LEWISTOWN, Pa. — Two Central Pennsylvania counties on Friday announced plans for their annual Goose Day celebration.
We can almost hear you asking, so we'll answer that "What is Goose Day" question that is undoubtedly running through your head.
Dating all the way back to 1786, Goose Day is a Juniata River Valley tradition that is officially recognized by both Mifflin and Juniata Counties on September 29.
According to local legend, if you eat goose on Goose Day, you'll ensure wealth and prosperity for the coming year.
According to Goose Day organizers, the traditional holiday began when a Pennsylvania Dutchman named Andrew Pontius was looking to hire a tenant farmer to help with his farm in Snyder County.
On his way to Lancaster to hire a German laborer, he stopped in Harrisburg for the night, where he met a young Englishman named Archibald Hunter, who told Pontius that he’d jumped ship while the British fleet was docked in Philadelphia and that he was working his way west.
Impressed with the young man, Pontius dropped his original plan and offered Hunter the job. He accepted, and the two drew up a contract that included a clause specifying that their accounts were to be settled each year on the traditional day to do so, September 29.
On that day, Hunter appeared at Pontius’ door with accounts under one arm and a plump goose under the other.
The tenant explained to his wondering landlord that in England, eating goose on the Fest of St. Michael, patron saint of soldiers and protectors, would bring good luck. A goose was expected payment since they were at their prime at this time of year.
And so, Goose Day was born.
"Generations of people in the Juniata River Valley have observed this long-standing holiday by dining on goose and in recent years, a wide variety of events and activities have increased over the two-county region to make this a fun fall destination," Goose Day organizers said in a press release.
To celebrate Goose Day this year, there will be a special drone light show organized by Firefly Drone Shows of Michigan.
"The customized drone show will feature 200 illuminated, synchronized, and choreographed drones that fly into various aerial formations including many custom Goose Day designs," organizers said.
In Lewistown, merchants have banded together to create a fun-filled evening called Lucky Friday. Several local musicians, food trucks and food specials, a large vendor area, and bring your 1950s attire for the “Goose Lightning” photo shoot inspired by the movie, Grease.
Guests are encouraged to keep moving around to not miss anything.
Goose Day celebration days are September 29-October 1. The official Goose Day List is available online at www.jrvvisitors.com.