The Tamaqua Historical Society will present the 23rd Annual Tamaqua Summerfest on Father's day, Sunday June 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Tamaqua.

This is a free event offering entertainment for the entire family, according to organizers.

"Summerfest is a great way to kick off the summer season and celebrate Father's Day with Dad and the entire family," said Dale Freudenberger, society president.

The Tamaqua Summerfest is held mostly outdoors and covers a five block area of downtown and side streets.

"Lots of fun awaits children and those who are young at heart," said Freudenberger.

The Eclectic Circus will perform next to the Tamaqua Area School District administration building on West Broad Street with shows at noon and 1:30.

"Visitors will be amazed at the excitement and fun this circus brings to town," said Freudenberger.

Buster the Clown will stroll throughout the festival area making balloon animals for the kids. Smokey Bear also will make a special appearance and will pose for pictures with festival goers.

The Victorian Highwheelers of Tamaqua will ride their vintage human-powered machines along the festival route and chat with visitors.

A large craft and street fair will be part of the scene along West Broad and Nescopec streets. Vendors from all over the region will display hand crafts, unique items, jewelry, clothing, antiques, and more.

Many local organizations will hold fundraising events.

"Hungry appetites will have tons of great food to pick from made by local organizations and street vendors. There will be something for everyone including sit down meals in downtown restaurants and organizations," said Freudenberger.

The Tamaqua Gallery located inside the Chamber of Commerce office on West Broad Street will feature a special exhibit of Tamaqua area photographs by Tamaqua native Scott Herring.

Nationally known as "The last Anthracite Photographer," Herring hails from Tamaqua and his exhibit focuses on local scenes during the last forty years.

"Stop in to check out all the great photographs and read each description," said Freudenberger. "You may recognize many of the people in the photos. Prints of two special photos will be available for sale to benefit renovations to the Tamaqua Museum. Free tours of local historic sites will be offered.

Blacksmith Don Campbell will work the forge and anvil in the 1848 Hegarty Blacksmith Shop on Hegarty Avenue.

The Moser Log Home will not open for the festival due to the bridge closure.

However, the 1874 Tamaqua Railroad Station will feature an open house. Visitors can meet and greet the owners of the new Vonz Restaurant, set to open on Wednesday following the festival.

The Tamaqua Anthracite Model Railroad Club will feature an open house at its oversized model train display located in the lower level of the Masonic Building on Nescopeck Street.

The Tamaqua Historical Society Museum at 118 W. Broad Street is currently closed awaiting the start of major renovations. The Society will feature a special exhibit of vintage local photographs on tables in front of the museum as part of the Summerfest.

Old time horse drawn trolley car rides will be offered around the festival streets pulled by Leiby's famous Belgian Draft horses. Artist Stephen Bennett will host an open house at his studio on West Broad Street in the former First Presbyterian Church. Visitors are welcome to stop by to see his portraits and learn more about his 'Faces of the World' project which leads him to the far corners of the earth.

The Tamaqua Street Machine Association will showcase antique and classic cars from 10 to 3 along South Railroad Street. People's Choice trophies will be presented to the top three vote-getters, plus a coveted Mayor's Choice trophy is to be awarded as well. Prizes will be announced at 3 p.m. Registration is free and all car enthusiasts are welcome. A DJ will be on hand, spinning the favorite oldies for car show enthusiasts. There is no charge for the car show.

The always popular Polka Joe Manjack of WLSH will be playing polka tunes and chatting with festival goers in front of the Tamaqua Museum on West Broad Street from 10 to 1 p.m. followed my DJ Brandon Fritz in the afternoon.

Jack Kulp and his group '3 AM (aging musicians)' will perform in front of M&S Hardware at West Broad and Railroad Streets.

The Tamaqua Community Arts Center will feature an open house inside the former Salem Church at 125 Pine Street (Rt. 309 North) across from the Family Dollar shopping center.

Summerfest is one of the largest annual celebrations in downtown Tamaqua and is held rain or shine. For more information, call the Chamber office, (570) 668-1880.