Travel Notes: Johnstown hosts its first wine festival

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The Johnstown area is hosting its first wine festival on Saturday.

The Sandyvale Memorial Gardens Wine Festival will run from 4 to 7 p.m. and feature selections from 10 local wineries, as well as international tastings and food.

There also will be live music on two stages on the 11-acre Sandyvale Memorial Gardens and Conservancy, 80 Hickory St., Johnstown. The event is a fundraiser for the historic site, one of the largest green spaces in the town.

Once an Indian village, the land was purchased by the Horner family in 1840 to use as a burial plot. Military from eight wars, beginning with the Revolutionary War, as well as victims from three devastating floods, had been buried there, although most graves have been moved to other sites.

The park now has an outdoor classroom, dog park area, fountain, memorial garden and greenhouse.

In addition to music, entertainment will include tethered air balloon rides, carriage rides, a magician, a palm reader and more.

Advance tickets are $25 (2 for $40). Tickets at the event are $30 (2 for $50). They can be purchased online at sandyvalewinefest.com or by calling 1-800-237-8590.


PumpkinFest

Confluence is getting ready to paint the town orange.

The town, bordered by the Youghiogheny and Casselman rivers and Laurel Hill Creek, will hold its annual PumpkinFest with vendors and events galore in and around the Community Park Friday through next Sunday.

In addition to oversized pumpkins painted on its main intersections, there will be a PumpkinFest queen pageant, a largest pumpkin contest, a pumpkin balloon bounce ride, a pumpkin recipe, pie and pie-eating contest, pumpkin carving at the Arts Center, a Great Pumpkin 5K Run/Walk, an antique and classic auto show, and a parade.

Free entertainment will be provided by the Birdhouse Band, Mountain Therapy, Country Express, The House Band and PRAYZER. The Wheelers & Dealers Square Dancers and Roof Garden Tractor Buddies, a vehicular square dance group, also will perform.

The Confluence Tourism Association's will launch its annual duck race on the Casselman River at 1 p.m. next Sunday.

The Colborn Bus Co. will provide free shuttle service from and to the parking lots of the American Legion and the Turkeyfoot Area School District in nearby Ursina and Harnedsville, respectively.

PumpkinFest is sponsored by the Confluence Volunteer Fire Company, the Confluence Ambulance Service and Confluence borough. The town is at the intersection of state Routes 281 and 523 in southern Somerset County.

Information: www.confluencepumpkinfest.org.

-- Lawrence Walsh

Harvest Wine Weekend

The Lake Erie Wine Country is hosting Harvest Wine Weekends on Nov. 1-3 and Nov. 8-10, featuring 24 wineries along 50 miles from Silver Creek, N.Y., in Chautauqua County to Harborcreek, Pa., in Erie County.

Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $39 and good for three days; they're $22 for designated drivers who won't be drinking.

Tickets include food and wine sample pairing at each winery, gifts, booklet containing recipes of the food that will be tasted, a Lake Erie Wine Country wine glass and a $5 voucher to use at any winery or certain restaurants.

Tickets can be bought online at http://lakeeriewinecountry.org or by calling 1-877-326-6561. Tickets will be picked up at one of six host wineries for each weekend.

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