Leaping Through February

Considering that February is the shortest month of the year – it grows to 29 days every four years, including 2024 – it’s filled with plenty of events and activities that will make you forget about the winter doldrums. In fact, there’s so much to do that it was impossible to keep the list short and sweet.


Groundhog Day 

February 2

Octorara Orphie in Kirkwood

It’s mid-winter. Cabin fever has set in. Fingers will be crossed that the local groundhogs won’t see their shadows, which signifies that spring is just around the corner. At the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge in Kirkwood, Octorara Orphie has been on the job for 116 years. For lodge members, February 2 is their day to have fun and entertain the audience with reports of groundhog sightings from the various brigades, as well as perform skits and songs that often poke fun at the political landscape and pop culture. They also take great pleasure in dunking the newest recruits in the chilly waters of the Octorara Creek. The merriment usually gets underway by 8 a.m. White Rock Rd. in Kirkwood.

Information: Facebook

Mount Joy Minnie 

Minnie greets February 2 just as the sun rises (7 a.m.), hence there’s always plenty of coffee (courtesy of the American Legion) and donuts (courtesy of Voyage Mount Joy) on hand to wake up the humans who await her decree. As the area’s only female prognosticator, Miss Minnie arrives dressed for the occasion, as she dons a bright pick skirt and her own fur coat. In honor of Minnie’s fashion sense, a contest is held that sees audience members vie for top honors for their creative headgear. The event, which is being sponsored by Keystone Lawn Care, takes place at the Rotary Clock along Main Street.

Information: voyagemountjoy.com.


Photo by Nick Gould

Elliott from Acorn Acres Wildlife Rehabilitation

Groundhog Central in Downtown Lancaster will be located at The Holiday Inn’s Imperial Terrace (26 E. Chestnut St.). Sadly, Acorn Acres’ groundhog mascot, Poppy, passed away late last February, after showing her housemate, Elliott, the ropes. This year, Acorn Acres will both carry on Poppy’s legacy and officially hand Groundhog Day duties over to Elliott. The fun kicks off at 11 a.m. at Ville & Rue (8 W. King St.), where Elliott will make his prognostication. The store will also be selling limited-edition Remembrance pillows that pay homage to Poppy. Elliott and his entourage will then make their way to The Holiday Inn (4-9 p.m.), where The Imperial Terrace will be the site of kids’ activities, games (with prizes), raffles, educational talks, food and drink designed for the day’s theme and Elliott’s prediction of who will win the Super Bowl. The weekend will also see Elliott make an appearance at The Fish Place/That Pet Place on Sunday, as well as take part in other events.

Information: Acornacreswr.com.

Photo courtesy of Manheim Township Recreation Department

M.T. Parker in Manheim Township

M.T., who has been on the job for four years, will deliver his prognostication at Stauffer Mansion (Carriage House), where refreshments, music, arts & crafts, photo ops and more will be offered. 7 a.m. 1241 Lititz Pike, Lancaster.

Information: Facebook.

Show Some Love!

Photo courtesy of LancasterHistory

LancasterHistory Valentine’s Day Gala

February 10, HamIlton Club

Dinner, dancing, a little romance … get dressed up and enjoy a night out all while you help to raise funds for LancasterHistory’s educational programming. For this 20th anniversary gala, the Hamilton Club will be transformed into the Moulin Rouge (courtesy of The Gilded Lily). Enjoy cocktails, dinner and music provided by the Mama Tried Band. 6 p.m. 106 E. Orange St., Lancaster.

For ticket information, visit lancasterhistory.org.

Happy New Year!


Lunar New Year

February 10

Lunar New Year, the date of which is determined by the lunar calendar, is the most celebrated and significant festival that is held In China and Chinese communities throughout the world, as well as other Asian countries. Also known as the Spring Festival, Lunar New Year is also dedicated to one of the 12 animals depicted in the Chinese zodiac. This is the Year of the Dragon and astrologers are predicting it will be an exciting and dynamic one, instilling people with courage, confidence and optimism. The festivities continue for 14 days and culminate with the Lantern Festival. Many local Chinese and Asian restaurants host Lunar New Year festivities, so check with your favorite to learn if any are planned. Or order take-out and create your own party at home.


