How would you like to sample some rattlesnake sausage, wild boar belly sliders, gator bites and mini elk kabobs? Well you can if you visit the “Taste of the Wild” culinary event at Steelstacks in Bethlehem. This event takes place June 2, from 6-8 p.m.
These are but a few of the delicacies offered that coincides with the free, “Step Outdoors” program June 3-5 at Steelstacks: You'll be able to enjoy a variety of game and fish inspired hors d’oeuvres crafted especially for the event by ArtsQuest Center Executive Chef Michael Hoffman. Such unique treats like rattlesnake Sausage with Peppers and Onions on a Pub Roll; Mini Elk Kabobs with Red Onion and Cherry Tomato and Bell Pepper; Pomegranate Glazed Wild Boar Belly; Sliders with Napa Slaw; Gator Bites with a Cajun Aioli; Crusted Walleye and Steak Fries; Mozzarella Stackers; Spanakopita; & Rustic S’mores.
Proceeds from Taste of the Wild, presented in partnership with the Wildlands Conservancy, go to support Step Outdoors Lehigh Valley. Tickets for the event, which also provides unique opportunities for guests to meet the education animals and staff of Wildlands Conservancy, are $38 for ArtsQuest Members and $40 for the public. They are on sale now at www.steelstacks.org or call 610-332-3378.?
While enjoying these treats, you can get up close and personal with birds of prey like an owl or hawk, reptiles and mammals from the Emmaus-based Wildlands Conservancy. Wildlands Conservancy educational staff will also be on hand to share information on the animals, their habitat and conservation success stories. The evening also includes a cash bar, as well as the sounds of the Steve Kimock Band performing live on the Levitt Pavilion stage at 7:30 p.m.?
As for the Step Outdoors program, it’s filled with dynamic presentations and hands-on activities designed to introduce children and their families to the wonders of the world around them. Activities include archery, biking, birding, fishing, visual arts, wildlife presentations and more. This year, guests will enjoy activities and presentations by more than 25 different organizations focusing on conservation, wildlife and outdoor recreation. For more information on Taste of the Wild and Step Outdoors, please visit www.steelstacks.org.
In addition, it’s also the return of the high-flying Keystone DockDogs competition which takes place June 3, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and June 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., feature athletic hunting dogs that perform high-flying feats as they leap into a 40-foot swimming pool set up on SteelStacks’ Air Products Town Square.
During the competition, dogs will compete in categories designed to showcase the highest leap, longest jump and quickest retrieve.
New this year are the DockDogs’ K9 Aquatics, where festival attendees can bring their own dogs and try three DockDogs disciplines: Big Air, Speed Retrieve and the Extreme Vertical jump. Public jump times are 9-10 a.m. both days.
At Step Outdoors, children can enjoy presentations and activities by more than 25 local and state groups and activities like archery, biking, gardening, art & nature activities, hiking, nature photography, bluebird box building, fishing activities and more. Throughout the weekend, organizations like Hawk Mountain, Wildlands Conservancy and Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary also offer a great mix of presentations featuring live wildlife.
Families looking for unique experiences that tie art to the outdoors will want to check out the Banana Factory Arts Center’s tent, where kids work with the staff to create a nature-themed collage or make their own paintbrushes out of twigs, dried flowers and other materials. In addition, the Banana Factory is offering fee-based workshops both days including the opportunity to make a Kokedama moss-wrapped hanging plant or a Glass Jar Biosphere, filled with rocks, water plants and ghost shrimp.
For more information on the festival, visit www.steelstacks.org/stepoutdoors.
FISH FOR FREE DAYS
In an attempt to lure folks and kids into the life-long sport of fishing, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission is allowing two Fish-for-Free Days.
Sunday, May 28 and Tuesday, July 4, 2017 have been set as designated days when residents and nonresidents may fish without a fishing license. However, all other fishing regulations still apply as to fish size and creel limits.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.