Now is the perfect time to visit an environmental jewel in Berks County that became the world's first refuge for birds of prey, and is celebrating its 85th anniversary on Saturday.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Albany Township started during the Depression, when amateur ornithologist Richard Pough became one of a growing number of conservationists opposed to the movement to eradicate wildlife predators, including predatory birds.
Pough heard of the place locals called "Hawk Mountain" and decided to visit. There, he saw gunners shooting hundreds of passing hawks for sport. He gathered the carcasses lying on the forest floor and took photographs, which were seen by New York conservation activist Rosalie Edge.
Edge leased 1,400 acres, stopped the shooting and opened the sanctuary to the public as a place to view the persecuted birds of prey. She bought and deeded the property to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, incorporated in 1938 as a nonprofit organization
Since then, Hawk Mountain's mission has been to conserve birds of prey by providing leadership in raptor conservation science and education, and by maintaining Hawk Mountain Sanctuary as a model observation, research and education facility. An average 18,000 birds of prey will soar over the sanctuary's rocky North Lookout, a 1,500-foot outcropping on the Kittatinny Ridge during the annual Autumn Hawk Watch now through December 15.
The anniversary celebration will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, 1700 Hawk Mountain Road. Visitors can enjoy a free piece of cake and can check out the grand opening of the new outdoor amphitheater and the new historical marker.
The now-2,600-acre mountaintop preserve offers scenic overlooks, eight miles of trail, a visitor center, native plant garden, and the Acopian Center for Conservational Learning.
Trail fees are $10 for adults; $7 for seniors and $5 for children age 6 to 12 and support raptor conservation.
For information, call 610-756-6961 or go to www.hawkmountain.org.
Reading Civic Theatre to stage 'Mamma Mia' Reading Civic Theatre presents the Berks County premiere of the hit musical "Mamma Mia" this weekend at the Santander Performing Arts Center in downtown Reading.
The pop hits of Swedish supergroup ABBA tell the story of a young woman's search for her birth father on the eve of her wedding. The tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise, where Sophie invites three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago in hopes of discovering which man is her father. Hit songs include "Super Trouper," "Dancing Queen," "Knowing Me, Knowing You," "Take a Chance on Me," "Thank You for the Music," "Money, Money, Money," "The Winner Takes It All," and "SOS," as well as the title song.
The cast is comprised of all ages, and several are professionally trained singers, dancers and actors.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $34.50 for adults and $29.50 for seniors and students.
For information, call 610-898-7200 or go to www.santander-arena.com.
'Viva Momix' comes to Zoellner "Viva Momix," a compilation of company favorites taken from six shows plus four new pieces, brings the internationally known dance company to Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center on Saturday.
The show was created for Momix's 35th anniversary season in 2015 in celebration of June 10, 1980, when Moses Pendleton performed the first Momix show at Teatro Nazionale, in Milan, Italy.
Known internationally for presenting works of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty, Momix is a company of dancer-illusionists under the direction of Pendleton.
The beautiful, athletic performers cross the boundaries of dance, gymnastics and acrobatics and Momix's productions focus on the beauty of the human form, the beauty of nature, music, scenography and life itself.
"Viva Momix"& features a mix-and-match variety of sections from "Botanica," "Alchemia," "Remix," "Opus Cactus," and "Lunar Sea." Small vignettes make up the two-act performance, mixing traditional Momix styles of illusion, beauty, magic, fun, and inventiveness. Four new pieces were created especially for the show as well.
There will be an opening reception with complimentary beverages and desserts before the show in the Zoellner lobby.
"Viva Momix" is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center, 420 East Packer Avenue, Bethlehem. Tickets are $32, $39 and $42.
For information, call 610-758-2787 ext. 0, or go to zoellner.cas2.lehigh.edu/box-office.
A mystery in Wonderland DCP Family Theatre presents "Alice in Wonderland," opening Friday at the Telford theater.
The play, based on the book by Lewis Carroll, was adapted by Madge Miller.
While letting her imagination wander, Alice encounters the White Rabbit, who is nervous about keeping his tarts safe for the Queen's royal croquet match. When the tarts are stolen, Alice goes in search of them to save the White Rabbit from losing his head. In the word of Wonderland, Alice meets many peculiar characters and throughout her adventure, each one plays an integral role in helping her find her way and solving the mystery of the stolen tarts.
The cast includes Cassidy Butler as Alice; Lizzy Bywaters as Margaret; Emma Fliszar as White Rabbit; Helen Spigel as Cheshire Cat; Julia Witwer as Duchess; Ephrem Acker as Knave of Hearts; Dan Wentzel as King of Hearts; Jill Wentzel as Queen of Hearts; Derek Peterson as Mad Hatter; Erik Reyes as March Hare; Katie Scheider as Doormouse; John Bell as Gryphon and Chuck Kane as Mock Turtle.
The show is directed by Kelly Butler.
Performances are 8 p.m. September 13 and 20 and 1 and 4 p.m. September 14-15 and 20-21.
Tickets are $12 and DCP Theatre is at 795 Ridge Road, Salford Township, Montgomery County. For information, call 215-234-0966 or go to www.dcptheatre.com.
Gettysburg play at Ice House A new play about living in Gettysburg, the site that marked the turning point in the Civil War, will have its world premiere at the Charles Brown Ice House in Bethlehem on Friday and Saturday, as part of the Ice House Tonight series.
