Weatherly Hill Climb marking 50th anniversary
Victor Izzo/special to the times news This weekends marks the 50th Anniversary of the Weatherly Hill Climb. Key figures in the running of this year's event are, left to right: Morgan Wilson, driver; George Bowland, driver and Hill Climb record holder; Staff Sgt. Chuck Francisco, PA National Guard; Kyle Feaster, representing David Feaster Excavating LLC; Joe Cyburt, President Weatherly Hill Climb Association and driver; Richie Molinaro, Marketing Director for Fairway Subaru; Al Corazzo, Sales Manager Fairway Subaru and driver; David Rogers, Firestone Store Manager; Fred Grant, Division Manager DeAngelo Brothers Inc.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the running of the Weatherly Hill Climb as drivers will be coming from all over the East Coast, the New England states, and the Midwest to challenge the one-mile hill on the outskirts of the town.
On both Saturday and Sunday, there will be racing from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m with an expected 80 or more drivers competing on both days. Each driver will try to finish the 1.1 mile course in under 60 seconds while climbing through an elevation change of about 340 feet.
The present hill record of 47.715 seconds is held by North Carolina resident George Bowland.
The hill consists of uphill straights leading into hairpin turns, including one called "the Wall," and another challenging area called the "Jump," where most cars leave contact with the pavement.
The hill course ends with a short straight leading to a long sweeping turn to the finish that tests the tires grip on the road as well as the driver's nerve.
After the completion of the hill climb events on Sunday, trophies will be handed out to the drivers about 4 p.m.
This is not just a motor-sporting event as there are a number of happenings hosted by the Weatherly community.
On Friday night, there will be a kick-off parade for the Hill Climb weekend which will start at 7 p.m. at the former Wagner property located just off of Plane Street in the borough and will then proceed through Weatherly, a distance of just over a mile.
On Saturday night at dusk, there will be fireworks for the public at the former Wagner property.
Also on Saturday and Sunday, there will be a community-wide yard sale in which residents throughout the borough will be participating.
There will also be a dunk tank and games located near the starting line at the bottom of the hill and the National Guard display will have a video trailer located there.
The weekend also features food and refreshments by local groups. There will be free admission and free parking during the hill climb.
To get to the Weatherly Hill Climb, after leaving Route 93 in Hudsondale and driving into Weatherly, at the first stop sign, turn right and drive over the creek and a set of railroad tracks.
Turn left at the first opportunity and proceed parallel to the creek. Follow the street as it turns right until you see the Weatherly Fire Department on your right.
During the hillclimb hours this street, beginning at the fire house, serves as the paddock area and will be closed to all but race cars. Visitors can turn left just prior to the fire house and find a parking space, then may walk on the street serving as the paddock area to reach the hill climb.
The main sponsor of the Weatherly Hill Climb is Fairway Subaru of Hazleton along with co-sponsors DeAngelo Brothers Inc. of Hazleton, the Hazleton Firestone Store, and the PA National Guard.