Photo courtesy of Ole Hongvanthong

Lunar New Year Festival

February 18, Ewell Plaza/Binns Park          

The Lancaster Asian American & Pacific Islanders organization will once again present a Lunar New Year Festival in Downtown Lancaster. Festivities will include dance/music demonstrations, educational/cultural activities, artisans, a scavenger hunt (with prizes), the traditional Lion Dance and, of course, food that celebrates that area of the world. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (rain/shine). 101 N. Queen St., Lancaster.

Details: lancasteraapi.com.

Calling All Singles


Photo courtesy of Lancaster Medical Heritage Museum

Singles Night at the Museum

February 10
The Lancaster Medical Heritage Museum

Get ready for an evening of mingling and connecting with some culture tossed in for good measure. Guides will be on hand to provide tours of the museum and the rest is up to you! 6-8 p.m. 410 N. Lime St., Lancaster.

Information: ticketstripe.com/lmhmsingles.

You’re Getting Married!


Photo courtesy of Moonstone Manor

Open House  

February 10, Moonstone Manor

Pennsylvania’s “Most Romantic Wedding Venue” has added yet another amenity to the property: a historic (1744) barn that has been fully restored. With features such as stone walls, beautiful lighting fixtures and an incredible bar handcrafted by Don Gallagher of Gallagher Wood Arts, the barn will make its official debut on February 10, when it hosts an Open House that will welcome those seeking a unique venue for weddings and other social occasions. 12-3 p.m. 2048 Zeager Rd., Elizabethtown.

Information: Moonstonemanor.com.

Indulge in One Last Treat!

Fasnacht Day 

February 13
Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Columbia

Yes, on this, the day before the start of the Lenten season, you’ll be hard-pressed to go anywhere in Lancaster County and not see fasnachts for sale. However, the holy rollers of Holy Trinity Catholic Church have been at it for 100 years, thus their doughy delights are considered to be the holy grails of fasnachts. As you can imagine, Holy Trinity’s fasnachts sell out faster than you can say Taylor Swift. Orders are taken online only (those that are not claimed by 1 p.m. on pick-up day go to the faithful who stand in line and pray that such a miracle occurs). Fortunately, the church bakes throughout the Lenten season, thus you may be able to score some for a later date. Ordering via the website will go live in late January. 409 Cherry St., Columbia.

Information: holytrinitycolumbiapa.com.

Celebrate Presidents’ Day


Photo courtesy of LancasterHistory

James Buchanan, the One-Term President

February 19, Wheatland

In honor of Presidents’ Day, Wheatland, the home of America’s 15th president, James Buchanan, will be offering special-subject tours that focus on the year 1859, which is regarded as the period in which Buchanan’s fate was sealed as a one-term president. You’ll learn how Buchanan attempted to expand the country, struggled with corruption in the War Department and dealt with mounting challenges. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 230 N. President Ave., Lancaster.

Information: lancasterhistory.org.

It’s Black History Month


Photo courtesy of Bethel AME Church

Living the Experience

Ongoing, Bethel AME Church

Dating to 1817, the Bethel AME Church is home to a very creative, spiritual, interactive and fascinating historical reenactment relating to the Underground Railroad and the role the church and its members played in helping once-enslaved people make their way to freedom. Presented in a first-person interpretive manner, Living the Experience brings the people and events of the period to life. Audience interaction is also part of the program. Following the presentation, a Southern-style meal is served. 450-512 E. Strawberry St., Lancaster.

Information: bethelamelancaster.com.


Photo courtesy of Millersville University

We the People First Friday

February 2
The Ware Center

February’s art exhibit in the Regitz Gallery, Woke Up, Had to Get the Blockrite, will focus on Sir Dominique Jordan, who loves to challenge people to make a difference in their community and is the leader of a social enterprise (The Artivist Corp.) that is dedicated to youth mentorship through creative expression. Jordan also founded Nobody’s Pen (poetry writers) and is the lead vocalist for Prolific Sheppas (Hip Hop and R&B). A part of the PACE Neighbors program, this exhibit is also associated with the NEA Our Town project, which is led by the City of Lancaster in

partnership with Franklin & Marshall College. Opening reception, 6-8 p.m. (The exhibit will be on view through February 23.)

