Saturday, January 1, 2022
Happy New Year!

In honoring the cultural heritage of the southwestern Pennsylvania, we often share stories about ethnic traditions. Some, like pork and sauerkraut for good luck on New Year's, are fairly well known—almost as ubiquitous as noisemakers and fireworks. But what are the origins behind such rituals? Our featured story today, Celebrating Silvester, sheds light on these acts and highlights how the historic town of Harmony in Butler County honors German traditions, both new and old.

Keeping with the theme of Harmony, our Community Spotlight story this week goes behind the scenes at the Harmony Museum to showcase a pending new exhibit made possible by the work of their volunteers and supporters (and just a bit of help from a Rivers of Steel mini-grant.)

In other exciting news, John Mahn, Jr., one of our longtime crew members on the Explorer riverboat was just appointed to the Board of Directors for Pennsylvania's Fish and Boat Commission! Learn more.

At Rivers of Steel, we are excited to start the year by sharing good news. Moreover, we wish to thank all our supporters! Your generosity during this giving season warms our hearts and positions the organization for more good things to come in 2022.

Many thanks to you all! Happy New Year!
In the Historic Harmony District, the ball is dropped at 6:00 p.m. to ring in the new year on German time, as part of the Silvester celebration. Image courtesy of Historic Harmony, Inc.
Celebrating Silvester—A German New Year's Eve Tradition
While most of southwestern Pennsylvania rings in the New Year at midnight, the historic town of Harmony chooses to celebrate several hours early, in sync with celebrations in Germany—the home country of its founders and the Mennonite settlers that followed. The early evening festivities include a traditional meal, a 5K race, a Christmas Tree Toss, and more! Read about the family fun and the origins behind these rituals.
The Carothers Family cabin in the Historic Harmony District will showcase how 19th-century setters worked.
Harmony Museum Restores Historic Cabin to Showcase Industry
With support from a community of volunteers and the generous donation from the Carothers family, the Historic Harmony District will soon boast a new exhibit in a repurposed log cabin, one that demonstrates the industrial crafts of 19th-century workers. 
John Mahn, Jr. at work on the Explorer riverboat.
Congratulations to John Mahn, Jr., recent appointee to the PA Fish and Boat Commission's Board of Directors
Rivers of Steel congratulates John Mahn, Jr. on his recent appointment to the Board of Directors of Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission. 

"I am so happy for John, and we at Rivers of Steel are so fortunate to work with him," said Augie Carlino, president and CEO of Rivers of Steel. "John is a dedicated crew member onboard Explorer, keeping the boat operating safely while always making sure the students and tour guests have an enjoyable experience. The Commonwealth will be well served by John and his integrity, commitment, and depth of knowledge."

In one of his many roles, John has served on the Explorer riverboat for more than a decade. 
Many Thanks!
Each season, we are humbled by the generosity of our community of supporters. Thank you for your end of year donations and participation thoughout the year. We look forward to bringing you more experiences, stories, and community connections in 2022!
Help preserve our region’s industrial and cultural heritage! Your tax-deductible contribution will help ensure that Rivers of Steel can continue to offer vital, engaging, community-based arts, education, and heritage programs for the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.