"Addressing Gettysburg, or Swimming To the High Water Mark" is presented by Selkie Theatre and is a new solo piece written and performed by Richard Sautter, who reflects on the experience of moving to, and living in Gettysburg, where the Union had the victory that ended General Robert E. Lee's second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Known as the "High Water Mark of the Rebellion," Gettysburg was the Civil War's bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln's immortal "Gettysburg Address."
Sautter moved to Gettysburg with his family 14 years ago, and since then, he has been collecting observations about what it means to live and work in such a meaningful place. He discovered spending a lot of time in Gettysburg meant meeting many different people, there for many different reasons, from passionate historians to ghost hunters, from Civil War re-enactors to apathetic schoolchildren.
Sautter, who worked as an actor for 15 years in the Lehigh Valley before moving to Gettysburg in 2005, marks a reunion with Selkie directors George Miller and Kate Scuffle, with whom Sautter worked with at the original Theatre Outlet, where he performed in "Dancing At Lughnasa," "The Baltimore Waltz," "Ibsen's Ghosts" and others. Sautter also has performed at Touchstone, and the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre.
A meet-the-artist reception will follow both performances.
Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Charles Brown Ice , 56 River Street, Bethlehem.
Tickets are $15 cash only. Reserve tickets at email@example.com or by calling 484-241-9591 and pick them up at the door.
Fiddle Festival in Lyons Grab your fiddle and head to Lyons for the 36th annual Lyons Fiddle Festival from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Lyons Community Park.
The festival is a nationally recognized musical event featuring family fun, food, crafts and plenty of folk, Americana, and bluegrass music.
There will be open jam circles throughout the park, band performances and a fiddle competition for three ages groups, with cash prizes on the main stage.
The festival kicks off with a gospel service at 9 a.m. followed by a morning concert series featuring Andrew Vogts and Maxwell Brown; The Hannah Violet Trio and The Jersey Corn Pickers with Sarah Williams Larsen from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Other performers throughout the day include Craig Thatcher and Nyke Van Wyk, Eric Fischer, and Sam Schmidthuber.
The day ends at 5:30 p.m. with a Swing Low Sweet Chariot fiddle finale jam.
Fiddle competitions for ages 11 and under are at 1:30 p.m.; for ages 12-17 at 2:45 p.m.; and for ages 18 and up at 4:15 p.m.
Admission for ages 13 and up is a $5 donation, which benefits the Lyons Park Association. The park is at 15 Park Avenue, Lyons.
Donations for parking are appreciated and benefit the Kutztown Hobos: Helping Others Before Ourselves and the Lyons Fire Company truck crew.
For information, go to www.lyonsfiddle.com or call 484-507-2186.
Satori opens 24th season Chamber music group Satori presents music for oboe, flute, and strings Saturday at College Hill Moravian Church in Bethlehem to open its 24th season.
The program includes chamber music selection from Quantz and Boccherini, plus Schubert's "String Quartet No. 14 in d minor, Death and the Maiden."
Performers are Nora Suggs, flute; Cheryl Bishkoff, oboe; Rebecca Brown and Mary Ogletree, violin; Agnes Maurer, viola and Elizabeth Mendoza, cello.
Satori is a mixed ensemble of winds, strings, and piano, and plays both traditional and contemporary chamber music.
The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at College Hill Moravian Church, 72 West Laurel Street, Bethlehem.
Tickets are available at the door only. Admission is $15 or $5 for under age 12 For more information, call 610-435-6036 or go to www.satori-chambermusic.org.
Exhibit with Berks roots Studio B Fine Art Gallery of Boyertown will open the exhibit "Together Again: Reuniting Eyes, Hands, and Hearts," Friday with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m.
The exhibit, coordinated by Sandy Wood, features a group of artists with roots in the Reading area whose work together over 20 years has inspired their artistic journeys. The exhibit runs through October 6 and is free and open to the public.
Twenty years ago, 16 artists met to paint each Wednesday at the Wyomissing Institute. Throughout the years, members of the original group met and traveled around the globe to workshops or to paint en plein air. Their journeys led them to different locales and to experiment in different mediums. While most began their artistic journey in watercolor, their transitions into oils, acrylics, and mixed media have also led to a diversity in style--representational to abstract.
Nine artists of the original group -- Tara Funk Grim, Michele Byrne, Linda Henry, Charlene Jobe, Nancy Wissinger, Donna Unger, Karen Wolf, Peg Reich, and Sandy Wood -- will be featured, with a special tribute to Raylene Devine.
Grim lives in Bethany Beach, Delaware, and is a signature member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society.
Byrne has remained a Berks County resident and exhibits all over the United States and has produced four books and two videos.
Henry relocated to Sedona, Arizona, where she continues her watercolor paintings responding to nature.
Jobe lives in Reading and actively exhibits in galleries along the Atlantic coast. Her huge billboard designs were featured in the Reading area in 2008 and 2009 as a winner of the Berks Arts Council contest.
Wissinger lives in Sinking Spring, where she paints and teaches classes in her large studio.
Unger lives and paints in Reading. Her work was last seen at the Yocum Gallery in Sinking Spring.
Wolf is a jewelry artist from Reading who designs and creates jewelry with precious metals, gemstones, vintage and artist-made glass beads.
Reich of Mohnton and Wood of Gilbersville are retired art teachers who exhibit locally.
Studio B is at 39A East Philadelphia Avenue, Boyertown.
For information go to www.studiobbb.org.