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Colorful ducklings race for the finish line at The Gathering

  • With Cubmaster Mike Hoffman are scouts Steven Hoffman, Jason Check, Sean Kreglow and Justin Bennett of Pack 66. They were selling caramel corn.
    With Cubmaster Mike Hoffman are scouts Steven Hoffman, Jason Check, Sean Kreglow and Justin Bennett of Pack 66. They were selling caramel corn.
Published October 06. 2010 05:00PM

Mayor Walter Niedermeyer of Slatington was going for his boots and leaving his cell phone and wallet behind as he considered the possibility of being knocked over by the rushing water at Saturday's Gathering. He helped pick the duck-race winners out of the water.

The Gathering is a festival sponsored by the Northern Lehigh Historical Society and proceeds continue the work at the trail head in Slatington and Slate Heritage Trail in Slatington and Washington Township.

The announcement is made: The ducks have been taken upstream. Come to the covered bridge and see them swim. At the sound of a firework the yellow, blue and pink ducklings make their run. Tina Blose and Karen Papay started them on their journey.

Mayor Niedermeyer and Lee Andreas picked out the first 22 to reach the finish line. They were placed in boxes held by Darrin Heckman who took them to the place where ducks had been sold to find the names of the winners.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 58 of Slatington, chartered by the Lions, retrieved the ducks that did not win, including a few that escaped and headed further downstream where two scouts were waiting.

It is a community service project for the scouts.

The Occupational Medical Center trailer was giving information, flu shots and took care of two bee stings. The trailer takes medical care to businesses where physicals can be done or hearing tests given. It provides physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Boy Scout Troop 66, chartered by American Legion Allen O. Delke Post 16, is lucky. Most of its adult scouters were Eagle Scouts and know from experience how to guide the new scouts through scouting life.

The troop is 85 years old, the second-oldest in the Minsi Trail Council and the oldest continuously chartered troop.

"We have the Legion to thank for that," said the scoutmaster.

Meetings are held in the Scout House above Victory Park. It was built on land donated to the Legion by the McCrindle family in the 1950s expressly for use by scouts.

A McCrindle son occasionally visits the troop.

A Trout Run raffle operated by the Northern Lehigh Historical Society helps to pay for the fireworks that will conclude the evening.

Ted Kistler, president of the Society, said it was a great day. Great weather brings out a great crowd.

"We've got plenty of vendors, plenty of entertainment," he said. "We even had good weather yesterday to set up. Good Friday and Jesse Wade provide the evening entertainment."

In the afternoon Don Wild Eagle explained Indian culture and performed Indian dances.

Kistler thanked all the help, members and nonmembers, and those who come to support the event.

Rails to Trails was raffling a certificate for a bike, a popular form of transportation on the trail.

As people stop at the chinese auction on the covered bridge, someone was heard to say, "It's a very nice covered bridge, new but nice."

Prizes for the auction reached from one end of the bridge to the other. Jane Kunkle said it was about 10 more baskets than last year, and one woman drove all the way from Coaldale to drop off a basket. Denise Papay co-chaired the auction.

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