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The signs of Spring are all around us - trees blooming, the smell of freshly cut grass, and smiling faces eagerly soaking up the sunshine. It’s only natural that we celebrate the coming of spring with community events - getting out to appreciate our community and reconnect with our neighbors after the winter slumber.
In the Lebanon Valley, there are endless opportunities to get out and enjoy both our community as well as nature’s bounty.
If history is your passion, you are sure to enjoy the 27th Annual Union Canal Days, held on May 21-22. Take a narrated tour through the oldest transportation tunnel in the United States, check out the exhibitors and vendors, visit the antique dealers, or purchase your spring garden plants at the flower booth. Bid on a keepsake at the Silent Auction table or enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the many picnic tables throughout the park.
There will be free musical entertainment provided and our Medieval villagers who will also be demonstrating sword fighting. There is no admission charge for the festival and only a $2.00 per vehicle parking fee. N. 25th St. and Union Canal Drive, Lebanon.
The Union Canal, designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1970, tunnel is the oldest existing transportation tunnel in the United States. At the time of its construction, it was considered a work almost unknown in this country. Dug through the ridge dividing the waters of the Quittapahilla Creek and Clark’s Run, the tunnel was originally 729 feet long. Drilling was done by hand and blasting with gunpowder through argillaceous slate rock with veins of hard flinty limestone 80 feet below the summit of the ridge. Progress of the work was 5 yards lineal per week.
Work began May 1825 and was completed in June 1827, at a total cost of $30,404.29. The tunnel’s length was reduced to 600 feet during the canal enlargement in 1858 at a cost of $8,280.00. The first boat to pass through the tunnel was The Alpha of Tulpehocken on the morning of June 12, 1827. Boats were poled through the tunnel against the ceiling, while the mules were led over the top of the ridge. In the early 1930s, the Civil Works Administration (CWA) worked on restoring the Tunnel, and the stone marker was dedicated. The boulder was brought by a sled with horses from the South Mountain near Colebrook.
Another historical outings this month include the free open house at the three properties owned by the Historic Preservation Trust of Lebanon County;
- The Chestnut Street Log House, 1110 Chestnut St, Lebanon
- Light’s Fort, 11th and Maple Streets Lebanon
- Monroe Valley Chapel, 449 Monroe Valley Drive Jonestown
Enjoy guided tours of the properties on May 7 between 1-4 p.m.
While you’re in Lebanon on May 7th, take a stroll down Cumberland Street and browse through the annual CLA Spring Juried Craft Fair. It is the perfect venue to pick up some local, handmade Mother’s Day gifts, or just spend a day shopping local, catching up with friends, and enjoying downtown Lebanon. Cumberland Street, Lebanon. Be sure to swing into the Lebanon Farmer’s Market to pick up a fresh flower arrangement, candy, dinner, or bottle of wine for Mom!
For more ideas on places to go and things to do, visit us online at VisitLebanonValley.com. Our community something to sure to please everyone!
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