Go Joe XIII rolled into Tamaqua on Wednesday and received a warm welcome.
The annual fundraising bicycle tour of WNEP Channel 16 morning meteorologist Joe Snedeker rode across Schuylkill and Carbon counties on the third day of his trek, and a throng of hundreds greeted him during his officially scheduled stop at Depot Square Park, at the Five Points Intersection of state routes 209 and 309.
This is the 13th year for Snedeker's bike tour, which raises funds for St. Joseph's Center for severally mentally and physically handicapped children and young adults in Dunmore.
The tour organizers had scheduled Tamaqua as a stop for its noontime news broadcast. Snedeker was preceded in Tamaqua by an RV and a WNEP mobile unit in order to televise his visit live.
Snedeker began his Wednesday journey in Pine Grove, leaving at 8 a.m. He pedaled the approximately 40 miles to Tamaqua, eventually moving onto SR209 and riding through Middleport, Brockton, Tuscarora, Reevesdale and Newkirk before hitting Broad Street in Tamaqua.
By the time Snedeker's bike arrived at Depot Square at 12:06 p.m. the WNEP noon newscast was already underway and Snedeker made his way through the crowd in order to do his on-air actuality.
The midday temperatures were once again scorching, but Snedeker made light of the heat. "I wish it were hotter. Sunnier would be great," quipped the weatherman. "We need more heat. I'm ready for a big bonfire."
Among those greating Snedeker were the Tamaqua Knee-Hi Cheerleaders, who led a "Go Joe" cheer for him.
As the purpose of Snedeker's trek is to raise funds for St. Joseph's, he was presented with checks from a number of Tamaqua area organizations, as well a jar of pennies. A water jug of bills which was collected at the park.
State Senator David Argall (R-29) and State Representative Jerry Knowles (R-124) turned out to present Snedeker with citations from the Senate and House of Representatives.
Linda Yulanavage, executive director of the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce, which helped publicize Snedeker's stop, mentioned a few more donations.
Nancy and Rachael Paisley presented Snedeker with a check for $432.20 on behalf of Girl Scout Troop 1211, which placed 35 canisters in various businesses and locations in the community.
The Tamaqua Hi-Rise Tenants Association presented him with a check for $250.
The Tamaqua LEO Club gave him a plaque, making him an honorary member, as well as a check for $50.
Joe Pilla, owner of Skipper Dippers in Ginthers, gave Snedeker a milk crate with eight of his Go Joe milkshakes, which combine peanut butter, bananas and vanilla no fat/no sugar yogurt. The proceeds from the sales of the shakes, as well as a special that included selling cheesestakes named for another WNEP weatherman, Kurt Aaron, were also presented to Snedeker in the form of a check for $800.
Snedeker also received a check for $203 from the owners and patrons of The Restaurant at The Station, where he and his crew ate lunch. On the menu for the day: Go Joe Buffalo Pierogies.
After his Tamaqua stop, Snedeker continued on 209 through Coaldale, Lansford and Nesquehoning and up SR93 to Hudsondale, then through Weatherly and White Haven to the completion of this phase of the trip at Mountaintop.