The Anthracite Heritage Festival will be held at the Mauch Chunk Lake Park on Saturday, Sept. 19. There will also be a special open mic night on Friday evening where campers and guests can take the main stage to display their talents. The Friday night open mic will run from 6-10 p.m. for anyone who may be interested in participating.
Saturday will feature a line-up of bluegrass performers throughout the day and evening. New to the event this year are Cabinet and Mason Porter. The event will also include a variety of food vendors, crafters, and historical exhibits, as well as, environmental programs and free activities including hayrides and pumpkin painting.
The performances will begin at 10 a.m. when Jupiter's Arrow takes the stage followed by Texas Rose at 11:15, The Three of Us at 12:30, Mason Porter at 1:45, Blue Roots at 3 p.m., Cabinet at 5 p.m., Coal County Express at 6:15 p.m., Aimless Pursuit at 7:30 p.m., and Jay Smar at 8:45 p.m.
The performers will also be providing a number of workshops during the day. A guitar workshop for the youth is going to be held at the Koch-Wildoner pavilion beginning at 12:00 p.m. Additional workshops will be available.
The event will also feature a number of historical exhibits relating to local history and in particular Anthracite Coal Mining. The #9 Mine & Museum will be displaying coal mining artifacts and memorabilia as well as information relating to their museum and deep mine tours. Other exhibits will include the Anthracite Living History Group, Switchback Gravity Railroad Foundation, Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center, Huber Breaker Preservation Society, Ironton Rail Trail, Anthracite Heritage Alliance, and the D&L National Heritage Corridor. A coal miner's postage stamp rally is also being planned by SHCIO and the Summit Hill Historical Society.
Additionally, the Carbon County Environmental Education Center will be providing informational programs throughout the day. There will be hands-on environmental displays, as well as, live animals. The Carbon County 4-H program will be sponsoring pumpkin painting and will be distributing goodie bags for children. The 4-H will also have pumpkin bread and other baked items available for sampling.
The Eastern PA Coalition of Abandoned Mine Reclamation will be returning for a third year. The EPCAMR group will again have their signature t-shirts to dye. The American Chestnut Foundation will also provide information on their efforts aimed at restoring the American chestnut tree on mine property.
Crafters and Exhibits will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and food vendors will be on hand during the evening hours for those late night cravings. There will be a variety of food including hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, pierogies, pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, corn on the cob, as well as other festival favorites including funnel cakes, ice cream, and fruit smoothies.
This is the third annual Anthracite Heritage Festival. The event drew nearly 2,000 participants last year. The event is coordinated by the Carbon County Parks Department. For more information on the festival, contact the park office at (570) 325-3669.