May Flowers Bring ...

May brings a wide range of activities from opera to a Dinosaur Zoo, from serious to magical illusions, from a walleye tournament to a tasty celebration of the springtime wild onion - the leek. It is time to open your calendar to May, pack your bags, and head out on your next adventure, into the Allegheny National Forest Region of northwestern Pennsylvania.
 
 
GRAND OPENING OF THE MARILYN HORNE MUSEUM
 
The Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center will be dedicated May 6, 2017 at 2pm. This new attraction honors Bradford’s native born, world famous, opera star - Marilyn Horne.  A tour of the museum will follow the dedication with light refreshments served.
 
The Museum features full-size replicas of some of Ms. Horne’s costumes from her favorite operas along with details of her life titled, Beginnings, Starting Out in California, The Rise of an Opera Star, and Marilyn Talks. 
 
 Visitors will be able to hear and see her perform in video clips from selected operas, presented on video screens and accompanying headphones in individual alcoves.  Four of Ms. Horne’s career favorites and most successful roles - Arsace in Rossini’s Semiramide, the title role in Bizet’s Carmen, Isabella in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri and the title role in Handel’s Rinaldo are highlighted. 
 
Ms. Horne has recorded a series of audio programs in which she shares anecdotes on a range of subjects from her storied career. A few titles of the recorded audio programs include: The state of Opera and Recital Today, Greatest Moments, Peers and Presidents, Opera Favorites, A Rich and Full Life, Self-Belief, Determination and Persistence, and Musical Repertoire and Legacy.
 
A series of colorful panels chart the arc of Ms. Horne’s operatic career, including debuts at prestigious opera houses, such as the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House Convent Garden.
 
In the Theater/Dedication Room, an original 10-minute, high-definition feature video presentation will showcase Ms. Horne in performance as well as the performers who influenced her, worked alongside her and have been influenced by her. The room showcases a mural reproduction of Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy.
 
Musical Repertoire and Legacy offers an overview of the breadth of Ms. Horne’s repertoire. She has performed opera, classical songs in multiple languages and styles, and American classical songs. Her expansive career and her presence in popular culture is further displayed in a collage of images, promotional posters, album covers and large-scale graphics, representing her in all of her many roles, from world-traveling opera star and recital performer to guest star on Sesame Street, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Odd Couple, and the Carol Burnett Show. 
 
A Dedication Performance will begin at 5pm at the Bromeley Family Theater. Performances will be by DeAndre Simmons, bass, Julie Davies, soprano, and Martin Katz, pianist/accompanist. 
 
A reception will immediately follow the performance in the KOA Speer Electronics Library at the University at Pittsburgh Campus, 300 Campus Drive, Bradford, PA. For information please call 814-362-7501 or e-mail-uscinski@pitt.edu.
 
 
STINKFEST: A CELEBRATION OF THE WILD SPRING ONION - THE LEEK
 
Join in the fun at the 16th annual “StinkFest,” a relaxed, family-friendly, day-long event which begins at 11am and goes to 6pm on Saturday, May 6.
 
A leek, grown in the wilds of the forest, is harvested in the springtime. A leek has a mild, onion-like taste. In its raw state, the vegetable is firm and crunchy, with a very distinct scent - one which is known to linger once consumed. Boiling turns it soft and mild. At the festival a very wide variety of foods, all with the ingredient of leeks, will be available for tasting and purchase. 
 
At the festival you can sample and vote for your favorite leek dip. Taste a variety of leek sausage, leek dumplings, leek soup, and just about any type of leek food imaginable. Food and craft vendors will line the street for your sampling and shopping pleasure. Live music adds to this festive hometown celebration. Pony rides will be available for the kids.
 
The annual “outhouse races” are always a popular attraction during the local festival. A variety of local businesses build their own version of this old-time necessity, and then a volunteer time races them up and down the street to a finish line where one lucky group will win the dubious honor of winning the outhouse race for 2017. 
 
This street-wide celebration is held between South Kendall Street and Fisher Avenue on East Main Street in Bradford, PA. For more information go to stinkfest.org. 
 
 
SPLISH-SPLASH … “WE GOTTA REGATTA”
 
On Saturday, June 3, join in the fun by paddling a kayak, canoe, or floatation device of your own creation, in the Tuna Valley Trail Association’s “We Gotta Regatta.”  This family friendly event offers a day of water recreation on Tunugwant Creek, locally known as the “Tuna.” Boaters are encouraged to be safe, and to enter the attended Campus Drive portage for easy access.
 
