Monday, March 2, 2015

Swing Into Spring At The 25th Annual Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest

This spring, celebrate a quarter of a century of jazzy entertainment with the 25th Berks Jazz Fest.
Jazz guitar
From Friday, March 13 to Sunday, April 19, you'll have an opportunity to check out local musical and artistic talent, and even take part in educational events, at multiple locations throughout Reading, PA.

For the past 25 years, the Berks Arts Council in Reading has been featuring the Berks Jazz Fest as a way to support and promote the arts in the Berks community. What better way is there to help people of all ages see the beauty of the visual and performing arts than by showcasing local talent? And great for out-of-towners, venues are only about a half hour drive from the Historic Smithton Inn.

Just a few of the many performers at various venues are listed below. For a full list, visit the Berks Jazz Fest website.

·       Dance Hall Docs
·       Randy Hanson
·       Dianne Reeves
·       U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors
·       Tedeschi Trucks Band
·       Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess
·       And so many more!

Don't miss out on the fun. I highly suggest getting your tickets in advance, so you're guaranteed spots at these exciting events. Prices for performances vary, so refer to the lists of events on their website for more information. Some performances are free!

There is always something for everyone, so you are bound to have a blast at this year's jazz festival!

Image courtesy of Dino De Luca at

Monday, February 23, 2015

Drinking and Dining in Northeastern Lancaster County: Unique Breweries in the Ephrata Area

If you're planning a visit to Lancaster County, why not take time to enjoy a few of the many local micro-breweries and eateries? With several to choose from just minutes away from the Historic Smithton Inn, you can enjoy the welcoming atmospheres, expertly crafted brews, and delicious food without venturing too far away.
Beer glass

Black Forest Brewery

Proudly brewing true tavern ale, Black Forest Brewery serves both ales and wines. If you're looking for a good meeting spot, whether as tourists or on business, Black Forest Brewery offers you time and space, with snacks available and a menu that varies. Black Forest Brewery is barely a hop, skip, and a jump away from our inn here in Ephrata!

St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company

Just five minutes from the inn, St. Boniface fills growlers and serves pints and even services draft accounts throughout Lancaster County to share the tastes of their brews with customers across the county. The food of St. Boniface is offered at Little Nicky's, a local Italian restaurant, as well as from a rotation of food trucks.

Special Event Alert: Meeting of the Saints – Sat., March 14, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; featuring traditional Irish music by Down By The Glenside and delicious Irish eats by Bountiful Feast, and what's an Irish celebration without a little beer!

Union Barrel Works Restaurant and Brew Pub

Once a hardware store, then a garment factory, this building now houses Union Barrel Works. You can choose from over a dozen hand-crafted brews to enjoy with your meal at this restaurant, located within 15 minutes from our inn by following N. State Street from Ephrata directly into Reamstown. Also, be sure to check out their website for information on upcoming events, including live music.

JoBoy's Brew Pub

Started in April 2010, JoBoy's Brew Pub offers a family-friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy hand-crafted beer and take advantage of some great food featuring homemade sauces and meat rubs. They even allow you to purchase those homemade sauces and rubs for your own personal use! JoBoy's Brew Pub is located 15 minutes from our inn.

Stoudts Brewery and Black Angus Restaurant and Pub

Stoudts Brewery uses organically farmed ingredients that are grown locally for its various special craft and seasonal beers. If you're around on a weekend, the brewery offers free tours at select times, as well. The Stoudts Black Angus Restaurant and Pub is a good spot to satisfy your food cravings, and the restaurant even offers catering services. Stoudts Brewery and Black Angus Restaurant and Pub are approximately half an hour from the Historic Smithton Inn. Check out upcoming events here.

So while you're enjoying your stay in beautiful Lancaster County, I hope you take the time to consider adding one or more of these local breweries to your itinerary. If you do decide to take advantage of the goods provided at any of these locations, please remember to drink responsibly and never drink and drive.

Image courtesy of digitalart at

Monday, February 16, 2015

An Experience To Savor Along The Mason Dixon Wine Trail

You don't have to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy the Mason Dixon Wine Trail's 10th Annual Tour de Tanks this year. Every Saturday and Sunday beginning March 7 through March 29, from noon to 5 p.m., you can enjoy exciting times including wine tasting from tanks and/or barrels, guided tours,
Wine tasting
light refreshments, and more!

With 20 family-owned locations throughout southern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, the Tour de Tanks is an educational experience for wine and spirits lovers of all sorts. This is an event you certainly won't want to miss.

The Historic Smithton Inn is offering special packages (starting at under $710 per couple!) that feature accommodations for two at our bed and breakfast as well as limo transportation and even a packed lunch and snacks!

Here's what you get in our all-inclusive packages for Tour de Tanks:

  • Expressions Limousine for the day – You'll experience 6 hours (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) of limo service.

  • Packed Lunch for Two includes sandwiches, fruit salad, pasta salad, and bottled water.

