July is the perfect time to dive in…in Greene County, Pennsylvania!

Jun15 NC web banner-1

From daytime splashing to an evening of old-fashioned family fun at a county fair, from an afternoon of all nature has to offer to maybe some shopping in the heart of downtown, summer is the perfect time to enjoy the simple thrill of a day well spent in Greene County, just one hour south of Pittsburgh.

Greene County has three recently renovated public pools, including its own mini-waterpark, Alpha Aquatic Center in Waynesburg, located just two miles from Interstate 79, Exit 14.

Swimming is now in full swing, and the month of July marks the beginning of a signature season of summer events in Greene County.

The Jacktown Fair kicks off the middle of the month, running July 14-18 in Wind Ridge, on the western end of the county. The longest continuously running fair in the U.S., the Jacktown Fair is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Scheduled activities include the three-night “Jacktown Fair Idol” singing contest, musical acts, truck and tractor pulls, fireworks, and carnival rides and games. Admission and activity prices vary. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.jacktownfair.org.

Another long-running standby in the county is Rain Day, which – much like the hoped-for showers – always falls on July 29. This year will be the 142nd annual Rain Day, and it has rained 114 times during those previous 141 years. The day-long street festival shuts down traffic right in the heart of downtown Waynesburg and will feature a wide variety of food and craft vendors, children’s activities, umbrella and window decorating contests, and live entertainment. For those unfamiliar with Waynesburg’s holiday, it’s the only event considered a success if it does rain, so be sure to bring your umbrella. For more information and the full history of Rain Day, visit www.raindayfestival.com.

The annual Miss Rain Day pageant – held to crown the queen who will represent Waynesburg for the next year – will be held a few days prior to Rain Day on Sunday, July 26, the same day as the Flashlight Drags drag-racing events that take place at the Greene County Airport in Waynesburg.

A more recent addition to the slate of Greene County summer events, Flashlight Drags is a series of races offering a safe alternative to street racing, with a 1/8th-mile race between two vehicles, just for fun. Gates open at noon, and racing is held from 2 to 6 p.m. Cost is $30 to race and $6 to watch, and plenty of car-related vendors fill the grounds as well. And since Flashlight Drags doesn’t share the same love of inclement weather as Rain Day, rain dates are planned. After this month, the final two races of the season are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 30, and Saturday, Sept. 12. For more information and schedule updates, visit www.flashlightdrags.com.

Speaking of cars, the summertime is a great time for car shows in Greene County. From “Cruizin’ for Heroes” on Saturday, July 18 – benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project – to Catholic Charities’ fourth annual Classic Car Show Saturday, Aug. 1, gearheads and car enthusiasts can enjoy an array of vehicles on display, all for two great causes.

Heading into August, two back-to-back, week-long events (both steeped in history and tradition) will take up much of the month. First, the Greene County Fair will be held Aug. 9-15 at the county fairgrounds in Waynesburg. Highlighting the best of the county’s rich agricultural roots, the fair includes farm animal shows and sales, home and garden exhibits and judging, truck and tractor pulls, a demolition derby, live music, and carnival rides and games. New this year will be a monster truck jam the night of Aug. 10. For a full schedule, visit www.greenecountyfair.org.

The following week, the Bituminous Coal Show in Carmichaels will take us from Aug. 22 to Aug. 29 and the tail-end of summer. Celebrating Greene County’s mining heritage, the Coal Show offers different coal-themed events and activities, from a 5K race and a golf outing to the Coal Queen pageant and mine rescue contests. Throughout the week, several different types of parades will be held (including parades for pets, bicycles, and cars), wrapping up with the 62nd annual King Coal Parade Aug. 29. In addition, carnival rides and games, live music, and informational exhibits will take place during the show days. Visit www.kingcoalshow.org for more details.

And from the land to the air, Aviation Day will be held Saturday, Aug. 22, at the county airport. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free parking and admission. Hosted by the aviation group S.O.A.R., this event features free airplane rides for children, aircraft static displays, and a visit and candy drop from the “Spirit of Freedom,” a Douglas C-54 “flying museum” from the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation. For updates, visit www.soarofgreenecounty.org.

A few more annual highlights will close out the summer season.

Greensboro’s Art Blast on the Mon will be held Sept. 5-6 during Labor Day weekend. Focusing on preserving and promoting regional arts and crafts, Art Blast features demonstrations, hands-on activities, and food and music in the blossoming artist community close to the Mon River.

The following weekend will see a busy Saturday in Greene County, as the 50’s Fest and Car Cruise, Flashlight Drags, and the Lucas Oil Truck Pulling Expo will all take place in Waynesburg, and the Outdoor Heritage Festival will be held at Ryerson Station State Park in Wind Ridge.

Finally, another area tradition officially signals the end of summer each year. The 45th annual Covered Bridge Festival will be held Sept. 19-20 at two county bridges: the Carmichaels Covered Bridge, just off the town square in Carmichaels, and the White Covered Bridge, located in the countryside but just a few miles from Exit 7 off I-79. The covered bridges are just more of the signature sights in Greene County, connections between the past and the present that are carefully tended and still standing.

So whether you’re looking for history and heritage, agritourism and animals, specialty shopping and dining, or just outdoor recreation for the whole family, it’s right here in Greene County.

For a full calendar of events and more information on attractions, visit www.GoGreeneCounty.org.