"Patch Town Days," Eckley Miners' Village's annual Anthracite Heritage Festival, will be celebrated Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be sporting a new thespian air.
The festival celebrates the customs and traditions of the anthracite coal region with a kaleidoscope of music, art, food, living history presentations, crafters and other period activities.
Three plays will be presented, all performed by Eckley Volunteers and Players. Plays will vary between 10 minutes and a half-hour, and will be performed at various locales throughout the Village. Play times are yet to be announced.
Plays included "The Avondale Miner Disaster," a look back at that horrific event; "The Face on the Barroom Floor," a dramatization of a poem by Hugh D'Arcy; and "A Polish Miner," a presentation on the life of a miner as well as readings from the Polish poet Anton Piotorowski.
A raft of new entertainments and exhibits highlight this year's festival, including "Carousel Melodies," an animated band performing old-time music. "Cracked Walnuts," a roving banjo and washboard band, will stroll the village entertaining the throngs while Dr. Kelly's Old Time Medicine Show will provide 15-minute presentations every hour based on a 1800s medicine show.
Also new is a demonstration of period lawn furniture and a new vendor, European Treasures, who will offer Tonalo pottery, art glass, handcrafted bath and body items and exotic coffee and cocoas. The Tremont Historical Society also debuts this year, with a display on mining and small town memorabilia.
Longtime crowd favorites also return, ranging from bee keepers to soap making, an Irish wake to a mining display, a coal picking demonstration to historical children's games.
There will also be a silversmith, Victorian Highwheelers and the Carpatho-Rusyn Society (Eastern Pa. Society), with a presentation on the Latimer Coal Mine Disaster and a cultural display.
There will also be a wide variety of food available.
The Village's historic buildings will be open and staffed with interpreters. There will be crafters and artisans galore, all with their items on display and for sale. Visitors will be able to view such old-time domestic chores as coal cracking and hand-scrubbing laundry. There will also be exhibits from the Wilkes University Polish Room.
Eckley is located just off Route 940 in Luzerne County, 10 miles east of downtown Hazleton.
For additional information, call the Village at (570) 636-2070, or visit its website at www.eckleyminersvillagemuseum.com.
Eckley Miners' Village is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission with active support from the Eckley Miners' Village Associates.