-well-known sites.  We invite you to share a representation of a site that you find meaningful.  That 2-D representation, in any medium, must be flat and fit exactly the template size of 4” x 5.25”, either vertical or horizontal.  Each participant agrees to the submission size limitation and to the scanning of their submission and its reproduction and distribution through novelty vending machines.  Artists have the opportunity to sell their original work, at prices of their choosing, in the Exchange Gallery exhibition; each artist receives 80% of the sale price (the Gallery takes a 20% commission).  Artists will not receive compensation for having their work reproduced and distributed through the gumball machines.

Deadline for submission: Friday, August 19th, 2022.  Submissions must come to The Exchange, 24 East Main Street, Bloomsburg PA 17815, delivered in person or by U.S. Mail.  We will consider only submissions that ARRIVE no later than Friday, August 19th.  Please submit with your artwork the Loan Agreement form available on our Web site at ExchangeArts.org/calls-for-entry.

Vending machine sales: October-November 2022

The Gallery show of submitted work runs October 10th through November 18th, 2022, at the Exchange Gallery, 24 East Main Street, Bloomsburg.

Questions? Contact Oren at 570-317-2596, Exchange@ExchangeArts.org

Visit the Exchange Gallery Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (hours may vary from week to week; visit ExchangeArts.org/gallery-hours or give us a call before you drop in). For more information about The Exchange, visit ExchangeArts.org and Facebook.com/ExchangeArtsDotOrg or call 570-317-2596.