Route 45 Getaways Returns for Second Year of Celebrating Local Arts and Businesses


Pine Grove Hall in Pine Grove Mills will host several performances and events as part of Route 45 Getaways. Photo provided

Route 45 Getaways, a nine-day event showcasing local businesses, arts and food with a focus on agritourism, is set to return for its second year starting Saturday.

The event will highlight 28 restaurants, farms, beverage-makers and more with special events, performances and tours in and around Pine Grove Mills, Boalsburg and Millheim through Aug. 7.

Route 45 Getaways began in 2021 as a partnership between Ferguson Township and Millheim Borough, with key community and business sponsors. Pine Grove Mills and Millheim served as the anchor points along the scenic 25-mile stretch of highway that connects the two.

This year, Boalsburg has joined in as a partner.

“It’s great to see the many destination points along the corridor getting a tourism boost,” Harris Township Manager Amy Farkas said in a statement. “After two difficult years, this is a great way to support the small businesses, farms and artists that make the area so unique.”

Boalsburg’s addition will help with the goal of gradually growing the event.

“In moving the Route 45 Getaways initiative forward, through the municipal and community partnership, a goal of this weeklong event is to evolve it into a regional destination for residents and visitors to celebrate and explore outdoor recreation, arts, agriculture and local food,” Ferguson Township Manager Centrice Martin said. “This year we intentionally remained focused on the leg from Pine Grove Mills to Millheim and members of the committees explored ways to enhance the experiences traversing the route with the goal of catalyzing and supporting businesses owners and operators from Pine Grove Mills to Boalsburg and then on Millheim. Needless to say, we were excited to have Harris Township join this partnership and work together on this initiative.”

All of the 28 participating businesses will host art, music or special workshops throughout the week and will offer giveaways to visitors.

“Route 45 Getaways engages small businesses in a way that strengthens connectivity and embraces activity-based experiences that bring people together for a shared sense of community,” Martin said.

Among the highlights:

• Visitors can enjoy a unique opportunity to get an up-close look at Schempf Farm in Center Hall, which is not usually open to the public. From 10 am to noon on Saturday, July 30, the Center County Farmland Trust will host “Preservation Matters,” an open house at the 42-acre farm located at 156 Cedar Run Road, Center Hall. Center County Farmland Trust is a Route 45 Getaways sponsor and permanently preserved Schempf Farm.

• The family-owned Nittany Meadow Farm at 227 Nittany Meadow Farm Lane in Boalsburg will offer two goat yoga sessions — 9 am on July 30 and 7 pm on Aug. 3 — with advanced registration required.

Potter Simon Leach will hold an open house from 10 am to 7 pm on July 30 at his studio, located at 105 Dana’s Drive in Millheim.

Pine Grove Hall, 101 E. Pine Grove Rd. at Pine Grove Mills, will welcome New York City modern jazz trio Davis, Harrison & Hirahara for an 8 pm performance on July 30. Tickets are required.

Rhoneymeade Arboretum and Sculpture Garden, at 177 Rimmey Road in Center Hall, will host workshops on flower printing and edible mushroom growing from 1 to 3 pm on Aug. 6.No registration required.

Common Ground Farm, 127 Zuck Road in Spring Mills, will offer walking tours of the historic farm and garden, with opportunities to learn about native and pollinator-friendly plants, plant seeds, harvest flowers and feed baby chicks. The farm will be open from 1 to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday or both weekends.

Pisano Winery, Happy Valley Winery, University Wine Company, 814 Cider Works, Pine Grove Hall and the Boalsburg and Pine Grove Mills farmers markets will host live music throughout the week, while The Green Drake Gallery in Millheim will have a Spin Your Own Vinyl Night and an Open Mic Night.

Christine Stangel will demonstrate pottery techniques at Tait Farm, and painter Cynthia Nixon will hold an open house and sale at her studio and gallery. Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery will host the Art Alliance of Central PA Exhibition and Sale, while Pine Grove Hall will be the site for a Creators & Curators pop-up market featuring local vendors.

For a complete schedule of events and participating businesses, visit route45getaways.com.

Pisano Winery in Millheim will host live music on July 31 and Aug. 5 as part of Route 45 Getaways. Photo provided

Route 45 Getaways is supported by a tourism grant from The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau and the Center County Board of Commissioners, funding from Ferguson Township and sponsorships from the Center County Farmland Trust and Pine Grove Hall.

The event is the result of a goal in the Pine Grove Mills Small Area Plana collaborative effort between Ferguson Township and Center Regional Planning Agency that was published in 2019. During development of the plan, Martin said, residents expressed an interest in promoting “vibrancy, welcoming energy and celebrating environmental stewardship and local entrepreneurship as well as highlighting the way Route 45 connects the village to other communities.”

“Essentially, Route 45 Getaways is the result of incredibly hard-working, talented, dedicated residents that prioritize meaningful engagement, invest their time and leverage resources to enrich the lives of others through the development and the implementation of the Pine Grove Mills Small Area Plan ,” she added.

The township was “absolutely” pleased with the participation and turnout for the inaugural event in 2021, according to Martin, who said it showed how much potential exists to grow Route 45 Getaways in a way that values ​​the preservation of natural resources and highlights the region’s villages, artists and agriculture.

“Route 45 Getaways illustrates a clear example of agritourism,” she said. “It’s an avenue for a number of economic, educational and social benefits to producers, businesses, consumers, tourists and our local communities all while bringing people together to enjoy agribusiness activities, agriculture and natural resource-based activities and attractions.”

Martin also credited Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors Chair Laura Dininni and Vice Chair Lisa Strickland as “significant champions and mobilizers” of Route 45 Getaways from its earliest stages through their ongoing work with the event’s steering committee. Their effort, she said, illustrates how civic engagement can make a difference.

“It should serve as a reminder that civic leadership, like this, often starts with [people] establishing a vision, raising their advocacy voice and mobilizing for support and increased number of boots on the ground for a desired outcome that brings real change and impact within the community,” Martin said.

Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery in Center Hall will host an Art Alliance of Central PA exhibition and sale on July 30 as part of Route 45 Getaways. Photo provided.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.