  • Snacks include cheese, crackers, and pepperoni to snack on between winery visits.

For more information and to make reservations for this amazing all-inclusive experience, call us at 717-733-6094 or send us an email. We look forward to being a part of your wine-filled weekend getaway!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Monday, February 9, 2015

Historic Smithton Inn All-Time Favorite Recipes: Cinnamon Spiced Orange

This unique recipe is deliciously healthy and quite easy to make—as long as you don't mind getting a
Spiced orange recipe
little sticky in the process!

A sweet citrus treat, these cinnamon spiced oranges are perfect as a dessert, a late night snack, or as a tasty addition to your family's Sunday brunch. It's a good thing the recipe makes plenty to go around, because you may otherwise not want to share. It's that good.

Cinnamon Spiced Oranges


  • 4 navel oranges
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 2 cups mandarin oranges (drained)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp black sesame seeds

 How To Make It: 

  1. Peel the oranges, removing all the white pith from each orange.
  2. Break oranges apart into individual segments.
  3. Make a cut along the top and remove the membranes from the sides of each segment.
  4. Combine all oranges into a bowl.
  5. In another small, microwave-safe bowl, heat the honey for up to 30 seconds until thin, then stir in the cinnamon.
  6. Pour the honey mixture and sesame seeds over the oranges and toss to evenly coat.
  7. Refrigerate and serve.

If you're looking for a simple and original twist to add to your family meals, this may just turn into your go-to recipe. Our guests at the Historic Smithton Inn love when I serve this refreshing dish, and I’ll bet your friends and family will enjoy it, too.

By Rebecca Gallagher, Innkeeper

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lancaster County Spring Mud Sales: A Tradition That Never Grows Old!

It's that time again. Prepare to splash into action as we set our sights on spring and the mud sale
Muddy boot
season in Lancaster County!

Mud sales have been a Lancaster County tradition since the mid-1960s. They’re a way of welcoming the upcoming season and helping to support local volunteer fire companies. Across the county, mud sales are held both indoors and outside, for locals and tourists to enjoy our charming country scenery.

What can you find there? Mud sales offer plenty of unique and useful items for your home—or to give as gifts to friends and family. You can find anything from authentic Amish quilts, furniture, and other crafts to livestock, sheds and barns, buggies, construction equipment, and building materials.

You really don't want to miss out on the tasty goodies, either. There are all sorts of delicious treats in store for you at our area's mud sales.

Check out the schedule below for Lancaster County Mud Sale events in late winter/early spring 2015:

Saturday, February 28
Strasburg Spring Consignment & Mud Sale – 8:30 a.m.
Strasburg Fire Company, 203 Franklin Street, Strasburg

Friday, March 6 & Saturday, March 7
Bart Township Auction & Mud Sale – 4:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (Friday); 8:30 a.m. (Saturday; breakfast 6:00 a.m.)
Bart Township Fire Company, 11 Furnace Rd., Quarryville

Friday, March 13 & Saturday, March 14
Gordonville Spring Mud Sale & Auction - 8:30 a.m.
Gordonville Fire Company, Old Leacock Rd., Gordonville

Friday, March 20 & Saturday, March 21
Penryn Volunteer Fire Company 10th Annual Mud Sale – 8:00 a.m.
Penryn Volunteer Fire Company, 1441 N. Penryn Rd., Manheim

Thursday, March 19
Farmersville Volunteer Fire Company, 74 East Farmersville Rd., Ephrata

Saturday, March 21
Bart Township Fire Company, 11 Furnace Rd, Quarryville

Saturday, March 21
Airville Fire Company Spring Consignment & Quilt Auction – 8 a.m.
Airville Volunteer Fire Company, 3576 Delta Road, Airville

Friday, March 27 & Saturday, March 28
39th Annual Gap Fire Company Sale – 5:00 p.m. (Friday); 8 a.m. (Saturday)
Gap Fire Company, 802 Pequea Ave., Gap

Saturday, March 28
West Earl Fire Company 27th Annual Quilt & Consignment Auction – Bidder Registration: 7:00 a.m.; Auction: 8 a.m.
West Earl Fire Company, 14 School Lane Ave., Brownstown
717-989-5986 (No Sunday Calls)

Saturday, April 4
Robert Fulton Volunteer Fire Company Mud Sale – 8:30 a.m.
Robert Fulton Fire Company, 2271 Robert Fulton Hwy., Peach Bottom

Saturday, April 11
Rawlinsville Annual Mud Sale – 9:00 a.m.
Rawlinsville Fire Company, 33 Martic Heights Dr., Holtwood

Whether you're a regular to the area or just passing through, I hope you'll consider attending one or more of these exciting events. Get a taste of a Lancaster County tradition by checking out for yourself what goes on at our seasonal mud sales.

Need a place to stay while you're checking out all the things to do and see in PA Dutch Country? We've got room at the Historic Smithton Inn. Contact us to make a reservation.

By Rebecca Gallagher

Image courtesy of artur84 at