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The Eaton Calendar – April 22, 2021


  1. Register Now for One of the Two 30-Minute Free Hills Creek BioBlitz Virtual Kickoff Events being held Today, Thursday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m. and This Saturday, April 24 at Noon
  2. Birding at Hills Creek Free Virtual Program is This Friday, April 23 at 1 p.m.
  3. Free Guided Bird Walk is This Saturday, April 24 at 8 a.m. at Hills Creek State Park
  4. Around the World in 80 Minutes Telescope Tour is Being Offered on Fridays and Saturdays, April 30, May 1, 7 & 8 and Nightscapes Photography Workshop on Saturday, May 8
  5. The McKrells to Perform Free Concert on the Deane Center’s Outdoor Stage on Saturday afternoon, May 1
  6. Tickets for the Velveeta Indoor Concert at the Deane Center on Saturday Night, May 8 are Close to Selling Out
  7. Wellsboro-Focused Book “Wynken, Blynken & Nod” to be Released in June

Diane Eaton
(570) 724-3800


Register now at under Hills Creek State Park to receive a link for one of the two free 30-minute Hills Creek BioBlitz Kickoff virtual events being held today, Thursday, April 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and this Saturday, April 24 from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. For best viewing, use a desktop computer or larger tablet.

Through the virtual kickoff, registrants will learn what a bioblitz is and how to log in their observations using the iNaturalist website and mobile app. Then, they can visit Hills Creek State Park in person to see how many different plants, animals and other species they can find. The park is at 111 Spillway Road in Charleston Township, near Wellsboro.

Those familiar with the iNaturalist platform can participate in the Hills Creek BioBlitz without attending the kickoff event. Information about it is on iNaturalist.

A bioblitz is a citizen science event where people search for any and all living things in a defined area over a defined period of time. The Hills Creek BioBlitz starts today, Thursday, April 22, runs through the Memorial Day weekend and ends on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31.

“Anytime during these dates, participants can log in their observations and upload photos of their finds using the iNaturalist website or mobile app, ” said Environmental Education Specialist Bob Edkin. “They can spend as much time as they want at the park looking for living things, from a couple of hours on one day to a couple of days or longer.”

Bioblitzes are a lot of fun and generate useful data for science and conservation by bringing naturalists, scientists, and curious members of the public together in the great outdoors. Every observation made can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common weed.

How many species are there at Hills Creek State Park? Hundreds? Thousands? Find out by participating in the Hills Creek BioBlitz and discovering the many living things that call Hills Creek home, from fungi to waterfowl to wildflowers.

For more information, call Edkin at (570) 724-3061 or email him

Photo by John Eaton
Environmental Education Specialist Bob Edkin talks about the different living things that can be found at Hills Creek State Park, from deer to a budding Rhododendron.


The “Birding at Hills Creek” series continues with a free 30-minute virtual program this Friday, April 23 from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The programs are for avid birders and those getting into birding for the first time.

Each program highlights birds that are at the park or may be arriving soon with tips on where and when to see them. Among the birds at Hills Creek are migratory birds that stop at the park on their way to their spring or summer locations as well as those that live there year-round and others that are spring, summer and/or fall park residents.

“The series is providing people who are interested in bird watching with information they can use to go on a self-guided tour at Hills Creek State Park or other areas in Tioga County to see many different species from bald eagles and ospreys to bluebirds,” said Bob Edkin, environmental education specialist.

To register for the free programs in the series, visit under Hills Creek State Park to receive a link. For best viewing, use a desktop computer or larger tablet. For more information, call Edkin at (570) 724-3061 or email him at This program is being held virtually and NOT in person at the park.


Coming up this Saturday, April 24 is the second guided bird walk at Hills Creek State Park in Charleston Township, about seven miles northeast of Wellsboro. It is free and provides an opportunity for the public to see the water and woodland birds that live in or migrate through the park. Participants are asked to wear masks and social distance.

The April 24 walk will be slow-paced and cover a limited distance. Everyone is welcome, including birders of all levels, first timers to experienced. Bring binoculars and cameras and wear subdued clothing and sturdy walking shoes.

Meet Sean Minnick, Tiadaghton Audubon Society member, at the Hills Creek State Park office at 111 Spillway Road, Wellsboro a little before 8 a.m. to drive to the nearby starting location. In case of inclement weather, the group may opt for a driving tour with several key stops nearby to keep participants dry.

Two people participated in the 77-minute, 1.37-mile bird walk led by Ken Cooper on Saturday, April 17. It was a damp, cold day.

Identified on April 17 were 74 birds representing 30 different species. Some of the birds were migrating through the area, some live at Hills Creek year-round and some are spring, summer and/or fall residents at Hills Creek.

No bird walk will be held on Saturday, May 1. If there are enough volunteer leaders, there will be bird walks on Saturdays, May 8, 15 and 22.

For updates and local birding information, visit or or email

For information about Hills Creek State Park, call the park office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays at (570) 724-4246.

