The 6th Annual Coal Miner's Heritage Festival is set for Sunday, July 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum in Lansford, Carbon County.

This unique, fun and educational annual event celebrates northeastern Pennsylvania's coal region history, culture, art, crafts, food, and music. The event is presented by the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum and draws throngs of people each year. This is the largest event put on each year by No. 9 Mine and Museum. Admission to the festival grounds and parking are free.

Underground tours of the No. 9 Coal Mine will be available throughout the day. No. 9 is the world's oldest deep mine, having been opened in 1855 by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company and closed in 1972. Guided underground mine tours last approximately 45 minutes and are available throughout the day.

Visitors will ride into the mine in the safety of mine cars pulled by an original mine locomotive. The nearby No. 9 Coal Mining Museum in the original 1920s era miner's wash shanty houses one of the largest collections of anthracite coal mining artifacts, tools, photographs and memorabilia in the coal region.

Many unique attractions and exhibits will be offered. In keeping with the theme, the coal miner's competition is always a favorite event. Anyone over the age of sixteen is invited to participate in the coal shoveling competition where competitors shovel a pile of coal in the shortest time. In past years, this had been a very competitive event drawing numerous competitors. Trophies will be awarded to winners.

Special exhibits of coal region art and photography will include works of Frank Wyso, Joe Evanousky, and Scott Herring. Smaller exhibits will showcase other popular coal region artists: Jack Savitsky, Nicholas Bervinchak, Renie Novak and others.

Exhibitors and vendors will fill the grounds surrounding the museum offering a large variety of homemade and traditional crafts and items including coal region T-shirts, hats and souvenirs, coal region artwork, handcrafts, regional history books, handmade jewelry, nature photographs, stained glass creations, wood crafts, rocks, minerals and fossils, coal souvenirs, wreaths, knitted, crocheted and sewn items, antiques and collectibles, and much more.

A large variety of interesting and fun exhibits will highlight coal region heritage and culture. The old time 'Wash House" display features one man's collection and exhibit highlighting the evolution of washing clothes from early hand washing techniques to early electric washing machines made of copper.

Other attractions include local historical society exhibits, a large private collection of antique coal company signs from the anthracite coal region, over one hundred coal region beer trays advertising small town breweries in eastern Pa., and original World War I and World War II coal advertising posters.

Other exhibits include antique vehicles, Mine Safety and Rescue displays, a restored vintage mine train, Victorian burial customs, an antique moonshine still exhibit, and the miners 'bath day' and 'wash day in the patch' exhibits.

A variety of music typically found in the coal region will be featured as well, including award winning and nationally acclaimed performer Ray Owen who will present three of his popular heritage themed musical programs of music from the coal mines, railroads, and Civil War.

Reenactors from the Eckley Patchtown Players will stroll the grounds in their authentic outfits, performing skits, telling stories, and sharing tales throughout the day. Dr. Kelly's Old time Traveling Medicine Show will also entertain the crowd throughout the day with his interesting elixirs that cure any ailment for human or beast.

A variety of homemade, coal region ethnic foods and festival favorites will be featured including halupki, blennies, halushki, pierogies, sausage sandwiches, pulled pork, hand cut french fries, corn on the cob, cheese steaks, wood-fired pizza, meatball subs, funnel cake, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, hot wings, sno-cones, shaved ice, ice cream sundaes, homemade desserts, cotton candy, homemade fudge and candy.

A variety of free children's entertainment will be offered including the popular old time coal sack races with prizes for the winners. Buster the Clown will make balloon animals for the children. Other offerings include face painting, glitter body art, rock painting, and sand art.

Numerous local and regional organizations will be represented at the festival with exhibits or booths including the National Canal Museum, DEP Mine Safety and Rescue Unit, Holmes Mine Safety Assn., Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Eckley Miners Village, Lansford Historical Society, Lansford Fire Department, Summit Hill Community Improvement Organization, Summit Hill Heritage Center, Carbon County Navy Club, Carbon County Labor Society and others.

Coal region folk have a reputation of helping out worthy causes and helping their neighbors in need, so it is appropriate that the Miller-Keystone Blood Mobile will be part of the festival seeking donations of much needed blood during the day.

Visitors can pose for photos by historic mine lokie No. 51, once owned and operated by Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company in the Panther Creek Valley. The lokie has been cosmetically restored by volunteers at No. 9 and is proudly displayed on the grounds outside the museum.

The Coal Miners Heritage Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Carbon County Commissioners and the County Room Tax Fund. Event organization assistance is provided through support from the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. To register as a participant, contact Dale Freudenberger at dale@delawareandlehigh.org or by phone at (610) 377-4063.