Thursday, July 6, 2017

10th Annual Coal Miner's Heritage Festival This Sunday

The 10th Annual Coal Miner’s Heritage Festival is set for Sunday July 9, 2017 from 10 AM to 5 PM, on the grounds of the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum in Lansford, Carbon County. 

 This unique, fun and educational event celebrates northeastern Pennsylvania’s coal region history, culture, art, crafts, food, and music. The event is presented by the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum in Lansford and draws throngs of people each year to the popular event. Admission to the festival grounds and parking are free.

Underground tours of the No. 9 Coal Mine will be available throughout the day for a nominal charge. No. 9 is the world’s oldest deep mine having been opened in 1855 by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company and closed in 1972. The guided underground mine tours last approximately forty-five minutes and are available throughout the day Visitors will ride into the mine in the safety of mine cars pulled by an original mine locomotive. The nearby No. 9 Coal Mining Museum, housed in the original 1920’s era miner’s wash shanty, houses one of the largest collections of anthracite coal mining artifacts, tools, photographs and memorabilia in the coal region.

Many unique attractions and exhibits are offered as part of this year’s Coal Miners Heritage Festival. In keeping with the theme, the coal miner’s competition is always a favorite event. Anyone over the age of sixteen is invited to participate in the coal shoveling competition where competitors shovel a pile of coal in the shortest time. In past years, this had been a very competitive event drawing participants from all over the region. Trophies will be awarded to the winners. The coal shoveling competition will begin at 2:00. Lehigh Anthracite will offer bus tourd of their mining operations at 12, 2 and 4 pm. Seating is very limited on each tour, so tickets will be sold on Sunday on a first come, first served basis at the bus.

Exhibitors and vendors will fill the grounds surrounding the museum offering a variety of handmade or festival sale items. Dedication of the new Veterans Garden and a flag raising ceremony will take place at 10:30. AM. A new Coal Miners mural on the front of the former dynamite bunker will also be dedicated.

Many interesting and fun exhibits will highlight coal region heritage and culture. The old time ‘Wash Day’ demonstrations will show the evolution and chore of washing clothes by hand in the coal patch towns. There will also be an exhibit and explanation of Civil War period medicine that was used to treat the wounded. Other exhibits include 19th century death, mourning and funeral customs, local historical society exhibits, a select sample of antique vehicles from the early 1900s, Mine Safety and Rescue displays, a restored vintage mine lokie, an operating antique coal screen, a display of old time moonshine making equipment, and the miners ‘bath day’ display. Lehigh Anthracite will exhibit one or two pieces of the strip mining equipment.

A variety of great music typically found in the coal region will be featured throughout the day. Featured is famed coal region folk musician and storyteller Van Wagner, the WMGH Polka Program live broadcast with Polka Joe Manjack, and DJ Shawn Frederickson will play other classic coal region music throughout the day. Coal region re-enactors will stroll the grounds in their authentic ‘patch town’ outfits, performing skits, telling stories, and sharing tales throughout the day.

A variety of homemade, coal region ethnic foods and festival favorites will be featured including halupki, halushki, pierogies, ham and bean soup. fresh tapped birch beer, french fries, cheese steaks, meatball subs, deep fried corn on the cob, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, shaved ice, funnel cake, deep fried Oreos, lemon and orangeade, cotton candy, penny candies, baked goods, and more.

Free children’s entertainment will be offered including the popular old time coal sack races with prizes for the winners, and the Kiddie Korner with games, rock painting, and more for the children. Buster the Clown will be on hand making balloon animals, and doing face painting.

You can still register as a vendor or crafter by contacting Dale at dalefreud@gmail.com or by phone at 610-597-6722. For mine tour info call 570-645-7074.

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