The regatta runs from 2pm-6pm, with participants pulling out at Crook Farm, 476 Seaward Avenue, Bradford, PA, a distance of approximately 4.1 miles. Those boating, and/or those wishing to just attend the Regatta party at Crook Farm can enjoy live music and a delicious pig roast with all the fixings, hot dogs, sliders, and draft beer with ID. 
 
The cost is $20 adult, $5 for 12 years of age and under. The regatta is a fundraiser for the Tuna Valley Trail Association (TVTA), with registration fees from the event being utilized to help maintain local trails.  To purchase “We Gotta Regatta” tickets, or for additional event information please go to tunavalleytrail.com/regatta.
 
 
DINOSAURS ZOO LIVE THRILLS AND DELIGHTS CHILDREN OF ALL AGES
 
A show of a lifetime, Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live will be stomping into the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, PA on May 2 at 7pm. 
 
Created in Australia, Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live is an experiential theatre production which takes audiences on a prehistoric journey into a new dimension where they get to meet a menagerie of insects, mammals and dinosaurs that once roamed the planet millions of years ago.
 
Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live will guide audience members on a breathtaking tour through pre-historic Australia, where they will observe, meet and interact with an eye-popping collection of amazingly life-like dinosaurs and other creatures.
 
The Chicago Tribune says this about the live performance: “A delightful and educational date with dinos that provides visual oomph to rival The Lion King.” The New York Times said, “Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo delivers solid science as well as an extraordinary spectacle.”
 
The performance will be at the Bromeley Family Theater at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, 300 Campus Drive, Bradford, PA.  To purchase tickets in advance, contact the Bromeley Family Theater box office at 814-362-5113 or e-mail showtix@pitt.edu.
 
 
MIKE SUPER PERFORMS MAGIC
 
As a winner of NBC’s hit TV show, “Phenomenon” and top finalist on “America’s Got Talent”, Mike is the only magician in history to win a live magic competition on prime U.S. network television and voted America’s Favorite Mystifier! His appeal to both young and old has made him one of the most sought after mystifiers in the world.
 
Join the journey of emotions from intrigue, danger, fear and wonder which only Mike Super can deliver at his performance, Saturday, June 3 at 3pm at the Bromeley Family Theater. All seats are $39 and can be ordered online at bcpac.com.
 
 
SPRINGTIME HIKES TO VIEW WILDFLOWERS
 
The best way to view the springtime blooms within the Allegheny National Forest and the surrounding areas around Bradford, Westline and Smethport is to choose one of the hiking trails which traverse the forest.
 
The Marilla Area Trails are an interconnecting set of trails with varying attractions and different levels of difficulty. The Marilla Reservoir trail is a 1-mile, easy-grade hiking trail suitable for all ages. It circles the Marilla Reservoir and features a wooden covered bridge, three raised walkways and a delightful gazebo about halfway along the trail. Interconnecting trails include Marilla Springs, White Pine, and nearby are Marilla Rocks and the recently opened Cornelius Connection to Gilbert Reservoir. The Marilla Trail system is located approximately five miles west of Bradford, along PA Route 346.
 
One flower to look for is a trillium, brilliant white in color; it is readily visible in many locations and can be found in large colonies.  Other springtime flowers include bee balm, daises and trout lilies.
 
A natural show stopper, the spectacular Mountain Laurel, almia latifolia, is also commonly called calico-bush, or spoonwood. Scattered throughout the forest, it is naturally found on rocky slopes and it grows in large thickets. Blooming in May or early June, the mass of pink flowers will create a blanket of beautiful pink blossoms along many forest trails.  
 
Kinzua Valley Trail is a scenic 7-mile, family friendly trail for hiking and biking. Located along the banks of the scenic Kinzua Creek, the surface is crushed limestone, and the trail connects the village of Westline to Red Bridge Campground in the Allegheny National Forest. Trailheads are located at both ends of the trail. In Westline you can stay or dine at a local favorite - the Westline Inn.  At Red Bridge, cabins and camping for both tent and RV are available online at recreation.gov.  
 
A trail map on page 21 highlights a few favorite trails.
 
 
PLAN YOUR TRIP
 
Pack you bags and plan your trip! A free travel guide and map, with detailed trail descriptions and other things to see and do can be downloaded online at VisitANF.com or by calling 800-473-9370.
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