Photo by John Eaton
Ken Cooper of the Tiadaghton Audubon Society points out a bird to Melanie Berndtson of Wellsboro prior to the start of the bird walk on April 17.


COUDERSPORT—A small group, private tour of the night sky is being offered on four different dates and a night sky photography workshop on Saturday, May 8 at Cherry Springs State Park at 4639 Cherry Springs Road, Coudersport, Pa. 16915.

In the event of rain, thunder or overcast skies, a program may be cancelled.

The park is 12 miles from Route 6 in Galeton via West Branch Road and 15 miles from Coudersport via Route 44.

Around the World in 80 Minutes to be Held Fridays and Saturdays, April 30, May 1, May 7 & 8

The Around the World in 80 Minutes telescope tour is being offered by North Star Outdoor Guides at 8:45 p.m. on Friday April 30; Saturday, May 1; Friday, May 7 and Saturday, May 8. The maximum number of people that can participate per program is 16.

Join North Star Outdoor Guides for this personalized, small group experience at Cherry Springs, an International Dark-Sky Association-designated gold level status dark sky park. Featured will be a laser guided tour of various constellations, telescope viewing and a discussion of the dark skies.

Registrants will look at the night sky through the eyes of the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Indians, Native Americans, and others. In the United States, the Greek constellations and their associated mythological stories are the most well-known.

This dark sky telescope tour ensures maximum telescope time without long waits and a more individualized program. Objects which may be viewed include planets, nebulae, red giants, globular clusters, galaxies, and binary star systems.

The $20 per person fee for adults and children six and older includes a $3 non-refundable processing fee. Children five and under are free.

Registration is open but will close when a program is full or at 3 p.m. two days before each date. To complete registration, payment must be made in full. For details about the telescope tour, visit

Nightscapes Photography Workshop is Saturday, May 8

The first 10 people who preregister will be accepted for the three-hour Nightscapes Photography Workshop being given by Curt Weinhold at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 8 at Cherry Springs. Learn how to photograph the starry night sky, including constellations and the Milky Way, and foreground material using your own DSLR camera and lenses. View samples of Weinhold’s work at Fee: $60. For details, visit

To Preregister for a Telescope Tour or the Photography Workshop

To preregister online for an Around the World in 80 MInutes telescope tour or the Nightscapes Photography Workshop, visit If there is a problem with registering online or for information about other programs offered at the park, call (814) 435-1037 or email


At 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, May 1, The McKrells, featuring singer/songwriter Kevin McKrell, will perform Celtic folk and Celtic bluegrass music on the outdoor stage on the Central Avenue side of the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro. The concert is free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated.

Audiences warm up to McKrell right away. He has a devilish sense of humor, loves to tell stories about the songs he plays and invites the audience to sing along.

Joining McKrell on stage for this concert will be renowned recording artist and percussionist Brian Melick; prominent acoustic musician and singer Frank Orsin, who is a versatile fiddler on violin, viola and mandolin; banjo player Scott Hopkins who has released an acclaimed banjo recording using his skills as a composer, arranger, producer and engineer; and Arlin Greene, an exceptional bassist who has toured the world with many musicians.

McKrell pioneered American Celtic music beginning in 1979 when he formed the Donnybrook Fair trio in Albany, N.Y. The trio’s original 1982 album “Tunnel Tigers” remains a classic with its blend of Clancy Brothers swagger and upstate New York attitude.

He honed his powerful performance style further in the 1980s with The Fabulous Newports, a rambunctious harmony group known as much for its antics, cut-up comedy and long list of eventual members as for its sweet singing.

In 1998, McKrell, who has three solo albums to his credit, formed a powerhouse band under his own name, merging the Irish sensibility of Donnybrook with a steely, world class bluegrass edge. The McKrells toured harder than Donnybrook bringing McKrell’s lusty vocals supported by hot string band picking to Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and to folk, Irish and bluegrass music festivals and concert venues around the country.

He is best known for his indelible classics like “Home in Donegal”, “You and Me”, “I Miss the Rain” and “All of The Hard Days are Gone”, which has been sung and recorded by artists such as The Kingston Trio, Bob Shane, Hair of the Dog and Wood’s Tea Company; from Ireland, The Furey Brothers, Seamus Kennedy, The Druids and The Dublin Ramblers; from Scotland, North Sea Gas and from Australia, Pat McKernan.

The audience is welcome to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets and sit on the grass in front of the outdoor stage or on Central Avenue, which will be closed to traffic between Main Street and the Warehouse Theatre to provide space for social distancing.

For more information, visit, email, or call (570) 724-6220.

Photo provided
The McKrells with Kevin McKrell (shown) will perform a free outdoor concert in Wellsboro.


At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, Velveeta, Penn State’s premier party band, will perform a variety of 1980s and 1990s pop and rock tunes and a mix of today’s music by well-known artists in the Coolidge Theatre at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro. “What I Like About You,” I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and “I’m a Believer” are just a sampling of the hits in the band’s repertoire.

