Wednesday, August 30, 2023

16th Annual Coal Miner’s Heritage Festival and Picnic to Take Place in Lansford

LANSFORD — The eagerly anticipated 16th Annual Coal Miner’s Heritage Festival and Picnic is set to unfold on Sunday, September 3, 2023, from 10 AM to 5 PM at the grounds of the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum in Lansford, Carbon County, PA. This year's edition promises a captivating blend of history, culture, entertainment, and mouthwatering culinary delights.
A celebration of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Coal Region history, the annual Coal Miner's Heritage Festival showcases the region's culture, ethnicity, crafts, food, music, art, customs, and traditions. Marking a special convergence this year, the festival coincides with the annual Labor Day Weekend Ethnic Food Picnic on Sunday, September 3, offering visitors an enriched experience.

Originally planned for July but rescheduled due to heavy rainfall at the time, the festival is now gearing up for a successful run with ideal weather conditions forecasted for the Labor Day Weekend. "The weather for this Labor Day Weekend is looking great," assured Dale Freudenberger, Secretary of the organizing committee.

For those seeking last-minute opportunities to showcase their crafts or goods, registrations for crafters and street vendors are still open. Interested parties can secure their spots by contacting Dale via email at or by phone at 610-597-6722. "The Annual Coal Miners Heritage Festival is presented by the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum in Lansford and is our largest annual event," stated Freudenberger.

Entrance to the festival grounds and parking are free of charge, and the event is scheduled to proceed rain or shine. The venue, located at 9 West Dock St. in Lansford, PA, will host an array of crafters, artists, street vendors, collectors, as well as local and regional organizations, offering a diverse range of unique items for sale.

The festival will also feature a notable highlight in the form of a large basket raffle, boasting enticing prizes. All proceeds from the raffle will be directed towards benefiting No. 9 Mine. On the day of the festival, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for this exciting raffle.

A cornerstone of the event, the coal miner’s competition, is expected to draw considerable attention. Open to participants aged sixteen and above, the coal shoveling competition challenges contestants to clear a pile of coal in the shortest duration possible. The competition, which has historically attracted participants from across Pennsylvania, will commence at 2:00 PM and has no entry fee. Winners of the competition will be awarded handcrafted trophies.

Throughout the festival, visitors will have the chance to embark on an underground tour of the No. 9 Coal Mine for a nominal fee. With its origins dating back to 1855, the No. 9 Mine stands as the world's oldest operating deep mine. Guided tours of the mine will be available throughout the day, offering insight into the region's coal mining history.

Adjacent to the mine lies the No. 9 Coal Mining Museum, housed in a historic 1912 brick miner’s wash shanty. The museum hosts an extensive collection of anthracite coal mining artifacts, tools, photographs, and memorabilia, providing an immersive look into the coal region's heritage.

Beyond these attractions, a variety of engaging outdoor exhibits will shine a spotlight on the Anthracite Coal Region's rich heritage and culture. Interactive demonstrations will showcase traditional practices like 'Wash Day' chores and insights into death, mourning, and burial customs of the region. Local historical societies, regional history organizations, and the Tamaqua Anthracite Model Railroad Club will also contribute to the cultural tapestry of the festival.

Musical performances will resonate throughout the day, echoing the coal region's musical traditions. Acclaimed folk musicians, polka programs, and other cultural performances will create a vibrant ambiance for attendees. The festival will also feature enticing culinary options, with a diverse array of homemade ethnic foods and summertime favorites.

A focal point of children's entertainment, the festival will feature engaging activities such as coal sack races, a bounce house, kiddie train rides, and balloon animals crafted by "Buster the Clown."

For those interested in registering as crafters or vendors, or for any inquiries related to the festival, contact Dale Freudenberger at or by phone at 610-597-6722. Email correspondence is preferred for ease of communication.