Best of February: Groundhog Day, fastnachts, Hibrewnation, Restaurant Week

York Dispatch

Chocolate lovers can get their fill during Chocolate-Covered February in Hershey throughout February. The land of chocolate-scented air will feaure wine and chocolate pairings, Hersheypark Chocolate Parade, dessert buffets and a character breakfast along with more events at The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hershey chocolate World and The Hershey Story, The Museum. Information:

Winter, are we done yet? The local groundhogs will have their say about that on Tuesday, which is Groundhog Day. See Dover Doug's prediction at 7 a.m. Tuesday at the Dover Township Community Park, while the York Slumbering groundhog Lodge will read the predictions of Poor Richard at dawn in the yard of the Elks Lodge, 223 N. George St.

Baseball fans, spend an afternoon talking sports with Paul White, who wrote about baseball for 27 years with USA Today, and Brent Hershey, general manager-editorial for White and Hershey will discuss starting a fantasy league, rating players and strategy during Martin LIbrary's 25th annual Fantasy Spring Training, 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6 at the library, 159 E. Market St. Admission: $5. Information: (717) 849-6925 or email

Come out to the Capitol Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 6, to view the 2016 Oscar-nominated short films. The live-action films will be screened at 5 p.m., and the animated shorts will be screened at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 per session, $10 for both. Information: 846-1111.

Celebrate Fastnacht Day with free fastnachts, coffee, tea and hot chocolate, 9:30 a.m.-noon Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the York County Heritage Trust’s Historical Society Museum, 250 E. Market St..This free event is held each year as the Auxiliary’s “thank you” to the community for their support throughout the year. Fastnacht Day originated with Pennsylvania Germans on Shrove Tuesday, when all fat had to be removed from the home before Lent. Information:, 848-1587.

DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre invites audiences to a foreign land and a different era for "The Secret Garden." The play is based on the book, which follows two children who are spoiled but not loved and the people around them, in India and England at the turn of the 19th century. Showtimes: 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Feb. 12-28. Tickets: $10-$14. Information: or 717-848-8623.

The York Social Dance Studio's Annual Valentine's Prohibition Dance celebrates love and alcohol, 1920s style. The Friday, Feb. 12, dance features a Paper Moon photobooth, a Charleston competition and dance lessons, with live music from the Gin Canaries. Time: 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Site: York Social Dance Studio, 324 W. Market St. Tickets: $15. Information:

Pianist Jim Brickman brings An Intimate Evening to the Pullo Center, on the campus of Penn State York, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12. Brickman is touted as the best-selling solo pianist of our time, with hits including "Valentine," "If You Believe" and Love of My Life." Tickets: $75 VIP, $49. Information:

The York Symphony Orchestra presents Beethoven in Buenos Aires​ at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Strand Theatre, 50. N. George St. The musical representation of the seasons of Buenos Aires, both natural and cultural, will include a special appearance by David Kim, the concert master of the Philadelphia Orchestra, on violin.Tickets range is $5 (students) to $39. Information:, 846-1111.

Keep your heart healthy with a sweetheart hike, 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14 on the Heritage Rail Trail. Program coordinator Jeri Jones will lead a 2-mile stroll on this special evening to observe creatures of the night, including deer and owls, and do some fun nighttime activities. Free. Information:

The Strand Theatre presents one of the most enduring shows of all time, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15. Tickets range from $54 to $85. Information:, 846-1111.

Are you a fan of a cappella? You won't want to miss Vocalosity:The “Aca-Perfect” Concert Experience, 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Strand Theatre, 50 N. George St. This fast-paced production features 12 dynamic voices singing some of today’s chart-topping hits in brand-new arrangements. Tickets: $35 to $55. Information:, 846-1111.

See what some of York County's youngest film makers have to say during the York Storykids Premier, 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at the Capitol Theatre. Four local middle-school students took part in a documentary film-making class, and each produced a video about a concern they have in their community. After the screenings, there will be a question-and-answer session with the young film makers. The premier is free.

