Fantastic Fun, Fairs & Festivals and Outdoor Adventures in the Forest

Enjoy the last hoorah of summer in the Allegheny National Forest region in Northwestern Pennsylvania, relishing the many recreational opportunities offered by land or water, in between the multitude of fairs, festivals and fun the rest of the region has to offer. From golfing at the scenic and beautiful courses in the Allegheny National Forest region to hiking and camping on any of the 517,000 acres of the Forest to the can’t miss ethnic festivals - the Swedish Festival and the Festa Italiana - to great eats and entertainment at the old fashioned blue ribbon McKean County Fair. While exploring the region be sure to dine at one of our many family-owned restaurants.

TOGI’S AUTHENTIC ITALIAN RESTAURANT

Family owned and operated since 1972, passing through four generations of family, Togi’s Family Restaurant located at 412 East Main Street in Bradford, Pennsylvania is a staple of the community for their wide variety of authentic Italian homemade cuisine, cozy dining atmosphere and friendly staff.

Recipes for almost all Togi’s Family Restaurant authentic Italian dishes come from the grandmother, affectionately referred to as “Ma,” of current owner Michelle Bizzarro, who continues preparing these dishes with the same affection and attention to detail as “Ma” taught her – specialties include homemade sauces, meatballs, soups, salads and more. 

To begin your culinary adventure, choose from a wide variety of appetizers. Try Togi’s famed deep fried mushrooms dipped in an exquisite batter or their crispy, vegetarian fried zucchini strips covered in breadcrumbs and cooked until golden brown. For lunch grab a true Italian sandwich – the panini or try “Ma’s” classic spaghetti served in a delicious bread bowl.    

To fully gratify your taste buds, sample one of these authentic Italian dishes: “Ma’s” Spaghetti dinner with delicious gravy – better known state-side as red sauce; Eggplant Parmigiana - a casserole dish made with thinly sliced eggplant cooked until crisp and golden brown; or Stuffed Manicotti - a delicious pasta with ricotta cheese served with gravy. And you won’t want to miss the chance to sample “Ma’s Three Cheese Lasagna,” layered with “Ma’s” special sauce. Customers who have experienced this culinary adventure not only feel like family by the end, they also cannot wait to return for a second adventure.

“From the moment my wife and I walked in we were treated like old friends. The food was great, the service was excellent, and the owners were so kind. Small town Americana at its very best. I can’t wait to visit the area again, so I have a reason to eat at Togi's,” customer Mark Brady said.

Originally the Atlantic Gas Station, business name-sakes Tony Dodaro and Gino Chirilo purchased the property in 1968 and turned it into Togi’s Drive-In. Steve Stidd, an employee and cook of the original owners, eventually purchased the business in 1972. Over the following years, Stidd purchased the adjacent buildings as they went up for sale and kept expanding Togi’s to what you see today; the family now owns the entire block of 402-422 East Main Street. 

Shortly after Stidd purchased the building, his mother “Ma” and all his siblings came to work for him. As his siblings had children they also came to work for the restaurant. The family tradition is still an integral part of Togi’s practice with Stidd’s oldest daughter Michelle now running the restaurant while his younger daughters, Stephanie and Angela managing the Sub Station with their father’s guidance.

Togi’s family-friendly atmosphere and homemade Italian cuisine are not the only attractions Togi’s Family Restaurant has to offer; the bar is an actual 28-foot-long salvaged boat with other eclectic Italian designs throughout the space. Togi’s also makes sure to give back to the community in which they reside; this year they hosted the 22nd Annual Kids and Cancer Motorcycle Benefit Run, which raises money for community children suffering from health issues and their families.

Togi’s Family Restaurant offers in-house and off-site catering and has a rental banquet room called the Blue Room, which seats up to 125 people and is handicap accessible. The Blue Room is perfect for family reunions, special occasion dinners, and business meetings.

Check out Togi’s extensive meal deals while dining in, picking up or ordering from the comfort of your couch. For more information about Togi’s Family Restaurant or their Blue Room banquet hall call 814-368-6447 or click on visitanf.com/togis-family-restaurant.

FAIRS, FESTIVALS AND FUN

This time of season, the Allegheny National Forest region is alive with the sounds of music, laughter and families having fun. Plan your visit to the region now in order to enjoy one or more of the multitude of festivities featuring great ethnic food, crafts and fun adventures.

Bradford Festivals

August in Bradford, Pennsylvania is a bustling time for citizens and visitors alike. The Festa Italiana, or Italian Festival as locals have dubbed it, will be held August 8-10. The Bradford Wine Walk will be held August 10. The Crook Farm Country Fair & Old Time Musical Festival closes out the month August 24-25.

