Your passport is ready.
Who wouldn’t be thrilled at such an invitation to get away?
In this winter of much care and quarantine, Franklin County, in south-central Pennsylvania, proposes a unique invitation to explore all it has to offer. Virtual travelers may wander from attractions to exhibits and from historic sights to grand monuments all from the comfort of a cozy home.
“Passport to Frosty Fun” is the brainchild of the County’s Visitors Center. It runs from Jan. 14, 2021, through March 14, 2021.
And because this delightful winter celebration lasts two months, it offers flexibility to its passport holders to either attend the indoor attractions in person or to experience them online for those who are concerned about their health. In-person visits to indoor attractions and exhibits will be staggered throughout the period ensuring further precautions.
“The whole concept is COVID- friendly,” noted Janet Pollard, executive director of the Franklin County Visitors Center. “We’re not trying to attract a large group of people at one time on the same day.”
Five quaint villages comprise the triangle-shaped county. They are Chambersburg (the county seat), Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg and Waynesboro. All are ready for you and your passport.
The Frosty Fun Adventure is easy to use. Travelers will log onto explorefranklincounty.com to receive a virtual passport and travel guide, which can be customized for a specific virtual experience.
“When you complete that visit or activity, we’ll send you a virtual badge showing you did so,” Pollard explained. “For every five completions, you are entered into a drawing [to win] a visit to Franklin County. Included is an overnight stay at a local B&B and a welcome package of goodies.”
You will even be directed to a Visitors Guide. However, if you choose to receive your passport and guide as a hard copy all of the information can be mailed to you with instructions on how to proceed.
Some activities do have charges, such as skiing and tubing at Whitetail or eating along the pizza trail, but most are at no charge. These will be referenced in the Visitors Guide. Obviously, these are in-person visits.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the “Frosty Fun” you can enjoy with your passport.
The Pie on the Fly Pizza is opened up to any and all of the pizzerias in Franklin County. Check out page 23 of your Visitors Guide and plan visiting a few, weather and COVID permitting.
African American history is ready for you to explore in Franklin County. Photographer, Phillip Michael Whitley of PHAB Photos will present an installation of photographs in the Visitors Center Lobby that will honor the Reverend Martin Luther King during his birthday month of January. The exhibit will continue throughout Black History Month in February and virtual travelers are invited to take part.
“The interactive portion of the display will be an immersive 12-foot-wide and 20-foot-long backdrop covered with quotes, photos and facts about Black history on a local and national level,” said Whitley. “People will be invited to take selfies on the backdrop, in person or take their own from the comfort of home and submit their selfie with quotes from influential people of color, some of the online submissions will be printed and added to the backdrop to offer an all online interactive participation. I will also be posting images of the backdrop with quotes from famous people of color.”
Joyful Arts Studio, owned by artist Susan Shaffer, will be getting creative with online lessons for visitors in an art project called “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”
“Many people are hesitant to do this,” Shaffer pointed out, “but I do everything one step at a time and provide step-by-step photographs.”
Those wishing to take part in this large painting of a Snowman will reach out to Shaffer via the passport link to register for her class. She will then send a Zoom link and a list of materials to purchase ahead of time. Mailing a drawing of the project, they can print it out and place it on transfer paper to go onto a 4-foot by 1-foot board that they can get [cut to size specifications] at any hardwood outlet or lumber yard. Next, they will want to photograph their masterpiece for inclusion in a virtual exhibit.
“It’s a gift for me to be able to work with people who become thrilled that they’re able to relax while they’re working [and] to see the calmness that takes over once they start painting and how accomplished they feel. It’s such a reward to me.”
Many other online adventures await you and your passport at ExploreFranklinCountyPA.com.
A personal visit to Franklin County is a must, however, COVID and weather permitting.
“Even if you cannot visit in person from January to March, plan your trip when you are ready and it is safe to do so,” said Pollard.