This will be the first indoor concert held at the Deane Center since March of 2020, when COVID-19, a new disease, was declared a pandemic around the world, including the United States.

Originally scheduled to appear for the first time at the Deane Center on Saturday, April 25, 2020, the band was rescheduled to Nov. 27, 2020, the day after Thanksgiving but that concert also had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

“This marks the band’s first performance in Wellsboro,” said Kevin Connelly, Deane Center executive director. “We are close to selling out. All tables have been reserved. Some individual seating is still available. At this point, all adults can be vaccinated. Despite that, we are asking that all those attending this concert wear a mask and sit with folks they know. This is an indoor show and while we are limiting ticket sales so there is space for social distancing, there will still be a decent crowd. Those with questions or who want to buy tickets are asked to call us at 570-724-6220. If we all work together, we can make this a great experience,” Connelly said.

Velveeta includes Brian Kriley, vocalist and lead guitarist; John Matthews, vocalist and bass guitarist; John “Bones” Harper, vocalist and drummer; and Brent Martin, vocalist , keyboardist and rhythm guitarist. Three of the band members are Penn State graduates – Matthews in 1994, and both Martin and Kriley in 1993.

After forming as a grunge-inspired band called Broken and playing their first gig together in July 1995, the foursome that would become Velveeta soon realized that playing originals would only get them so far in Central Pennsylvania. So, they figured they’d give it a go as a cover band—but with a twist.

“We decided to try this experiment to see if we could play these songs that nobody would touch—stuff that was considered very uncool at the time,” said Matthews. “It was like fishing: You throw a certain type of bait out there and see if they bite.”

The bait was mostly 80s classics like “Come On Eileen” and “Jessie’s Girl,” songs that the band put through a “grunge filter,” as Matthews puts it, but stayed largely faithful to the originals. “Our fun, little side project was to play some cheesy 80s music,” Matthews said. Within months, most of the band members were able to quit their day jobs. “It exploded,” said Matthews. “It was a unique live music experience in those days. Nobody else was doing it.”

It has proven to be an approach with staying power, as Velveeta remains a favorite in State College and pretty much anywhere Penn Staters congregate. ‘We never intended Velveeta to be serious content—hence the name,” said Matthews. “We just wanted it to be fun.”

Tickets are $25. For more information, contact the Deane Center at (570) 724-6220 or

Photo provided
The members of Velveeta will perform for the first time in Wellsboro on Saturday, May 8.


From My Shelf Books and Gifts at 7 East Avenue in Wellsboro is publishing a Wellsboro-focused book featuring the poem “Wynken, Blynken and Nod.”

The town is known for the Wynken, Blynken and Nod statue, which is the centerpiece of The Green, a park in the heart of downtown Wellsboro.

“Dutch Lullaby” was the original title of this popular poem for children written by American writer and poet Eugene Field and published on March 9, 1889. “‘Wynken, Blynken and Nod’ has been a perennial bestseller at the bookstore for 15 years, and is adored by locals and visitors alike,” said From My Shelf Books owner, Kevin Coolidge. “Unfortunately, the pandemic changed that. The book is published by North South Press. Demand for it had been strong in Wellsboro, but with increasing cases of COVID-19 and state requirements, sales plummeted,” he said.

“Wellsboro had fewer visitors and sales were low enough that the current publisher decided to print fewer copies of it,” said Coolidge. Since the poem is in the public domain, he decided to do a new version. “My goal with ‘Wynken, Blynken and Nod’ is to keep the poem and its relationship to Wellsboro alive,” Coolidge said.

“Because I write books, I formed my own publishing house called From My Shelf Books & Gifts Press,” he said. “Wynken, Blynken, & Nod” will be the first book that Coolidge’s business will publish that he didn’t actually write.

Illustrations are being done by Chris Jones who also illustrates Coolidge’s “Totally Ninja Raccoons” series and his most recent book, “Rebecca, White House Raccoon.” Jones is a graduate of New Covenant Academy in Mansfield and a former resident of Wellsboro. He now lives in Florida, but maintains his Wellsboro connections with family and friends and by illustrating Coolidge’s books under the pen name Jubal Lee, because “few things make him happier than art.”

The cover illustration will be of the statue and The Green. Included in “Wynken, Blynken & Nod” will be the poem and information about the poem’s author and the history of the statue on The Green.

Coolidge plans to debut the new Wellsboro version of “Wynken, Blynken & Nod” this June during the town’s annual Laurel Festival. “I’m already scheduled to have my booth on The Green and will be there with the books in my ‘Totally Ninja Raccoons’ series, too,” said Coolidge. “My booth will be next to the statue.”

To pre-order the new Wellsboro version of “Wynken, Blynken, & Nod” at From My Shelf Books & Gifts in Wellsboro, stop by or call (570) 724-5793.

Photo by John Eaton
The fountain on The Green in Wellsboro features the bronze statue of Wynken, Blynken and Nod.