For two decades, a popular downtown street fair has kicked off the summer season in the Tamaqua area with free entertainment and activities for the family.
On Sunday, that tradition continues as the Tamaqua Historical Society presents the 20th Annual Tamaqua Summerfest.
The Father's Day event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is presented free of charge.
The Summerfest midway spreads over several blocks of West Broad Street plus South Railroad Street to Spruce, Berwick and Nescopec streets, and Hegarty Avenue.
Although the festival itself kicks off at 10 a.m., some attractions will take place earlier.
For instance, a unique 19th century church service will be featured at 9:30 a.m. at Salem United Methodist Church, Pine Street. The public is invited to attend.
A train theme will be hard to miss at this year's event.
Railfans, memorabilia collectors, and anyone with a curiosity about trains are invited to a train show and swap at the Tamaqua Salvation Army Community Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Brandywine Miniature Railroad will offer free rides for children and adults along Hegarty Avenue all day.
In addition, the Tamaqua Anthracite Model Railroad Club will feature an open house at its panoramic model train display at the corner of Nescopec and West Broad streets.
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 handicrafts, food and sale items along the busy thoroughfare.
An emphasis on learning will be featured at the 1848 Hegarty Blacksmith Shop where free forge demonstrations by resident blacksmith Don Campbell will offer a glimpse into life in the early 1800s.
Returning to the festival this year will be the magic and laughter of Dr. Wahoo's Traveling Medicine Show, including the see-it-to-believe-it Phydos Flying Flea Circus.
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 to show up on Sunday to display their special set of wheels. A DJ will be on hand, spinning the favorite oldies.
Always a crowd pleaser, the Victorian Highwheelers of Tamaqua will demonstrate their vintage highwheel bicycles along the festival route throughout the day. The group will be making its first "at home" appearance this year after being featured in parades and festivals in Shamokin, Girardville and Northumberland.
Free tours of the 1801 Moser Log Home, the first house in Tamaqua, will be conducted from 11 to 3 by costumed members of the historical society. The Moser Home is located on East Broad Street near the corner of Greenwood Street. Similarly, the Tamaqua Historical Society Museum, 118 W. Broad Street, will be open all day, as well as the 1874 Tamaqua train station. In addition, horse-drawn trolley rides will be offered at Berwick Street.
The first public book signing for the newly released "Iron Steps - Illustrated History of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania," by author Donald Serfass, will take place in front of the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce, 114 W. Broad St. The Summerfest book signing was planned for the benefit of those intending to give the book as a Father's Day gift.
Music will be provided by Jupiter's Arrow on Hegarty Avenue near the blacksmith shop, and DJ Brandon Fritz in front of the museum.
A great variety of ethnic and favorite festival foods will be available along the festival route, as well as other attractions.
For more information about Summerfest, contact the Tamaqua Historical Society at (570) 668-5722.
The Tamaqua Summerfest offers family fun with an emphasis on providing a day of free attractions for those on a tight budget and others simply looking for a unique, cost-conscious way to celebrate Father's Day.