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Slice of Suburbia: Boyertown

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Hey there P2P readers! Welcome to another installment of my exclusive Philly2Philly.com series- Slice of Suburbia ™ where I feature various towns outside of Philadelphia. Philly2Philly.com is totally dedicated to all things Philly, and we also want to reach out to our subscribers in suburbia.

Today I am focusing on the town of Boyertown, practically out in the country, but a quaint little town with lots of heart and a solid commitment to its town’s commerce and a nice jaunt from Philly to see some great things away from the city. Boyertown recently launched Building a Better Boyertown (BBB) to focus on revitalizing the downtown area. Boyertown’s downtown has a great mélange of eateries, coffee bars and pubs, many with outdoor decks to enjoy the fresh air.

Some popular establishments in Boyertown are Taylor Backes Glass (2nd & Washington Streets) - a studio and gallery with glass blowers and artisans creating one-of-a-kind pieces; Bahr's Mill (337 South Ironstone Drive), an operating woodworking mill of historic significance from the 1870s, and the Boyertown Farmers Market at 100 South Walnut street, in the Parking lot of the Boyertown Museum, with lots of fresh local produce, meats, cheeses, flowers, baked goodies and all kinds of yummies.

Boyertown is also known for the Boyertown Bears, known as Bear Fever (www.bearfever.org), a collaborative public art project brings people together in their efforts to promote, sponsor and create these three-dimensional sculptures of Boyertown's mascot, the bear. Look around, and you’ll see these life-sized fiberglass bears hanging out near the pubs, sitting underneath trees, and peering around corners, all created from mediums from local artists such as glass, tile and metal.

Another amazing place to visit is Zern's Farmers Market (1100 E. Philadelphia Avenue, Gilbertsville). Zern’s has been in the biz since 1922, and has pretty much anything you’d ever want, what with over 400 merchants. Clothing, food, fresh fruits and veggies, antiques, household items, tools, crazy stuff of yesteryear- you’ll find it here. Open Fri- Sat.

And of course, go to Jake’s Flea Market in nearby Barto on Route 100. This is one of my favorite places and where I go to sell and swap my stuff…and then buy more great stuff. This is a fabulous place for bargaining and finding antiques, old books, baseball cards, vintage clothes and old record albums (and I’ll be there selling this Sunday!) They are open Sat-Sun mornings from April until November.

The State Theatre (61 North Reading Avenue) was built in 1912. Formerly known at the Lyric, the State Theatre daily shows movies, plays, music productions and community events (http://statetheatreboyertown.com/features.php). This is a classic small town theater with family-friendly admission prices, head to the State!

Bear Stadium (120 N. Monroe Street, www.bearstadium.com) Home of the Boyertown Legion Bears, this stadium was built out of Boyertown's love for the game of baseball. They recently hosted the Pennsylvania State Tournament in July. Yay baseball!

And no visit to Boyertown is complete unless you visit The Tiki Bar (www.tikibarpa.com)- a cook-your-own meat (kabobs, steak, shrimp, ostrich, boar, gator!) right on the barbie, plus, hurricanes that will have you singing Buffet songs all night.

On the ‘Ragin Manatawny’ creek, you’ll have an excellent time! They also have a great raw bar and delish wings. To get here, you’ll need a good driver and possibly a GPS, then like a mirage, it rises up out of the green foliage- a neon multicolored hut that persuades you to park and follow the music. You’ll feel as if you were really in the islands and you won’t leave hungry. Man, I want to go there right now!

Coming up: Building a Better Boyertown (BBB) will host the 2nd annual "Oktoberfest in Boyertown" as a 3rd Saturday promotion and BBB community fundraiser. Saturday September 19, 2009

"Oktoberfest in Boyertown" will be a celebration of the proud German heritage that the town still holds, serving beer brewed by Sly Fox Brewery, wine bottled by Blair and Manatawny Creek Wineries, and soda. The Boyertown Farmers' Market and an art and craft fair, by local artists and craftspeople will also be in attendance. Foods prepared by various local eateries will be offered, along with music all day.

Check in with Bt-own at 610.369.3054 or manager@boyertownpa.org or visit BBB's website: www.boyertownpa.org

Got a Slice of Suburbia in mind for me? Let me know- leave a comment or contact me at engchik@comcast.net or http://engchik.blogspot.com