Monday, May 30, 2011

wheelchair accessible: Great PA FlavorFest

Free admission! Free parking! Free tasting! Free entertainment! Wheelchair accessible! What is not to like? … only that the Great Pennsylvania FlavorFest only happens ‘once a year’ over Memorial Day Weekend.

Multiple Sclerosis symptoms are unavoidable companions in any outing.  Non-ambulatory is the big dog impacting everything from dressing and the rest of the activities of daily living to transportation. While Memorial Day weekend may kick off the summer season for many, sharing the enthusiasm for the weather is lost with MS sensitivity to both heat and seasons.  

Care giving is about making the adaptations or leveling that field. Not unlike the Indianapolis 500 or Coca-Cola 600 that dominates Memorial weekend sports, care giving is about the team behind the person in the chair. From the staff at Patti’s care facility that got her up, dressed, and ready – myself transporting and pushing her around the 35 acres – FlavorFest staff, vendors, and giant frog who patiently and pleasantly enabled Patti’s participation - team Patti kept Patti in the race to taste.
Obviously favoring her sweet tooth, Patti tasted her way through Red Raspberry, Blueberry, and Sour Cherry wines from West Hanover Winery; Peach Mist from Winery at Wilcox; Mountain Blush, Tailgate Red, Mountain Mist, and Mountain Sunset wines from Mount Nittany Vineyard until hitting the jackpot with their Rock Hill Red wine slush!

Wine slush was sooo good we bought a bottle of Rock Hill Red to make their slushy recipe at home. Bedecked in Penn State attire, Mount Nittany Vineyard staff also held the insight straight for Patti, an alumni. J

I would advise anyone dealing with mobility challenges that they do not rent wheelchairs or scooters, when it come to mobility assistance – it’s BYO.

Depending on your mobility device some parts of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire ground may or may not be the easiest to navigate. Manually pushed, it is all ‘no problemo’ for Patti and good exercise for me. 

As the cooler summer morning temperature gave way to MS unfriendly 81°F (27.2°C) with high humidity, a happy Patti wanted nothing more than a long air conditioned afternoon nap. 
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
web site:  


  1. Sounds like fun, Patrick.

    Out here on the left coast, Memorial Day weekend is the Northwest Folklife Festival. It's accessible, mostly, but so congested that it's like being trapped in a dense forest of butts. Pre-wheelchair, we used to go every year. From the seat advantage point, it's a little claustrophobic for my taste. I miss it.

  2. that wine slush sounds like it could be refreshing on a hot summer day! what a delicious festival! I think I would enjoy it very much and it looks like a great location to have it! Loved the frog and Patti's festive socks!!

    hope you had a great day Patrick!


  3. Sounds like a great time. My husband is a Penn State alum, also, so I constantly hear about the Nittany Lions, Happy Vally, and Joe Pa!

  4. Zoomdoggie! Yes that 'forest of buttocks' phenomena is a challenge to wheelchair / scooter users. That's always the other reason we seize the pre-opening or earliest hours of any large gathering before the 'forest of buttocks' grow too dense. ... and especially dangerous since the smart phone era, as too many of them are worshiping their phone screens and not even looking where they are walking.


Blog Archive