The Gathering will hold its 8th annual event on October 1 at the Trout Run Covered Bridge, Seventh Street, Slatington. The Gathering will be held rain or shine. Sponsored by the Northern Lehigh Historical Society (NLHS), The Gathering has grown in size and popularity over the years as more and more families come to enjoy the festivities, beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing until closing.

The afternoon and night are filled with music played by popular bands such as Jump Start (5-9 p.m. main stage), Good Friday (7:30-9:30 main stage) and Mike Peters (10 to closing bier garten). Food vendors that specialize in home-style coal region specialties feature Halupkies (stuffed cabbage rolls) and cabbage and noodles plus other culinary delights that include Texas-style smoked beef and hot dogs are looked forward to by those who come every year to enjoy a satisfying meal with family and friends under covered tents.

Aside from the traditional Great Slatington Duck Race there's a raffle drawing that offers an opportunity to win $10,000 in cash (participants do not have to be present to win).There's also the reputed Chinese Auction featuring select baskets and generous gift certificates donated by local businesses and individuals

A, relaxing wagon ride along the three-mile groomed trail is another way to see the many amenities that have been added over the years to enhance the "Slate Heritage Trail." The refurbished Trout Run Covered Bridge and the Bed Bug Garden, an alcove nestled along the trail that preserves part of Slatington's rich history, offer residents and visitors a pleasant diversion from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The Slate Belt Heritage Trail is linked to the 15 miles of the neighboring D&L trail that runs from Bowmanstown to Cementon 'As with the D&L Trail, the Slate Heritage Trail is suitable for hikers, bikers and horseback riding.

Fireworks end the evening at the bier garten that is now housed under a brand-new pavilion. Parking is available at the Slatington Bob Labold Maintenance Building (West Church Street). Handicapped parking is available next to the garages at the Covered Bridge. There is no parking along Seventh Street or at the Covered Bridge.

For more information: (610) 760-9281 or email at NLHS101@hotmail.com. Details can be found at www.nothernlehighhistoricalsociety.com.