This month’s performance, Lift Ev’ry Voice, is being scripted by Reji Woods and takes its inspiration from historical speeches, letters and devotional music. 6:30 p.m. Steinman Hall. 42 N. Prince St., Lancaster.

Information: artsmu.com.


Celebrate Community



Lititz Fire & Ice Festival 

February 16-25, Lititz

What began as a weekend-long event that featured ice sculptures along Main Street has grown into a 10-day extravaganza that begins with a ticketed preview party on February 15 and launches into the festival the next afternoon with the unveiling of intricate ice sculptures situated throughout the downtown area. The festival will also feature a photo exhibit with a local focus, a scavenger hunt, Art in the Park, a chili cook-off, kids’ activities, a vendor fair, a maker’s market, food trucks, a town/pub crawl and more. Restaurants and shops will also join in on the fun.

Information: lititzpa.com.


The Music We Love!



Photo courtesy of Appell Center for the Performing Arts

The Cher Show

February 6, Appell Center, York

There’s something about ladies in their 70s taking the world of rock by storm of late! For six decades, Cher has been wowing audiences and dominating pop culture as only she can. The Tony Award-winning musical that pays homage to Cher’s life and career comes to the area for one night only. 7:30 p.m. 50 N. George St., York.

Tickets: appellcenter.org/show/the-cher-show.



Photo courtesy of American Music Theatre

Boyz II Men

February 23, American Music Theatre

The legendary R&B group has been entertaining fans for more that three decades, resulting in four Grammy, nine American Music, nine Soul Train and three Billboard Music awards. They are also members of the Vocal Group and the R&B Music halls of fame. Finally, they are the best-selling R&B group of all time, having sold more than 10 million albums. 8 p.m. 2425 Lincoln Hwy. East.

Tickets: amtshows.com.


Photo courtesy of Millersville University

Shadows of the ’60s: A Tribute to Motown

February 24
The Ware Center

The legacy of Motown’s acclaimed stars – The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smoky Robinson, Diana Ross & The Supremes and more – will be celebrated in this interactive and visually stunning production that features top singers and musicians, fab costumes and dazzling choreography. 7:30 p.m. 42 N. Prince St., Lancaster.

Tickets: artsmu.com.

Lend a Helping Hand

Taste of Western Lancaster County 

February 3
Elizabethtown Library

This popular event features food and drink sampling provided by restaurants, vendors and purveyors that serve the greater Elizabethtown area. Live music will fill two floors of the building. Best of all, proceeds will benefit the library, as well as programs sponsored by the Elizabethtown Rotary Club. 4:30-9 p.m. 10 S. Market St., Elizabethtown. This is always a sell-out, so don’t hesitate.

Tickets: Eventbrite.

Cooking for a Cause: A World Central Kitchen Fundraiser 

February 23
Zest Cooking School

Renowned chef and restaurateur, José Andrés, founded the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in 2010, when he and a team he assembled traveled to earthquake-ravaged Haiti to help provide those in need with food. Since then, whether the need is a result of natural or weather-related disasters, famine, a global pandemic or war, WCK is immediately on the ground to provide people with comfort food. On February 23, the Zest team and instructor, Helen Chudakova-Sanya, will present a program in which every dish that is prepared will tell a story of compassion. All recipes will come from the World Central Kitchen Cookbook, which participants will receive as part of their registration fee. (Zest! is also selling the cookbook in the Lititz store, with 25% of each sale being donated to WCK.) Proceeds from Cooking for a Cause will benefit WCK. 6-8 p.m. 1180 Erbs Quarry Rd., Lititz.

Information: zestchef.com.


Photo courtesy of Strasburg Fire Company

Strasburg Spring Donation & Consignment Sale  

February 23-24
Strasburg Fire Company

Strasburg’s sale kicks off Mud Sale season, which now extends into the fall. So named because the earth is typically muddy in late winter/early spring, the sales benefit the volunteer fire companies that exist in suburban and rural areas of the county. This year will mark the 49th such sale in Strasburg. Friday’s focus will be crafts and small quilted items. Saturday will see quilts, small goods, new/used tools, antiques/collectibles, lawn furniture, lawn/garden items, farm machinery, carriages and more be auctioned/sold. Food is an integral part of Mud Sale season, with much of it prepared by Amish volunteers. In Strasburg, chicken corn soup is the big draw, with take-out available. Friday, 4 p.m.-?. Saturday, 8 a.m.-?. 203 Franklin St., Strasburg.

