Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Tamaqua Summerfest Returning for Father's Day

The 28th annual Tamaqua Summerfest will be held this Father’s Day Sunday June 16th from 10 to 5 in downtown Tamaqua. 

This year’s Summerfest will feature a large street fair, handmade crafts, street vendors, rubber duck race on the river, car show, great food, a variety of music, children’s rides and games, petting zoo, clown, a community mural project, belly dancers, blacksmithing demonstrations, Museum and blacksmith shop tours, strolling performances, Tamaqua author new book signing, costumed coal miners, strolling historical reenactors, horsedrawn trolley car rides, Fathers Day specials at Tamaqua’s two craft breweries, dining specials at many downtown restaurants, and many local organization booths from schools, scout groups, fire companies, animal rescue, fire police and more! 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. Handmade crafters and many street vendors from all over will display their items for sale items along the busy thoroughfares.

New this year, we are welcoming the Jukebox Cruisers Car Club who has taken over the Tamaqua Summerfest Car Show following the disbanding of the Tamaqua Street Machine Association last year. The Summerfest Car Show begins at 10:00 on Sunday along South Railroad Street beginning at the Tamaqua Public Library. Three ‘People’s Choice’ trophies will be presented to the top three vote getters at 3 PM. Registration is free, and we encourage vehicle owners to bring out their antique, classic, or street rod vehieles to show them off. There is no fee and all are welcome! Music will be provided by the Juke Box Cruisers Car Club. Also new this year, is our official Summerfest Car Show sponsor, All American Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram from Route 309 north in Tamaqua. They will also be displaying one of their new vehicles at the car show, so come out and welcome them. Also new this year are kiddie amusement rides and a children’s train along the first block of South Railroad Street. There will also be children’s games, a bounce house, and a petting zoo there as well. Buster the Clown will be strolling the festival route making balloon animals for the kids.

The Rubber Ducky Race on the Little Schuylkill River is planned by the Tamaqua Fire Police Association and will be held 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 at their table downtown. Call Bob Schlorf at 570-778-6403 for advance tickets.

Blacksmith and Farrier Don Campbell of the 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. It is now owned and operated by the Tamaqua Historical Society. The Tamaqua Historical Society Museum at 118 West Broad Street inside the former 1905 First National Bank Building on West Broad Street will also be open. It is one of the regions best and largest local history museums. Admission is free and there is much to see and learn from a visit to the museum. The Tamaqua Heritage Players will be strolling through the downtown dressed in period costumes. A display of coal mining artifacts and two miners dressed in century old garb will be out in front of the museum. 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.

Tons of delicious ethnic and favorite festival foods will be offered by vendors and organizations along the festival route. Everything from homemade coal region favorites such as bleenies, halupki, halushki, pierogies and potato candy, to steak sandwiches, Hawaiian Ice, fresh cut french fries, Volcano drinks, cotton candy, lemonade, homemade soups, Italian Ice, pizza, funnel cake, Caribbean cuisine, meatball subs, pit barbecue sandwiches, Greek food, home baked goods, and more! 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 The Faculty Brass Band who will be strolling and performing along the festival route from 11:30 to 2:30, a live broadcast of the WMGH Polka

Program with Polka Joe Manjack from 10 to 1 in front of the Tamaqua Museum. DJ Shawn Frederickson will be spinning your favorite summertime tunes from 1 to 5, and there will also be a DJ at the car show from 10 to 5. The summertime fun continues when the belly dancers perform along the festival route!

86 year old native Tamaqua resident and first time author Sam Geissinger will be downtown selling and autographing copies of his fascinating new book titled “The Provacative Barbarian.”

The new “Tamaqua Choose Happiness” public mural project will be located in Depot Square Park at the Five Points Intersection. Visitors are encouraged to stop by and participate by helping to paint a portion of this giant mural which will be eventually displayed on the side of the Verizon Building in town. This is a project of the Tamaqua Area High School Graphic Arts students, Tamaqua Community Art Center, the Walk- In Art Center, Verizon, Schuylkill County I.U., and Personal Touch by Debbie Gilbert along with guest artists Julie Domossy Richards and Lori Remmel. The mural represents hundreds of things in our community that bring people happiness all on the giant mural! Stop by and be a part of the painting process that day.

Tamaqua’s very popular two new craft breweries that have opened during this past year will be participating in Summerfest by offering specials at their respective locations. Stokers Brewery on Mauch Chunk Street will be open 12 to 7 on Father’s Day with $3.50 pints of their special “Stogaarden” Belgian Wit. They also have 14 handcrafted beers brewed on site, outdoor seating and a secluded backyard biergarten with corn hole game. Revere Brewing located at the far eastern end of Broad Street next to Sisters Cantina will also be open 12 to 7 featuring $2 off of flights. They also have 9 handcrafted beers brewed on site. Both breweries have unique atmospheres inside to welcome visitors.

If you are into antiques, then there are special hours at two large Tamaqua facilities. Tink’s Antiques will be open 10 to 4 on Father’s Day and has two floors of antiques, collectibles and jewelry to browse in a historic three story brick warehouse on South Railroad Street. There is a special opening of Lizard Creek Valley Antiques on Father’s Day located in the historic Bischoff Building and warehouse on both Lafeyette Street and Rowe Street in Tamaqua offering a closeout of everything including primitives, architectural doors, windows, shutters and antique hardware, chairs, farm items, and loads of antique lumber and salvaged wood pieces.

Many local school, scouting, fire company, sports, animal rescue and other organizations will be displaying their items and have fundraising sales that day. Come out and show them your support. For more information on the Tamaqua Summerfest or to register as a vendor or exhibitor, contact Dale at the Tamaqua Historical Society at 610-597-6722 or by email to dalefreud@gmail.com. The Tamaqua Summerfest is a great way for the entire family to celebrate Father’s Day with dad! Free admission and free parking!

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