More than 300 musicians will converge on Harrisburg Feb. 18-20 for the 20th annual Millennium Music Conference. Performances are at 30 venues around the city with audiences looking to catch the next Godsmack, Fuel or Halestorm — all of whom have performed at Millennium. Admission to shows is free and several are all-ages. Information:

Hibrewnation returns to the York Expo Center Saturday, Feb. 20, bringing craft beers and 20+ rare brews to the beer lovers in York. The festival promises tasting quantities of hand-selected craft and local brews as well as hard-to-find beers. Tickets: $55 VIP admission, noon-5 p.m.; $40 general admission, 2-5 p.m.; $20 designated driver, noon-5 p.m., includes T-shirt, root beer floats, bottomless cups or water and root beer and other surprises. Information:

Restaurant Week York will make its sixth annual appearance in Downtown York Feb. 20-27. The tagline for Restaurant Week is “It’s about the food.” Local, regional and international food lovers can enjoy prix-fixe menus at participating downtown restaurants, including $5, $10 and $15 lunch specials and three-course dinner specials at $20, $30, or $40. In addition, some eateries will be offering exclusive Restaurant Week-only items and breakfast/brunch specials for $5 and $10. Information:

L to r: Lydia Diaz, Justin Bahata, Maddie Trimmer and Rachel Kuhn rehearse a scene in "The Secret Garden"
Hibrewnation logo
Mary Ronan, a park naturalist for York County Parks, drills into a maple tree, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in preparation for Maple Sugaring Weekend at Nixon Park. The event is held Saturday, Feb. 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday March 1, from noon to 4 p.m. There will be activities such as maple sugaring tours, kid's storytime (on Saturday), boiling station and maple products for sale by Patterson Farms from Westfield, Tioga County, Pa. To learn more about the event go to Randy Flaum photo -
 Hartman's is getting busy making fastnachts for Fastnacht Day which is Tuesday, March 4. Beside selling to the public at their Central Market stand they also make these for the York County Heritage Trust which offers them for free to the public on Tuesday morning.  Bil Bowden photos
Dover Township Building Code Official and ceremonial "Shadow Keeper" Maureen App interprets Dover Doug's Gourndhog Day prediction for an early spring during a ceremony at Dover Community Park Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. Cortney Myers of Dover Township donned the groundhog suit for the event. Her mother Christine, left, a township administrative clerk, attended. Bill Kalina -
Naturalist Amber Carothers fixes a tap into a park red maple tree. Nixon County Park's maple sugar weekend kicks off on Saturday, February 23, at 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and continues Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
Activities include tours of the park's sugar bush, lectures about the process of making maple syrup and sugar and hands-on demonstrations. Maple sugar products will be on sale, and attendees will eat a pancake with real maple syrup. Cost is $2 per person for the weekend. 

Bil Bowden photos
Hershey Chocolate-Covered February

Four stars from the original Broadway cast of "The Jersey Boys" unite on the stage of the Strand at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, for The Midtown Men. York’s very own Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer joins Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard in this concert experience celebrating the music that defined the '60s. Tickets range from $45 to $59. This show is not affiliated with "The Jersey Boys." Information:, 846-1111.

Guinea drummer Yamoussa Camara brings his acclaimed Camara African Dance performance to the Pullo Center, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. The free show, presented by Penn State York's Office of Student Affairs, is part of Penn State York's Cultural Series. Camara has performed around the world as lead drummer of Les Ballets Africains and with Wosa of Washington, D.C. He taught drum and dance at Yale University and now teaches at Carnegie Mellon University. Information: 717-771-4045 or

Get ready to sweeten up your spring with Maple Sugaring Weekends at Nixon County Park. Events run 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and noon-4 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 27-28 and March 5-6. Programs include outside tours, maple tastings, crafts, scavenger hunts and Backyard Sugaring 101. Admisison: $2 for the whole weekend, ages 5 and under and park members free. Information:

Take in the sounds of the Southern-born, Brooklyn-based indie-folk trio the Lone Bellow at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Strand Theatre, 50 N. George St. The group has created a sound that mixes folk sincerity, gospel fervor, even heavy metal thunder, but the heart of the band is harmony. Also performing is Escondido, a Nashville, Tennessee-based collaboration of artists Jessica Maros and Tyler James.Tickets: $25. Information:, 846-1111.

movie poster
The Midtown Men
movie poster
The Midtown Men