Founded in 1978 and held in downtown Bradford, Pennsylvania is the Festa Italiana. Bradford’s Italian heritage is celebrated at this annual community event, featuring authentic, homemade, Italian cuisine from an assembly of vendors, nightly live musical entertainment along with children’s games and rides.  The festival finale will be a meatball eating contest and fireworks on Saturday. For more information about the festival search their Facebook page: Official-Festa-Italiana.

On the last night of the Festa Italiana, on August 10 from 4-8pm, the Bradford Wine Walk invites participants to receive a complimentary wine glass along with the chance to explore Historic Downtown Bradford while sampling unique wines from eight local wineries. There will also be hors d’oeuvres and live music. For more information about the Bradford Wine Walk or to purchase tickets call 814-598-2646.

Add the sounds of music to your August adventures. The Crook Farm Country Fair & Old Time Music Festival hosts live, traditional Bluegrass, Folk and Country musical entertainment. With more than 60 craft and food vendors, dancing workshops and an instrument swap tent, participants will stay occupied and entertained in between music sets. Free rustic camping is available Thursday through Sunday nights and admission is $5 for adults while children under age 12 enter free. For more information about the Crook Farm Country Fair call 814-362-3906 or visit crooktop.com.

Mt. Jewett Swedish Festival

This year’s festival theme, the Tomtes – better known as Swedish gnomes – are coming to the 49th Annual Mt. Jewett Swedish Festival where citizens and visitors can enjoy ethnic food, music and entertainment with a Swedish flavor. The festival will be held August 9-11 on Main Street in downtown Mt. Jewett, Pennsylvania, along scenic Route 6. Highlights of this year’s festivities include rides for children and adults, a maypole dance, Scandinavian folk band and Swedish dancers, a Norwegian storyteller, parade and fireworks.

The Swedish Festival is a celebration of the early settlers who relocated from Amsterdam and Holland and the Dutch atmosphere that immigrated with them. The Mt. Jewett borough today hosts the Mt. Jewett Swedish Festival to revel in their Swedish heritage with the staple of each festivity being a traditional Swedish Smorgasbord. Abstract land titles show that from the years 1816 to 1829 seven citizens of McKean County and owners of the Holland Land Company bought nearly 2,000,000 acres of land, where the city of Kane and Mt. Jewett are now located. 

According to festival chairwoman Beth Carpenter, this year’s festival has more vendors than any previous year, new carnival rides for children and teens, a new, fresh t-shirt design and special performance by local recording artists. For more information and schedule of events please call 814-558-0184 or search Mount-Jewett-Swedish-Festival on Facebook. 

McKean County Fair

The classic McKean County Fair began in 1903 as a place for local farmers and vendors to exhibit and sell their livestock, homegrown fruits and vegetables and homemade treats. The McKean County Fair is the place where every member of the family can enjoy a hands-on experience of what makes McKean County unique and memorable. 

The 114th McKean County Fair will be held August 12-17 with Agricultural Day on August 10. Sunshine Shows have added additional hours of operation and are bringing brand new rides this year!  A range of educational exhibits will also be showcased. General admission to the fair is $8 and can be purchased at the gate or in advance.

Throughout the weeklong fair, visitors can explore a vast multitude of differing agricultural barns, enjoy livestock exhibits, blue-ribbon baked goods, multiple food vendors and live musical entertainment. The Allegheny National Forest, which is located within regions of McKean County, is of importance to the fair, as its natural resources and wildlife are part of what makes this area exceptional.   

Don’t forget to stay into the evening for more fun and activities, including tractor pulls, demolition derby and drag racing. For more information about the McKean County Fair and for a schedule of events call the fair office at 814-887-5361 or visit mckeancountyfair.net.

Kinzua Bridge State Park Fall Festival

Delight in the beautiful Fall foliage at the Kinzua Bridge State Park and take in the breathtaking views from the Kinzua Sky Walk during this two-day festival celebrating the scenic beauty of our region in the Fall. This event is the largest craft festival held in our region and will be held this year on September 21-22. It offers hundreds of craft and food vendors, live musical entertainment, and pony rides from 10am-6pm. The park address is 296 Viaduct Road, Mt. Jewett, PA. For more information about this festival call 814-362-3906.

TAKE TO THE GREENS - FORE!

Take a break from the fun of the fairs and festivals in the Allegheny National Forest region to breathe in the fresh country air while touring the lush, green area golf courses. Kane Country Club and Pine Acres are both public golf courses. Pennhills, located in Bradford, Pennsylvania, is a private course but check with your nightly lodging to see if they offer a golf package for access to this course. 

Some alternative golfing fun, which all family members can enjoy no matter their age, is putt-putt golf at Model T Inn of Bradford or Mystic Water Resort of Limestone. For more information about golfing in the Allegheny National Forest region click on VisitANF.com/fore-golf. 

PLAN YOUR TRIP

To receive a useful, convenient, free travel guide full of maps, attractions, restaurants and other things to see and do in the Allegheny National Forest Region, please call 800-473-9370 or go to visitANF.com.

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