Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tamaqua Summerfest and Train Rides Scheduled for Father's Day

The 27th annual Tamaqua Summerfest will be held on Father’s Day Sunday June 18th from 10 to 5 in downtown Tamaqua.
This year’s Summerfest will include train rides, a large street fair, rubber duck race on the river, TSMA car show, great food, music, historical museum tours, reenactments, children’s entertainment, public art display, and more according to historical society president, Dale Freudenberger.

Presented annually by the Tamaqua Historical Society, the Tamaqua Summerfest is the first big celebration of the summer season in the Tamaqua area. The Tamaqua Summerfest spreads over several blocks of West Broad Street, as well as South Railroad Street, Berwick and part of Nescopeck Street and Hegarty Avenue in downtown Tamaqua. Crafters and a variety of vendors from all over will display their handcrafts and sale items along the busy thoroughfares. Always a popular attraction in Tamaqua, are the Summerfest train rides sponsored by the Tamaqua Historical Society in cooperation with Reading and Northern Railroad. Three train rides will be offered at 11:00 AM, 1:00 and 3:00 PM starting at the historic 1874 Tamaqua Railroad Station. The trips will be approximately 70 minutes roundtrip with the first trip heading south to New Ringgold and return and the second and third trips heading north through the Tamaqua Tunnel to the famous High Bridge trestle before returning. The train will be diesel powered and passengers will ride in vintage passenger coaches equipped with toilets. Advance ticket purchases are strongly recommended. Tickets can only be purchased in person only at Tink’s Antique Shop located on South Railroad Street next to the public library, one block south of the train station. Tink’s Antiques are open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 to 5 PM and Sunday from 12 to 4 PM for ticket sales and browsing. Cash, check or credit cards accepted in person. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone using a credit or debit card by calling the historical society at 610-597-6722 and the paid tickets will be held for pickup at the train station the day of the Summerfest. Ticket prices are $14 for adults age 13 and older, $9 for children age 3 through 12,

and children age 2 and under are free with an accompanying adult. Trains run rain or shine and tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis. There are no assigned seats on the train and limited seating is available, so purchase your tickets early. Any remaining tickets not sold in advance will be sold the day of the Summerfest in front of the Tamaqua Railroad Station. The Tamaqua Street Machine Association will conduct its annual Summerfest Car Show featuring antique and classic cars from 10 to 3 PM along South Railroad Street. ‘People’s Choice’ trophies will be presented to the top three vote getters. Prizes will be awarded at 3 PM. Registration is free, just show up! Everyone is welcome! A disc jockey will spin favorite tunes for the car enthusiasts. At 1:30, the new Tamaqua Historical Reenactors Committee will present a historical reenanctment of an authentic Irish breaker boy’s funeral Wake inside the Tamaqua Museum Annex at 114 West Broad St. This reenactment is part of the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of anthracite coal in the region. Admission is free and the program will last 30 to 45 minutes inside the Museum Annex. Blacksmith Don Campbell of Hazleton area will demonstrate his skills in the 1848 Hegarty Blacksmith Shop, located on Hegarty Avenue. Hegarty’s Shop was the oldest continually run business in Schuylkill County when it closed in 1974 after being operated by three generations of the Hegarty family since 1848. Freudenberger said “The 1801 Moser Log Home on East Broad St. is presently closed and awaiting permits and replacement of the porch and stairway before it can be reopened to the public for tours. The Hegarty Blacksmith Shop, Moser Log Home, and the Tamaqua Area Historical Museum are all owned and cared for by the Tamaqua Historical Society. A Rubber Duck Race on the Little Schuylkill River is planned by the Tamaqua Fire Police Association and will be held at 3 PM on the Little Schuylkill River in the center of town. The start line will be the Elm Street bridge, and the finish line is just south of the Cedar Street bridge near Boyer’s Market. Prizes will be awarded. Purchase your tickets from any fire police members or the day of the Summerfest downtown. Call Bob Schlorf at 570-778-6403 for advance tickets,. Rain date for the Rubber Duck Race will be June 25.

Leiby’s Carriage Service will provide horsedrawn trolley car rides pulled by their beautiful Belgian Draft Horses throughout the downtown. Visitors can board the trolley along Berwick Street near Wachovia Bank. Along east and west Broad Street, visitors will be able to view the new “Tamaqua Has Heart” public art project at various locations. The Tamaqua Art Center will have a booth along the station sidewalk with more information about this exciting art project in downtown Tamaqua. Tons of delicious ethnic and favorite festival foods will be offered by vendors and organizations along the festival route. Everything from homemade bleenies, halupki, halushki, pierogies, steak sandwiches, Hawaiian Ice, fresh cut french fries, cotton candy, fudge, lemonade, homemade soups, pizza, funnel cake, to Caribbean cuisine, Italian ice, meatball subs, pit barbecue sandwiches, bake sales, and fruit salad, there is something for every appetite! Many other indoor dining opportunities and special menu items will be offered at the many fine restaurants and shops in downtown Tamaqua during the Summerfest. A variety of music will entertain visitors including a live broadcast of the WMGH Polka Program with Polka Joe Manjack from 10 to 1. DJ Shawn Frederickson will be spinning your favorite summertime tunes from 1 to 5, Buster the Clown will entertain the kids with ballon animals, and a variety of games and a bounce house will be setup downtown. Many local organizations will display their items and have fundraising sales that day.

Come out and show them your support.

For more information on the Summerfest or to register as a vendor or exhibitor, contact the Tamaqua Historical Society at 610-597-6722 or by email to

The Tamaqua Summerfest is a great way for the entire family to celebrate Father’s Day with dad! Free

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