POTTSTOWN - They're coming.
More than 150 paddle-wielding visitors will skim quietly into Pottstown Tuesday when the annual canoe and kayaking trek known as the Schuylkill River Sojourn lands in Riverfront Park for an overnight rest.
While their entrance might be quiet, their stay will get a little raucous from about 7:30 to 9 p.m.
That's when East Side Dave and the Mountain Folk Trio will perform in the amphitheater at the park off College Drive.
Featuring lively bluegrass, folk and acoustic mountain music, the music focuses much of its theme on things like hiking, rivers and the outdoors.
The performance is free and open to the public.
Pottstown marks the halfway point in the 108-mile journey that began Saturday near the river's headwaters in Schuylkill Haven.
Saturday night was spent in Port Clinton, on the Schuylkill/Berks county border, where a traditional spaghetti dinner, courtesy of the Port Clinton Fire Company, helped refresh the paddlers, many of whom were likely seeing for the first time the sylvan beauty that marks the upstream portion of the river and its watershed.
In Leesport, the next stop, sojourners were treated to ghost stories, presented by author Charles Adams, that feature places and people along America's "Hidden River."
After Pottstown, the sojourners will make for lunch at Linfield Landing in Limerick, where students from the Souderton Charter School will greet them with sandwiches and a program on watersheds.
More than 16 miles downstream from Pottstown, the paddlers will stay overnight in Mont Clare, where they will camp beside one of the few remaining sections of the old Schuylkill Navigation Co.'s canal, complete with the ongoing restoration of Lock 60 and the already restored Locktender's House.
The restoration of the lock is a major project of the Schuylkill Canal Association.
There, they will be invited to a church fund-raiser for Otterbein United Methodist Church at St. Michael's Park.
After dinner, more free activities, also open to the public, will include a program on butterflies and their natural habitat, particularly along the Schuylkill River, by Pottstown butterfly enthusiast Ron Richel.
Also on hand will be John Mikowychok from Chester County Parks and Recreation, who will give an overview of the wildlife at the nearby Black Rock Wildlife Sanctuary, which opened in 2003 and is the site of an old silt basin that has been transformed into a nature preserve.
Finally, Montgomery County planner Beth Pillig will explain the plans for extending the Schuylkill River Trail to Port Providence and then to Phoenixville.
Guitarist Jeff Domenick will provide music by the campfire afterward.
After floating through Lock 60's water remnant, the sojourners will haul more than 20 miles to Flat Rock Dam Park in Gladwyne.
The sojourn ends the next day at Boathouse Row in Philadelphia.
The sojourn is sponsored by the nonprofit Schuylkill River Heritage Area, which is managed by the Schuylkill River Greenway Association, which is based in Pottstown next to Riverfront Park.
The sojourn's purpose is to bring people to the river and help both paddlers and the general public learn more about one of the area's most cherished resources.
Photos and information about the 2003 and 2004 sojourns are available on the Web (www.schuylkillriver.org).
The Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area is managed by the SRGA. It is dedicated to assisting communities, organizations and citizens of the Schuylkill River region to preserve and sustain their cultural heritage and natural environment for future generations.
The Schuylkill's is not Pennsylvania's only sojourn.
In 2004, seven other sojourns are scheduled. Below is a schedule of when they occur.
· Delaware River - June 07-14
· Stonycreek-Kiski-Connie Rivers - June 10-13
· Juniata River - June 12-19
· Susquehanna River (North Branch) - the 2004 River of the Year, June 23-30
· Lehigh River - June 25-28
· Allegheny River - July 8-10
· Ohiopyle Over the Falls Festival - Sept 9-12