Local holiday takes flight
Goose Day set for Sept. 25-29 in Juniata River Valley
LEWISTOWN — Goose Day will be taking flight soon in the Juniata River Valley.
Goose Day will be celebrated over the long weekend of Sept. 25-29 this year. The Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau’s focus for 2020 is promoting this unique holiday locally.
“This year we’re focusing on promotion locally to be sure everyone knows the legend of Goose Day, understands what we’re doing to promote it and how important it is that everyone gets on board with it,” said Jenny Landis, executive director of the JRVVB.
By continuing to build and promote Goose Day each year, Landis said this effort draws more visitors to our area, boosts the local economy and helps to instill pride in the community.
The bureau has been promoting the “I believe in Goose Day” slogan for the past several years. While that is still relevant, they also plan to incorporate “Goose Day is a State of Mind” in this year’s promotions.
“So many things are up in the air these days because of the pandemic and we wanted an additional slogan to reenforce the idea that Goose Day happens every year, no matter what,” Landis explains. “If you haven’t eaten goose on Goose Day in the past, this could be the best year to start doing it. We all need any kind of luck we can find.”
Each year, the visitors bureau publishes a list of activities that will be happening over the Goose Day Celebration Days and some over the entire month of September. The Goose Day Celebration is a combination of all these activities. In order to build the list, the staff contacts businesses, groups and individuals that have participated or have expressed a desire to play a part in the local holiday.
“Everyone is welcome to do something for Goose Day,” said Buffie Boyer, JRVVB marketing assistant, “and if you don’t have an idea, I’m sure we can come up with one that will not only help build the holiday but possibly benefit your business, too.”
Each year, the visitors bureau does something to show its support of the holiday. This year, a special commemorative pictorial postmark has been designed by Ryan Cherry to provide a special souvenir to mark this year’s event. The design is a unique philatelic item featuring a goose graphic and the text Lewistown Station, September 29, 2020. If you would like this postmark on your outgoing mail, just stop in the Lewistown Post Office on West Market Street and ask for the special postmark. It will be available only on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
The visitors bureau is also offering a special Goose Day postcard package to make the most of this special postmark. Starting on Sept. 1, a pre-stamped postcard, showcasing artwork by Yeagertown artist Neil Demi, can be purchased at East End Coffee Co., Yoder’s Tees and More, the Mifflintown Farmer’s Market and online through The Pennsy Station’s website (www.thepennsystation.com). For $5 per card, the buyer can fill out the back of the postcard and then return the card to the shop owner. On Goose Day, the postcards will then be taken to the Lewistown Post Office, where the postmark will be applied and then the card will be mailed.
“We think this is a pretty exciting idea and a great way to share Goose Day with the world,” Landis said. “We know that stamp collectors will love this offer, but we also believe that the general public will be interested in this unique souvenir. And with the online ordering option from The Pennsy Station, we can help family members in other states connect over our local holiday.”
Even though the visitors bureau has been notified of some event cancelations, there are a handful of activities that are already scheduled. These include in-person events at Middle Road Speedway, At the Barnyard, and Mifflintown Farmer’s Market. The Lewistown Borough’s 225th anniversary event has been rescheduled for Monday, Sept. 28 and the annual Goose Day Road Rally will be back. All in-person events will be held barring an unforeseen shutdown due to COVID-19.
The visitors bureau has also been building online content to share throughout September. These include new how-to videos and product showcases. Local media outlets Bigfoot Country and WMRF will be holding a Wild Geese selfie contest and a trivia contest, respectively, both with Goose Day prize packs provided by the visitors bureau. The visitors bureau will be working with other media as well to promote the holiday.
On Sept. 1, the official list of events, sales, promotions and roast goose dinners will be released by the visitors bureau on its website and social media channels. Hardcopies of the list will be available at the Visitors Center in the Historic Courthouse during office hours and by calling the office at (717) 248-6713. Ongoing details about Goose Day and planning for the Festival of Ice can be found on Facebook.