Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Preparations Being Done for 33rd Annual Tamaqua Heritage Festival

Tamaqua Historical Society is busy preparing for its 33rd Annual Tamaqua Heritage Festival on Sunday October 8 from 10 to 5 PM in downtown Tamaqu

Registrations are still being accepted for craft and vendor spaces noted Dale Freudenberger, President. “Anyone still wanting a space downtown can email me at dalefreud@gmail.com or call at 610-597-6722. Email is preferred” he said. The Tamaqua Heritage Festival held each October, and the Tamaqua Summerfest, held each Father’s Day, are the two biggest events of the year when the community, friends and relatives come together to celebrate the seasons, our local history and customs and each other! The event is held rain or shine.

This year’s Tamaqua Heritage Festival will include crafts and street vendors selling all kinds of handmade crafts, seasonal creations, works of art, street wares and much more! Every booth has something different to offer. Many local organizations and fire companies will also be represented with information booths or selling fundraising items. Great food is always on everybody’s mind the day of the festival as they stroll by all kinds of homemade, ethnic and other popular festival foods scattered all along West Broad Street. Many wait until they make their first lap around the festival before choosing which main course and dessert they will indulge in! Whatever the choice they make, it is always a good one, including homemade soups, chili, bleenies, pierogies, pit beef or port sandwiches, barbecue, baked goods, pizza, fresh cut fries, steak or sausage sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, Hawaiian Ice, cotton candy, chicken sandwiches, shish kabobs, apple cider, homemade baked goods, ice cream and more! If you are more in the mood for a sit-down dinner with family, stop in one of our fine down town restaurants, sandwich shops, or visit the train station that day.

The new Tamaqua Area Historical Museum will be open for tours all day and features many great displays of local wildlife, native Americans, the towns founding, discovery and mining of coal, railroads, immigration and ethnic heritage, fraternal or
ganizations, death and burial customs, the Molly Maguires, police, agriculture, religion, theaters, dairies, breweries and hotels, explosives, early industry and manufacturing, textiles, military, schools, sports, scouting, Indian celebrations, banking, telephones, businesses and more. A special display in front of the Museum will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of World War One. Along the sidewalk leading to the train station, a second display of World War One will feature a costumed reenactor and a display of other WWI artifacts. The 1848 Hegarty Blacksmith Shop at the corner of Hegarty Avenue and Nescopeck Streets will be open with blacksmith Don Campbell demonstrating his skills at the forge and anvil. The 1801 Moser Log Home is closed presently for safety reasons and will hopefully reopen sometime next year. The new Museum Annex and Gallery will open in November. 

The Tamaqua Heritage Players, associated with the Tamaqua Historical Society, will present a special play titled “Day of the Rope” beginning at 1:30 PM indoors at the Tamaqua Community Art Center at 125 Pine Street. This special play written by local historian and playwright Bobby Maso, will commemorate the 104th anniversary of the “Day of the Rope” when ten Irish coal miners accused of being Molly Maguires were executed by hanging in Pottsville and Mauch Chunk. It focuses on the tumultuous, heart wrenching last 3 days of these men’s lives. A small donation is recommended at the door of the Art Center to see the 45 minute play. “Tamaqua was a hotbed of Molly Maguire activities during the period of 1860 to 1875, and we are very pleased to have the Tamaqua Heritage Players present this play the day of our Heritage Festival” said Freudenberger. “I encourage everyone to go to see this wonderful performance” Afterwards, the Heritage Players will be strolling around the festival and visiting the museum.

The Tamaqua Street machine Association will conduct their antique and classic car show from 10 to 3 on South Railroad Street between Cottage Avenue and Spruce Streets. Registration is free and done when you arrive with your car. People’s Choice trophies will be awarded at 3 PM. A disc jockey will be spinning classic tunes at the car show all day, so bring your great vehicle and show it off!

Other music around the festival area includes the WMGH Polka Program live broadcast with Polka Joe Manjack from 10 to 1 in front of the Museum, DJ Shawn from 1 to 5 at the same location. Folk musician and clogger, Jay Smar, will perform in front of the Hegarty Blacksmith Shop from 11 to 3. Folk musician Dave Matsinko will do strolling performances from 11 to 4 around the festival area.

Leiby’s Autumn harvest farm market will feature a vast array of seasonal homegrown fruits, vegetables and decorations like pumpkins, gourds, mums, corn stalks and bales of straw. Don’t forget to take home some of their great homemade apple cider, the best to be found in these parts! Leiby’s Carriage Service will be offering horsedrawn trolley rides around the festival featuring their beautiful Belgian draft horses. If you are into antiques and decorating, stop by Tink’s Antiques on South Railroad Street to check out their latest acquisitions. In front of the Museum the historical society will be selling their new full color, 2018 calendars full of scenes of Tamaqua. Also other unique local gift items like Tamaqua coverlets, 250th Anniversary of Anthracite license plates, Christmas balls and wood cutouts of local landmarks while they last, reproductions of early Tamaqua maps and photos and other local souvenirs. 

There will be face painting, amusements and games to keep the kids occupied along the festival route. Kids and adults alike will love the open house at the Tamaqua Anthracite Model Railroad Club at the corner of West Broad Street at Nescopeck from 9 to 5. 

Just a reminder…..there are no train rides offered during the Heritage Festival, only during the Summerfest and Santa Train Rides just before Christmas. To register as a vendor or crafter or to just ask questions, call 610-597-6722.