Traditional and Longstanding Events Dot Calendar For Holiday Activities in Berwick

Some long-running and traditional events highlight the holiday activities schedule in Berwick, which kicks off with the 109th Run for the Diamonds on Thanksgiving. 

The following day, Black Friday, Nov. 23, will mark Santa’s first appearance of the year in our area as the Santa Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at Crispin Field and runs down Mulberry, West Front, Market & 11th Streets. Later in the day, Santa will also make an appearance at WHLM’s Parade of Lights in Bloomsburg, and then in Danville the following weekend on Nov. 30 in Danville’s Welcome Santa Parade, sponsored by First Columbia Bank & Trust. Berwick will also have a Small Business Saturday event on Nov. 24 to promote patronage of small businesses in town. 

Berwick’s WinterFest will be on Saturday, Dec. 1, and will feature numerous activities in the downtown including free cookie decorating, horse & carriage rides, a gingerbread house contest, crafts, face painting, marshmallow roasting stations and more. Enjoy live music from The Bennett Brothers Band and ice sculpting while walking the streets. Santa will make another appearance at 5 p.m. before heading to the opening of the Christmas Boulevard at 6 p.m., which the tree will be lit up in St. Charles Park. Sponsors and vendors are still being accepted for WinterFest. Contact the Berwick United Way or visit the Experience Berwick website for more information. 

McBride Memorial Library will also host a Holiday Party on Monday, Dec. 17, from 6-7:30 p.m., that will feature holiday crafts, do-it-yourself presents and carol singing. There will also  be an opportunity to make homemade ornaments and cards for members of the community. Refreshments will be provided. 

For more information on events in Berwick, visit

Danville Business Alliance Coordinating Numerous Holiday Activities and Events in Danville

The holiday season will feature several unique and traditional activities in downtown Danville, as well as a series of individual events meant to encourage patronage of small businesses based in Danville. The Danville Business Alliance is coordinating these activities, and it all gets started just prior to Thanksgiving on Saturday, Nov. 17.

That date will feature DBA’s Holiday Open House (not to be confused with the Chamber’s Holiday Open House, which is on Dec. 13). From 5-9 p.m. Saturday and again from 12-5 p.m. on Sunday, the shops in downtown Danville, as well as the bars and restaurants, will roll out the welcome mat and help shoppers find early Christmas gifts or just what is needed for a Thanksgiving centerpiece. There will be special offers and refreshments from participating shops and restaurants. Nov. 17 will also be the first of four days that will features free horse drawn carriage rides. The other dates of the carriage rides will be Dec. 14, Dec. 22 and Dec. 23. Saturday, Nov. 24 is Small Business Saturday throughout the country, and Danville will be taking part in that as well. 

Of course, no series of holiday events would be complete without a visit from the man from the North Pole himself, and Santa will be featured a couple of times in Danville. First, on Friday, Nov. 30, there will be a parade down Mill St. from 6-8 p.m. to welcome Santa, sponsored by First Columbia Bank & Trust. Santa’s Cottage will again be open at Canal Park on Mill St. for seven dates through December, beginning with Saturday, Dec. 1 from 12-3 p.m. Other dates the cottage will be open include Dec. 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22. Santa’s Cottage is sponsored by Service 1st Federal Credit Union

Finally, the Danville Hometown Holiday Celebration will be the weekend of Dec. 14-16, and will feature a full slate activities throughout the downtown. These include a late shopper’s night, a Geisinger free flu clinic, free carriage rides and sidewalk cocoa stations and wine tastings on Friday; a children’s parade, art cart sponsored by The Exchange, balloons, gift wrapping, fire pit and music in the park on Saturday; and more shopping and gift wrapping on Sunday. 

Holiday Season Kicks Off With Full Weekend of Events in Bloomsburg

The holiday season is quickly approaching and will get started with a full weekend of events in Bloomsburg. Activities will be held downtown and at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds. The schedule of the holiday traditions as well as two new events is available at Downtown Bloomsburg Inc.’s website.

On the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 23, the first “Coming Home for Christmas” is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on North Market Street between Main and First streets. The event will feature crafters, food, and other vendors. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Columbia County Veterans Memorial and Eos Therapeutic Riding Center.

TreeFest at the Caldwell Consistory.

Another new event this year will be Winterfest at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to food, the event will include wineries, hand-made furniture and crafts, ice sculpting, train displays, and horse and wagon rides.

The holiday tradition of TreeFest also gets underway Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Caldwell Consistory. Hundreds of trees will be decorated by area businesses and community groups, which will then be donated to area families following the two-weekend event. TreeFest benefits Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble.

The WHLM Parade of Lights returns on Friday evening at 6 p.m. Cash prizes will again be awarded for the top three floats. The parade will form at the Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital parking lot and travel down Lightstreet Road to Main Street, then onto Market Street to 5th Street, and will end at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds at the 5th Street entrance.

