shrek ylt best of july
York Little Theatre will present "Shrek: The Musical" July 18-20 and 24-27. (YLT)

A very Fourth First Friday

Celebrate Independence Day and First Friday with a variety of family-friendly fun, hands-on activities, live entertainment and specials at downtown York City locations. A list of participating businesses and a full schedule of activities is available online at www.downtownyorkpa.com.

Creature feature

Join the York County Parks staff for a look at different creatures during the Creature Feature Series from 11 to 11:30 a.m. July 8, 15, and 22, at the Nature Center in Nixon County Park, Springfield Township. Slides, props, stories and hands-on activities will be combined to tell the natural history stories and behaviors of each animal. A different animal will serve as a theme at each session. Registration is not required for this free program. Information: (717) 428-1961 or www.yorkcountyparks.org.

Going to the fair

The 16th annual Mason-Dixon Fair at the Delta fairgrounds along Route 74 runs July 7-12 with the midway opening each night at 5. The fun includes live music, rides, animal exhibits, tractor pulls, children's activities, the Karaoke Star contest and more. Admission: $4-$6 for ages 7 and up, free for 6 and under. Information: www.masondixonfair.com.

American Girl Day

Gather the girls and dolls for a ride on Engine 17 during American Girl Day at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday, July 11, on the Steam Into History train, 2 W. Main St., New Freedom. The girls will be learning different lady-like techniques and will play historic games on the ride to Glen Rock, and there will be plenty of American Girl talk. Tickets: $15-$23. Information: (717) 942-2370 or www.steamintohistory.com.

A horrible saturday

The York Emporium will host a Horrible Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at the bookstore, 343 W. Market St., York. This day-long fright-fest will include author appearances, special guests, displays, games, prizes, movies, and a screaming contest. Information: (717) 846-2866 or www.facebook.com/YorkEmporium.

Flexing their muscle

The 13th annual Musclecar Madness at the York Reunion will feature drag racing history, a car show, legendary racers, memorabilia, activities for the kids and more. The show runs from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 11, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at the York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Ave., West Manchester Township. Admission: $15 for adults, free for children under 12. Information: 717-757-2720 or www.yorknostalgia.com.

Spark in the Park

Curious kids who want to touch the jaw of a shark (in a totally danger-free way) should plan to attend Spark in the Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at Codorus State Park. Part of the York County Libraries and GO York! Summer reading club and physical activity program, this event is packed with free activities for the entire family including the interactive program, Sharks, at noon presented by Lauren Albright, school programs coordinator for the National Aquarium. Attendees should consider bringing along lawn chairs or blankets to sit on since the event is outside; food will be available for purchase for those not bringing a picnic lunch. Information: www.yorklibraries.org or www.goyork.com.

Carnival time

Both the Jefferson Carnival and the Stewartstown Carnival open July 14 and run through July 19 with rides, games, live music, food and more. The Jefferson Carnival at 57 Hanover St. raises funds for the Jefferson Sportsmen's Association. The Stewartstown Carnival at the fairgrounds, 16 College Ave., raises funds for the Eureka Fire and Ambulance Co. Information: www.jeffersonsportsmen.org and www.eureka54.org.

A dark tale

Journey into the depths of one one Shakespeare's most controversial plays in the Barn at Tall Fir Acres, 2035 Tall Fir Drive, Dover.  OrangeMite Studios will present "Titus Andronicus" at 7 p.m. July 18-20 and 25-27. Set in the war-torn 3rd century, Shakespeare envelops the audience in a deadly, fast-paced cycle of revenge between the Goths and the Andronici of Rome. Parental discretion is advised due to violent content. Tickets: $8-$10. Information: (717) 814-1151 or www.orangemite.org.

Not easy being green

A band of fairy tale misfits share the stage in "Shrek: The Musical" July 18-20 and 24-27, at the York Little Theatre, 27 S. Belmont St., York. Based on the award-winning DreamWorks film, "Shrek" tells the tale of a faraway kingdom turned upside down when an unseemly ogre - not a handsome prince - shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Sunday shows are at 3 p.m.; all other shows are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $12-$25. Information: (717) 854-5715 or www.ylt.org.

Turtle power

York County Parks will present a red-bellied turtle program from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at Nixon County Park in Springfield Township. Jessica Nolan of York College will give an overview of this turtle species and present an update on the research she is doing in Lake Marburg near Hanover. No registration is required for this free progam. Information: www.yorkcountyparks.org.

Berries & butterflies

Come dressed as a butterfly for family fun from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at Browns Orchards & Farm Market, 8892 Susquehanna Trail South, Loganville. Enjoy a day of yard games, crafts, face painting by Makin' Faces, Bob's Critters, Sunset Fields Alpacas, Whispering Rise Farms' rescue pig, Experimental Movement Concepts performance and more. Information: (717) 428-2036 or www.brownsorchards.com.

'Comedy' in the park

Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors" comes to several York County Parks for eight performances by DreamWrights Youth & Family Theatre's Theatre Under the Trees program July 25-Aug. 3. Enjoy an outdoor performance of this comedic classic as the DreamWrights cast catapults audiences into a fast, funny lesson about the dangers of travel, with a side dash into the perils and promise of romance. This free show is suitable for all ages. Information: (717) 848-2166 or www.dreamwrights.org.

Campfire cooking with kids

Bring your young culinary enthusiast for the York County Heritage Trust's Campfire Cooking Children's Workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Trust's Colonial Complex, 157 W. Market St., York. Help make pancakes, pudding and even a chocolate drink while discovering how revolutionary and civil war soldiers' adapted recipes to campfire cooking during this Baking the Colonial Way Hands-on Workshop Series for children ages 8-14. Preregistration is required at least one week in advance. Tickets: $11-$16. Information: (717) 848-1587 ext. 301 or www.yorkheritage.org.

Digging up the past

Become an archaeologist for a day during an Archaeology Field Workshop from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 26, at Indian Steps Museum, 205 Indian Steps Road, Airville. Open to participants age 12 to adult, budding archaeologists will search their own grid space on the grounds of Indian Steps. After the field class, instruction will be provided in cleaning, sorting, identifying and preservation the artifacts removed from the site. Participants should dress appropriately and bring a pencil, ruler and a clip board. Tickets: $25. Information: (717) 862-3948 or www.indiansteps.org.

Eureka!

Strike it rich during a Panning for Gold program from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26, in Spring Valley County Park in North Hopewell Township. To participate in this free event, wear closed-toe shoes that can get wet and dirty, bring a solid-bottom pan (no glass) and a small container for your found treasure. This is the only day during the year that panning for gold in County Parks is permitted. There will be short informational presentations at 9 a.m. and noon. Information: (717) 840-7226 or www.yorkcountyparks.org.

See the bees

Keep calm during the swarm as York County Parks presents Honey Bee Awareness: Understanding the Swarm fom 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at the Nature Center in Nixon County Park, Springfield Township. Bee specialist Jeremy Barnes will create a swarm to help participants understand this seldom seen event in a beehive's life. Swarm bees, though docile during this process, will be actively flying around in search of their queen. Participants will be able to get up close to the bees and have their questions answered. Registration is not required for this free program. Information: (717) 428-1961 or www.yorkcountyparks.org.