Mid-August – Annual Canoe Trip & Shrimp Boil Picnic
What could be more relaxing on a summer's day than a leisurely seven mile trip down a gentle river, punctuated by a Cajun style shrimp boil halfway through? We meet in the morning at Youghiogheny Outfitters in West Newton where canoers/kayakers are transported upriver to the put-in at Smithton. You then travel downriver to the boat landing at Cedar Creek Park where you pull your craft out of the water and walk about two hundred yards to the left to Pavilion #19 for a feast of shrimp, corn on the cob, redskin potatoes, and French bread. After eating and relaxing for a period of time (on your schedule) put back into the water and continue on downriver back to West Newton – where you left your car. Total time is usually about seven hours, from arrival at the outfitters around 9:30am until returning to the outfitters in the afternoon. Of course, if you don't want to go on the water, you can just do the shrimp boil.
This is a very family-friendly event. Small children can accompany parents in their canoe, slightly older children can get their first experience canoeing by paddling with adult supervision. And older children can paddle their own kayak for the first time in a fairly calm environment and gain experience and a sense of accomplishment.
There is a cost involved, but everyone who has participated in the past has said that it is worth it and that they would do it again. Many consider this the highlight of the year.
Mid-December – Annual Festivus for the Restivus
The human species has been celebrating the Winter Solstice since the dawn of civilization in one way or another. For those of us not subscribing to the Judeo-Christian traditions, we have Festivus. It is our chance to “eat, drink, and be merry” in the company of like-minded people and friends. And what would Festivus be without the airing of grievances and feats of strength, both mental and physical, and lots of laughter and merriment. A great time is had by all. This, too, is a family friendly event, as we usually have some activities for children.
Sometimes we are able to bring known speakers in for special events, or screenings of movies of special interest to humanists/freethinkers. Sometimes we highlight events put on by the CMU and Pitt student groups who welcome our participation. And sometimes there are significant cultural opportunities or events that we feel may be of interest to our members and we promote attendance at these, as well.