On Saturday and Sunday, the North Pole Express Train rides will be held. Sponsored by Service 1st Federal Credit Union, these one-hour rides depart from the Sherwin Williams parking lot along Market Street and travel west towards Catawissa and feature holiday stories, carols, and a visit by Santa and his helpers. Tickets are now available through DBI’s website.

Cops on C.O.P.S.

Jeff Emanuel, director of The Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce, was recently invited to a first grade classroom in the Danville Area School District for unique opportunity.  With the state’s new PA Future Ready Index entering its second year, schools continue to wrestle with the challenges of providing career acquisition, career retention and Advancement, career awareness and preparation, and entrepreneurship for grades K-12.  One first grade teacher at the Danville Primary School rose to the occasion and introduced C.O.P.S. on cops. According to Mrs. Heeter, one day during writing the students were working on their Capitalization, Organization, Punctuation, and Spelling (C.O.P.S.), and a student said they had never met a real police officer. She was surprised to learn this was true for at least half of the class. In addition, some students indicated that was a good thing, as you only met the police when you were bad. 

The solution: local law enforcement was invited into class for writing one day. They arrived to see the students in their paper cops hats, writing badges, and they even had stuffed police dogs on their desks. Mrs. Heeter shared that this is the daily uniform for grammar, and excites the children about writing. Cpl. Jonathan Swank (Borough of Danville police), Officer LaRue Brion (Danville School District), Officer Tammy Smith (Mahoning Township Police) and Chief Kerry Parkes (Riverside Borough Police) were introduced and challenged to find the errors in sentences projected on the board about police using their C.O.P.S. The students really enjoyed the challenge of seeing these officers struggle at times. 

Next the police were asked to speak about what they do and what they liked most about being police officers.  They all agreed interacting with kids and the community was the best part. Of course they shared how they keep the school and surrounding communities safe. They also invited the students to visit them at the station any time to learn more.

Students then had their turn to ask questions.  Jeff was amazed by the depth of the questions by these six and seven-year-olds.  They asked about police dogs, how fast their cars go, and even what was the most difficult part of their jobs. Chief Parkes shared that dealing with victims and their families can be hard because “you really feel bad for them.” Office Swank said the job can be hard and you need to love doing the job. Officer Smith shared that solving crimes is like putting together a really difficult puzzle, but solving that puzzle makes it exciting. As far as how fast police cars go, they were told fast enough.

The visit wrapped up with snacks of copcorn (aka popcorn), copcakes (aka cupcakes) and patrol fuel (aka blue juice drinks).  Officer Smith even brought the students safety activity books, police footballs and mood watches. Mrs. Heeter’s class then distributed bags of snacks for each officer to take back to share. They shared they knew the police spend a lot on time in their cars and wanted them to have snacks to keep their energy up. Of course, no visit would be complete without someone ending up in handcuffs. The students got to see their principal, Dr. Bickhart, put in handcuffs by Officer Brion, and left to stand in front of the class for refusing a cupcake. Not a crime according to our judicial system, but pretty severe to first graders. One student dressed in a SWAT team uniform even slapped some plastic cups on Jeff and hauled him off to jail in the corner of the classroom.

The Foundation director wanted to share this story to show the creative thinking that is going on in our area related to introducing students to careers. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Looking at things from a different angle and taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves can get the job done. Thanks to Mrs. Heeter for inviting Jeff to share in this special morning with the class and thanks to the Danville, Mahoning Township, Danville School District and Riverside Police for their vigilance in our communities and involvement in our children’s schools.

Listening Sessions to Gauge Public Input About Regional Transportation Services

Transportation planners from the SEDA-COG and Williamsport Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) areas will be holding three listening sessions this fall to hear from the public about transit and transportation service needs and issues.

These sessions are an opportunity for residents who do not drive or who rely on transportation services to speak directly with planners about service gaps, scheduling issues, delays, reliability, affordability issues and other concerns. When one or more of these issues gets in the way of reaching jobs, medical appointments, food stores, pharmacies and other services, our region falls short.

Understanding who is affected—whether seniors, minorities, low-income individuals, people with disabilities, individuals with limited English language skills or even the general public—will help quantify needs and prioritize areas of improvement.

Three sessions have been scheduled to hear from residents in Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. 


Session #1:         Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, 1pm – 4pm  
Union-Snyder Community Action Agency
713 Bridge Street, Suite #10, Selinsgrove, PA 17870

Session #2:         Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, 2pm – 5pm
River Valley Trade and Transit Center II
144 W 3rd Street, Williamsport, PA 17701

Session #3:         Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, 1pm – 4pm
Geisinger’s Justin Drive Office Building #2 (behind outpatient center)
35 Justin Drive, Danville, PA, 17821         

Each three-hour session is designed for people to drop in and stay as long as they prefer to share their needs and concerns about transportation services. Each facility is accessible and has convenient parking. Caregivers, advocates and service agencies are also welcome to attend.

Those not able to attend a listening session in person are encouraged to participate in an online survey by Oct. 29.