Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Coal Miner’s Heritage Festival This Weekend

The 9th Annual Coal Miner’s Heritage Festival is set for Sunday July 10, 2016 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 45 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 1:00.

An exhibit of coal region art will be displayed as part of the festival including works by Frank Wyso, Jack Savitsky, Joe Evanousky, Scott Herring, Nicholas Bervinchak, Renie Novak, Louise Soloman, Joe Mataconis and others.

Exhibitors and vendors will fill the grounds surrounding the museum offering a variety of handmade or festival sale items.

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 local historical society exhibits, coal region beer trays advertising small town breweries in the anthracite coal region, a display of over 260 beer taps from breweries all over the US, WWI and WWII coal advertising posters, antique vehicles from the early 1900s, coal advertising signs from all over the region, 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.

A variety of great music typically found in the coal region will be featured throughout the Coal Miners Heritage Festival. Featured is the bluegrass and folk music of the popular Coal County Express band from 1 to 4 PM, the WMGH Polka Program live broadcast with Polka Joe Manjack from 10 to 1, DJ Shawn Frederickson will play other classic coal region music at various times during the day, and folk musician Dave Matsinko who will stroll the grounds from 11 to 3. 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.

A variety of free children’s entertainment will be offered including the popular old time coal sack races with prizes for the winners, Buster the Clown making balloon animals, and face painting.

The Coal Miners Heritage Festival is supported in part by a small grant from the Carbon County Commissioners and the County Room Tax Fund. To register as a participant or vendor, contact Dale at or by phone at 610-597-6722. For mine tour info call 570-645-7074.