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How will you celebrate the Fourth of July?: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 6/27/17

My, how the time flies! It is already the end of June. So sad to see it go.

I hope you have been enjoying summery things. We have the Fourth of July coming up on Tuesday. Are you doing anything …

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How will you celebrate the Fourth of July?: LaVonne Ackerman

Visiting Castello di Amorosa was a special event.
Visiting Castello di Amorosa was a special event.
contributed photo

My, how the time flies! It is already the end of June. So sad to see it go.

I hope you have been enjoying summery things. We have the Fourth of July coming up on Tuesday. Are you doing anything special to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day?

As always, I invite you to email, or call me about sharing your news this summer. Have a fantastic holiday week!

Napa Valley

Are you tired of California stories yet? You cannot go to this part of California and miss the acres and acres of vineyards. Suddenly, we are transported over the ocean to a backdrop of mountains with miles of grape plants lined up in rows. Wineries are everywhere. It feels like you are in Tuscany!

We visited Korbel while leaving the redwood reserve. They were friendly and offered free tastings. Once we arrived in Napa, checked into Wine Valley Lodge and unpacked we found a delicious dinner at the Bounty Hunter. The next day we visited Sutter Home, Heitz Cellar, Beringer Vineyards and Castello di Amorosa.

The castle experience was unique and very educational. They are celebrating their 10-year anniversary. We enjoyed a tour and a wine tasting. The owner, Dario Sattui, took 30 years to build his dream castle to honor his Italian heritage. Well done, Dario!

You are transported to medieval Italy. The castle has a moat, drawbridge, five towers, church, stables, torture chamber and much more. It is surrounded by vineyards and the vast view of the California mountains. My favorite thing: their salted dark chocolate candy bar in the gift shop. It was gorgeous.

I have to mention two quaint towns we visited: Calistoga and St. Helena. All of it, just lovely.


Happy 22nd birthday to Jeremy Shaver of Lower Swatara. Hoping this greeting finds you in tip-top shape, Jeremy! Have a wonderful time on Wednesday, June 28.

Birthday wishes of joy are sent to Norma Fisher Albright of Lower Swatara on Thursday, June 29. Have a beautiful day, Norma!

Zoey Bright of Middletown turns 17 on Friday, June 30. Have a remarkable birthday weekend, Zoey! Keep looking up.

Donna Sipe of Lower Swatara has 56 things to be grateful for on Friday, June 30. Happy birthday and enjoy your me-holiday weekend, Donna!

Best wishes to Adam Carricato of Lower Swatara on June 30. If you see him, wish him a happy 24th cake day on Friday! I hope the weather is beautiful for your birthday weekend, Adam.

Happy 23rd birthday to AJ Murray of Lower Swatara on Friday, June 30. May all your dreams come true on your special cake and ice cream day!

Happy confetti-popping day to Dan Wagner of Lower Swatara on Friday, June 30. May everything be just as you like it on your day, Dan!

Happy landmark 21st birthday to Katelyn Carnes of Lower Swatara. She celebrates real adulthood on Saturday, July 1. Have a wonderful day and great year, Katelyn!

McKayla Tucker of Lower Swatara hits No. 17 on July 1. If you see her out and about be sure to give her your best birthday greeting! Enjoy, McKayla!

Sending many good wishes for a beautiful birthday to Samuel Turns Jr. of Middletown. He celebrates his rootin’ tootin’ day on Saturday, July 1.

Sarah Carson of Lower Swatara celebrates her final teener birthday on Saturday, July 1 as she turns 19. Make it the best one yet, Sarah. Enjoy!

Happy 23rd cake and ice cream day to Rachel Ruiz of Lower Swatara. I hope your Sunday, July 2 is full of sunshine and smiles!

Here is a shout-out to Dee Esterline of Lower Swatara for a super-duper-dazzling birthday on Monday, July 3. Enjoy your party day all week long, Dee!

Time to light the fireworks and celebrate seven Fourth of July babies!

Best wishes to Tim Carpenter of Lower Swatara as he observes his big-deal 40th holiday birthday on Tuesday.

Alex Dinh turns 25 on July Fourth. Happy birthday and congrats to you Alex! Enjoy all the festivities on your day!

Best wishes to Brad Strite, Lower Swatara, as he celebrates cake day No. 34 on the Fourth. I hope you sport the red, white and blue in style and with much joy, Brad!

Aaliyah Garfield of Middletown celebrates her decade birthday on Tuesday, July 4. Hope your day is popping fun as you turn 10!

Happy Fourth of July cake and ice cream day to Brandon Popp. Enjoy your 24th holiday birthday, Brandon!

Madison Bayhart of Lower Swatara marks her cool-parade holiday birthday on July 4. I hope 23 terrific things happen for you this week, Madison!

Happy landmark 21st birthday to Nathan Reese of Lower Swatara. His big-deal day is on Tuesday, July 4. Best wishes to you all week long, Nathan!

Wedding vow renewal ceremony

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church invites couples in the community the opportunity to renew wedding vows at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 15.

Registration is required. Forms may be picked up at the church office on North Spring Street in Middletown. Please call 717-944-4651 for more information. Completed forms are due by June 30.

Festival time

It is time for the 15th annual Seven Sorrows BVM community festival coming up from 6 to 10 p.m. July 6, 7 and 8. This Thursday-through-Saturday event features games, a car show, bingo, great food, flea market, raffles, music and entertainment.

Come out to 360 E. Water St., Middletown and join in the fun. Call 717-944-3133 for more information.  


Happy 49th wedding anniversary to Ron and Sue Maxwell of Lower Swatara. They celebrate on Thursday, June 29. I hope you enjoy a wonderful day together.

Greg and Claudia Wilson of Lower Swatara celebrate their hearts-and-flowers day on Friday, June 30. They have been married for 38 years. Congrats and enjoy your holiday weekend!

Happy 63rd anniversary to Bob and Jean Young of Lower Swatara. They were married on July 3, 1954. Congratulations, and best wishes to you both.

Joe and Norma Mateer of Lower Swatara observe their 37th wedding anniversary on Tuesday, July 4. Enjoy this extra-special holiday!

Dean’s List

Congratulations to Timothy Campbell of Elizabethtown, who was named to the 2017 spring semester dean’s list at Baylor University. Timothy attends the College of Arts and Sciences.

Congratulations are in order to Trevor Wolf of Elizabethtown, who was named to the 2017 spring semester dean’s list at Quinnipiac University.

Mitchell Kidman of Hummelstown was recently named to West Virginia University’s 2017 spring semester dean’s list. Mitchell is a junior majoring in petroleum engineering. Congratulations!

Quote of the Week

“To have patience is to have a long fuse.” — Anonymous

Question of the Week

Where do you see yourself 10 to 20 years from now?

“I will be out of college and working as a video game designer.” — William Benkovic, 14, Lower Paxton.

“Being an empty-nester in North Carolina.” — Dawn Payne, Lower Paxton.

“I want to be a doctor, one for little kids.” — Kaylea Peterson, 9, Lower Swatara.

“I’ll be retired and still in the area to be close to my grandchildren. And, when I get promoted, I’ll be in heaven!” — Diane Myers, Camp Hill.

“I want to be a police officer in Pa. Or NYC.” — Jon Benkovic, 6, Lower Paxton.

“Hopefully I’ll be enjoying more grandchildren and good health with my husband!” — Debbie Livingston, Dauphin.

“I want to be a firefighter, so I can drive the truck.” — Ryan Benkovic, 3, Lower Paxton.

Proverb for the Week

A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends (16:28).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at