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Susquehanna Life

Fairs & Festivals: Goose Day Celebration

Goose Day Celebration

Sept. 25-29, Mifflin and Juniata Counties 

Since 1786, Pennsylvanians in Mifflin and Juniata counties have celebrated Goose Day. It all started when a Pennsylvania Dutchman named Andrew Pontius sought a tenant farmer to help with his farm. On his way to Lancaster to hire a German immigrant, Pontius stopped in Harrisburg, where he met a young Englishman named Archibald Hunter. Hunter told Pontius that he’d jumped ship while the British fleet was docked in Philadelphia and was working his way west. Pontius offered Hunter the job. The two drew up a contract, which included a clause specifying their accounts were to be settled each year on the traditional day to do so—Sept. 29th. On that date, Hunter appeared at Pontius’ door with accounts under one arm and a plump goose under the other. The tenant explained: in England, eating goose on the Fest of St. Michael, patron saint of soldiers and protectors, would bring good luck. A goose was expected payment. 

A wide variety of events and activities complete the holiday: the annual Goose Day 5K Run; Goose Day Road Rally; and the Goose Day Pumpkin Fest. 

Dine at one of the restaurants serving goose, and visit local businesses offering specialty drinks, food, sales, promotions or contests with a goose theme. 

More information is at JuniataRiverValley.org

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