Wilds Sonshine Factory to host their grand opening celebration
Innovative ‘Sonshine’ spirits exclusively made in the PA Wilds
KANE, PA – A new attraction is opening in the PA Wilds. The Wilds Sonshine Factory, a rare seed-to-still distillery with an agricultural interpretive space, is having its grand opening celebration from Friday, Aug. 25 to Sunday, Aug. 27.
Located in the Allegheny National Forest and Surrounds landscape of the PA Wilds region, the Wilds Sonshine Factory (WSF) has produced “Sonshine” – an innovative spirit made 100 percent from sunflowers. Sonshine is trademarked as “a distilled spirit made from the sunflower plant that is planted, grown and harvested in the PA Wilds region.” Similar to how Tequila is only true Tequila if it is made from the agave plant from a certain region in Mexico, Sonshine is only Sonshine if it is made from sunflowers from the PA Wilds.
“PA Wilds Center first came in contact with The Wilds Sonshine Factory project after its sunflower fields along Route 6 attracted visitors, and pictures of the flowers began to show up in our PAWilds.com social media feeds and a related photo contest,” said PA Wilds Center CEO Ta Enos. “Shortly after, we met with the founders, David and Tosha Conklin, and learned more about their business plans. They were fans of the PA Wilds effort and brainstormed with us on ways they might align the company with regional tourism efforts.”
The Wilds Sonshine Factory signed a long-term licensing agreement to co-brand its original Sonshine product with the PA Wilds, meaning a percentage of every bottle sold is returned to PA Wilds Center to support its nonprofit mission in the landscape.
“Branding partnerships like this can be really powerful for both sides, and we are thrilled to see this one grow,” Enos said. “This was a complex project that faced real challenges, including a long research and development phase and construction hampered by the global pandemic. But the owners never gave up, collaborating with a long list of partners, and the end result is something really special and unique to the PA Wilds region.”
The Wilds Sonshine Factory adds new capacity and strengthens a cluster of tourism-related businesses and recreation attractions that have come online in McKean and Warren counties since 2016, Enos said, including the new visitor center at Kinzua Bridge State Park, upgrades along Scenic Route 6, the Jakes Rocks mountain bike trail system in the Allegheny National Forest, the Knox-to-Kane rail trail, and many small businesses.
“The fact that Sonshine is tied to the Pennsylvania Wilds as the growing region – meaning the company can never be moved – creates long-term positive implications for creating local, family-sustaining jobs, elevating PA agriculture and further establishing the Pennsylvania Wilds as a unique travel destination,” Enos said.
The WSF facility includes two tasting bars, an Agricultural Education Center, and an event venue. Visitors will be able to taste Sonshine on the world’s longest table made from one continuous piece of timber. This table was cut from timber from the “Cooper Tract,” one of the last operating historic lumber towns in Pennsylvania, near Kellettville, PA, in Forest County.
A family-friendly venue, the first thing visitors experience when walking through the grand entrance is the Agricultural Education Center, which was designed to raise awareness for the importance of local natural resources. The center will have interactive components that focus on three natural resource industries that have built our area – timber, water and agriculture; all of which have a significant history within the PA Wilds region.
Currently, there are four exclusive flavors of Sonshine that the WSF produces: Original, 814 Black Cherry, Blue Raspberry, and Pink Lemonade.
The grand opening celebrations at the WSF – located at 3480 Route 6 West, Kane – will be a weekend-long celebration of the innovative Sonshine spirit! Celebrations begin Friday, Aug. 25 at 4 p.m. with a variety of local food trucks available until 10 p.m. The ribbon cutting will be at 5 p.m. hosted by the Kane Area Development Center, and the band Mojo Dogs will be taking the stage from 7 to 10 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 26 will have the Kane Volunteer Fire Department serving up Chicken BBQ starting at noon until sold out! Local food trucks will be serving from noon until 10 p.m., and bands will start performing at 1 p.m. and continue till close at 10 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 27 will finish the celebrations strong with a Car & Bike show and food from local food trucks from noon to 4 p.m. The band Big Logic and the Truth Serum will rock out from 1 to 3 p.m.
All photos featured in this press release are credited to Wilds Sonshine Factory/Taylor McConnell.
ABOUT THE PA WILDS
The Pennsylvania Wilds is a 13-county region that includes the counties of Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Warren, and northern Centre. The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to integrate conservation and economic development in a way that inspires the communities of the Pennsylvania Wilds. The PA Wilds Center promotes the region and its 2+ million acres of public lands as a premier outdoor recreation destination as a way to diversify local economies, inspire stewardship, attract investment, retain population and improve quality of life. The PA Wilds Center’s core programs seek to help businesses leverage the PA Wilds brand and connect with new market opportunities, including: the Wilds Cooperative of PA, a network of more than 575 place-based businesses and organizations, and the PA Wilds Conservation Shop, a retail outlet primarily featuring products sourced from the WCO. For more information on the PA Wilds Center, visit www.PAWildsCenter.org. To learn more about the WCO, visit www.WildsCoPA.org. Explore the PA Wilds at www.PAWilds.com. Find regionally made products at www.ShopThePAWilds.com.
Britt Madera | Communications Manager
PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc.
[email protected] | 570-948-1051