Crowds flock to The Gathering along the Slate Trail
People watch from the covered bridge awaiting the ducks on Trout Creek.
Under fair skies, The Gathering along the Slate Trail in Slatington and Washington Township enjoyed good attendance on Saturday. There were many new attractions, but the one everyone was waiting for was the duck race.
Prizes were $1,000, $100, two at $50 and 18 at $20. There were yellow duckies, and also blue and pink ones. They were dumped into Trout Creek upstream of the covered bridge.
A pink one glided serenely down the middle of the stream leading the flock, but suddenly a couple blue ones were caught in rapids and passed the pink.
Slatington Mayor Walter Neidermeyer was waiting to pick out the first ones to pass through a slit in a wire and place them in boxes numbered in the order of the prize. Helping him were Frank Harhart and Ed Nestor.
People waited to catch the losers after the winners had all been chosen.
Susan Schneck was the first prize winner.
Ted Kistler, The Gathering organizer, said money raised will go toward a second slate rest room, a social hall and pavilion at the trailhead near the Lehigh River. It is hoped the work on the bathrooms will be finished by mid-November.
He said there would be a bonfire at the Bier Garten in the evening.
Kistler thanked all the people who came out to help and said some of them had been working for 2-1/2 days.
It was the Emerald Fire Company that brought its bingo equipment, with corn used as markers for the winning numbers.
Kistler points to a light standard and said the Northern Lehigh Historical Society got four of them from the General Morgan bridge and combined them to create two good ones which are at the Gathering grounds. He said Tom Papay did much of the work with the lights.
Don Wild Eagle, his family and a friend, talked about cultural awareness of the Indian way of life. They performed an intertribal dance.
With him were his wife Pattie, daughter Skyla Rose Sparrow, son Joachim Starcloud and friend Bryon Bonser.
Another daughter, Ayla, made the drum that was being displayed. It was a school project.
A handout by Don Wild Eagle contained a wish: "May the four winds protect you and your family."
The covered bridge housed a chinese auction. The two "can't miss them" items were giant Mickey and Minnie Mouses. Jane Kunkle and Denise Papay were selling tickets.
Mikki Heintzelman and Danielle Flemming provided information on Girl Scouting, and Troop 66 Boy Scouts were operating a food stand.
Good Friday began playing music at 5 p.m. and was followed by the Jesse Wade Gang at 7:30 p.m.
Citations were presented from Rep. Julie Harhart's office for two men who have each put in over 100 hours of volunteer labor at the trailhead. Recipients were Robert Brazes and Randy Bisko.
A third one from Senator David Argall went to the Northern Lehigh Historical Society.
The closing act was fireworks and another Gathering went out in a blaze of glory.