Information: strasburgfire.com and discoverlancaster.com for the full schedule of mud sales.


Photo by Jordan Bush

Chicken Pot Pie Dinner

February 24, Bird-in-Hand Fire Company

After 30 years of making pot pie, the fire-fighting personnel and a slew of volunteers have cooking and fundraising down to a science. Their pot pie is second to none and is the perfect comfort food for a cold winter’s day, as it features delicious chicken (pasture-raised), homemade dough, tasty potatoes and Amish-grown herbs, all of which are steeped in a savory broth. The menu also includes homemade pepper cabbage and pickles, as well as peas, applesauce, rolls and dessert. Dine in or take-out (take a few quarts home to put in the freezer). By day’s end, the fire company will have served/sold nearly 1,000 gallons of pot pie! Take-out begins at 9:30 a.m. Dine-in is held from 10:30 a.m.-6ish p.m. 313 Enterprise Dr., Bird-in-Hand.

Information: bihfire.com.

Wine & Design!


Photo courtesy of Nissley Vineyards & Estate Winery

Glassblowing Workshop

February 16
Nissley Vineyards & Estate Winery

The evening begins with a complimentary wine flight tasting and then progresses to the workshop, during which Michael Peluso will help participants create bud vases. Bring your own snacks or purchase them there. Wine can be purchased, as well. 6-8:30 p.m. 140 Vintage Dr., Bainbridge.



Photo courtesy of Nissley Vineyards & Estate Winery

Cookie Design Class

February 23
Nissley Vineyards & Estate Winery

Jaleyah of Sweet Little Things will be on hand to teach decorating techniques for cookies (all supplies will be provided). A wine tasting will be held before the lesson begins. 6-8:30 p.m. 140 Vintage Dr., Bainbridge.

Information: nissleywine.com.

A “Ghost” Kind of Date Night


Photo courtesy of Lancaster Creative Factory

Date Night Wheel Class

February 24, Lancaster Creative Factory

Carlo Jury will help twosomes gain experience working on a wheel and throwing a pot. Pieces will be glazed/fired for later pickup. (Note: classes are held each month.) 6-8 p.m. 580 S. Prince St., Lancaster.

Information: lancastercreativefactory.org.

Brunch with a Side of Creativity


Photo courtesy of Zoetropolis

Art at Brunch

February 18

Participants will select a mystery bag and use its contents to create a work of art. Once finished, the creations will be judged, and trophies awarded to the winners. No registration is needed but if you plan to have brunch, reservations are suggested. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 112 N. Water St., Lancaster.

Information: zoetropolis.com.

Embrace the Outdoors!


Photo courtesy of Wolf Sanctuary of PA

Full Moon Fundraiser

February 24, Wolf Sanctuary of PA

Sure, it’s probably cold outside but you’ll feel invigorated by the Snow Moon and the wolves that call Speedwell home. The monthly fundraiser benefits the sanctuary that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. The event features a roaring bonfire, live entertainment and educational tours. Bring a chair, a blanket, a flashlight, non-alcoholic beverage, a snack and most of all, a sense of adventure. Attendance restricted to ages 16-plus. 7:30-10 p.m. 465 Speedwell Forge Rd., Lititz.

Information: wolfsanctuarypa.org.


Photo by Jordan Bush

Maple Sugaring Time

February 24-25 & March 3, Lancaster County Central Park

A sure – and sweet – sign that spring is on the way occurs when the sap in maple trees begins to flow, an indication that temperatures are on the rise. At such time, the trees are tapped, and the sap is used to make maple syrup, candy and other sweet treats. Each year, staff at the park welcome visitors to Pavilion 11 to see the process and sample the resulting treats. Hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sundays.

There will also be a Full Moon Walk on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. On February 27 (10 a.m.), maple sugaring will be the topic for Toddler Tuesday (ages 3 and under).

Information: co.lancaster.pa.us/151/Parks-Recreation.

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