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Mifflin, Juniata counties prepare to celebrate 'Goose Day'

According to local legend in Mifflin and Juniata counties, dining on goose on Sept. 29 ensures wealth and prosperity for the coming year.
Credit: Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau

LEWISTOWN, Pa. — Two Central Pennsylvania counties are getting ready to celebrate Goose Day next month.

You may ask yourself: What exactly is Goose Day? 

According to local legend in Mifflin and Juniata counties, dining on goose on Sept. 29 ensures wealth and prosperity for the coming year.

Carried to the Juniata River Valley by an early settler, this local tradition has been observed in Mifflin and Juniata Counties for more than two centuries. 

Residents in both counties continue to celebrate by dining on goose and by enjoying a diverse list of activities, sales, special food, and drink offerings that businesses across the two counties will be hosting. 

The official list of events and goose dinners is released Thursday on the Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau’s website.

The list features something for everyone thanks to the many local businesses who believe in the holiday’s ability to draw visitors, boost the local economy, and instill community pride. 

The visitors’ bureau is encouraging everyone to call ahead to any restaurant to reserve their goose meal for September 29 before traveling. 

“We publish the activity list almost a month before the celebrations begin so people can do a bit of research and plan their trip in advance,” said JRVVB executive director Jenny Landis in a press release. “And if you want to be certain to get your lucky goose, call ahead for a reservation.”  

The visitors bureau said it has noticed a growing amount of visitors each year who stop by the office to learn more about the holiday. 

This year, the bureau is encouraging guests to stop first at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Lewistown on Goose Day for some fun activities and guidance to find out what to do for fun. 

The staff will have a prepared list of events and activities happening elsewhere that day to hand out to visitors.  

“We will have some photo opportunities with our ‘Top Goose’ themed photo shoot, meet our 20’ tall Mr. Wiggles, and our front porch will be decorated for fall by At the Barnyard Corn Maze,” said Buffie Boyer, communications director for JRVVB. “Make a goosie craft, find out where to eat your lucky bird, and visit with the many Wild Geese art sculptures surrounding Monument Square.” 

Seven new Wild Geese sculptures have landed so far this year. As the project, coordinated by Community Partnerships, continues to grow, the online Goose Tracker is updated as quickly as possible. 

Find it at https://jrvvisitors.com/wild-geese-tracker/ or call 717-248-6713 for a paper copy. 

A QR code has also been placed on each goose to help visitors navigate to all 25 geese. 

Other Goose Day events to look forward to this year: 

  • Lewistown First Friday on Sept. 2nd is full of goose-themed fun including making your own goose t-shirts, pottery and crafts, a goose puzzle activity, and the “Top Goose” photo shoot. 
  • Two corn mazes will be hiding geese inside the maze for guests to find. 
  • Two local artists are hosting crafting events including a goose feather raku class and painting a gooseneck gourd birdhouse. 
  • Museum Day in the Juniata River Valley returns with 20 locations throughout Mifflin, Juniata, and Huntingdon Counties open for free on Sept. 24th. 
  • A limited edition line of Goose Day stickers is available at a few retailers, plus the third annual Goose Day postcard, designed by Aimee Hubley, can be purchased, and guaranteed to receive the official Goose Day postmark on the 29th. 
  • Returning this year is the Goose Day 5K Run, the Goose Day Road Rally and Goose Day Pumpkin Festival. 

On Sept. 1, the official list of events, sales, promotions and roast goose dinners is released by the visitors bureau on its website at www.JRVVisitors.com and social media channels. 

Hardcopies of the list will be available at the Visitors Center in the Historic Courthouse, 1 W. Market St., Lewistown, during office hours and by calling the office at (717) 248-6713. 

Ongoing details about Goose Day can be found on the Goose Day in the Juniata River Valley Facebook page 

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