August, Mt. Gretna's busiest month of the year, often produces the shortest newsletters. That’s because both writers and readers find themselves in a delightful swirl of events leaving little time for anything but the important business of friends, families and fun. So, amid the house tour, art show, Cicada Festival, plays, concerts and other events that define Mt. Gretna in August—festivities that those who preceded us on these grounds a century ago could scarcely have imagined—we offer a condensed bulletin with the promise of more to come later.
Herewith, the highlights:
Mt. Gretna’s newest business, sparked by determined entrepreneurs who have been patiently laboring over the past two years to open a pizza shop, appears near completion. If all goes as hoped, they could open their doors this week. Much depends on favorable ratings from final inspectors, a process that sometimes snares even the best-laid plans. Workmen at the site tell us, however, they’re aiming for this Friday, Aug. 18. And if not then, by the following Friday “at the latest.” Keep your fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, Lebanon County planners are meeting with area residents today, part of their effort to invite ideas from everyone about PennDOT’s plans to improve Route 117. Officials plan to begin resurfacing the roadway starting next Spring. That proposed scenic byway got a generally cool reception at last month’s meeting, so PennDOT will proceed with simply repairing the roadway – with special emphasis on sparing the trees.
And everything’s ready for the Art Show. Nearly 300 artists begin arriving and setting up their tents and displays this Friday. By 9 a.m. Saturday, all will be set for the biggest single event of the year --- an annual miracle that swells the town’s population to more than 10 times normal size. When it’s over Sunday night, Mt. Gretna will shrink back to normal proportions, with only scant evidence that one of Central Pennsylvania’s most popular outdoor art shows even took place here.
Meanwhile, as the busy month continues apace, some reminders:
The award-winning Susquehanna Chorale makes its return appearance this Sunday night at the Mt. Gretna Tabernacle. The performance, one of the most popular in the Tabernacle’s entire summer series, begins at 7:30 p.m.
Gretna Theater’s production of “The Miracle Worker” begins next Tuesday and continues through Sept. 1, wrapping up the season.
Gretna Music resumes its series August 27 with the St. Petersburg String Quartet. The festival then concludes with jazz pianist Bill Charlap Sept. 2 and the return of the Audubon Quartet Sept. 3.
And there’s that popular season-ending Big Band bash at the lake
Aug. 26, an event that’s become a highlight on Mt. Gretna’s
busy summer calendar.
Other season-ending events include the communitywide summer picnic Sept. 2 at the Hall of Philosophy, starting around 4 p.m. Everyone’s invited. That includes all residents of Mt. Gretna’s seven neighborhoods: Conewago Hill, Timber Hills, Chautauqua, Campmeeting, Stoberdale, Timber Bridge, and Mt. Gretna Heights. Bring a covered dish entre, or a salad or dessert to share but don’t worry about plates, utensils or drinks. (They’re provided.) Just call 964-1830 to let planners know how many are attending and what you’ll bring.
We’ll have more news next month, as the pace subsides, summer recedes and fall’s more measured tempo returns.
P. S. Longtime Mt. Gretnan Sara Hoffsommer celebrates her 100th birthday
Sept. 3. Now living at Country Meadows, Apt. 93, 4905 E. Trindle Rd., Mechanicsburg,
PA 17050, she enjoys hearing from Mt. Gretnans.
Also, our continuing thanks to all who regularly forward copies of this bulletin to friends and relatives around the world. We appreciate as well those who faithfully respond to our questions, fill our news bins to overflowing, and assist us in the pleasure of helping keep everyone here and around the world abreast of Mt. Gretna happenings.