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Summerfest a great Father's Day choice

  • SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS 'All aboard for Tamaqua Summerfest.' Michael McDevitt of Coatesville, engineer of the Brandywine Miniature Railroad, is shown recently in Schuylkill Haven where he invited members of the Victorian Highwheelers of Tamaqua to…
    SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS 'All aboard for Tamaqua Summerfest.' Michael McDevitt of Coatesville, engineer of the Brandywine Miniature Railroad, is shown recently in Schuylkill Haven where he invited members of the Victorian Highwheelers of Tamaqua to ride the train, from left: Darlene Straub, Dan Horengic, John Poponiak, Don Shoup and Don Serfass. Both attractions, the train and highwheelers, will be part of the free entertainment on Father's Day in Tamaqua.
Published June 15. 2011 05:01PM

Family-oriented entertainment is on the agenda all day long at the 21st Annual Tamaqua Summerfest to take place on Father's Day Sunday, kicking off the summer season in the Tamaqua area.

The event is presented by the Tamaqua Historical Society and takes place rain or shine, free of charge, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"It's a great way to spend Father's Day," said Dale Freudenberger, society president. "It provides for an economical, stay-at-home holiday, which is especially welcome at a time when the price of gas has people looking for ways to enjoy themselves in the local area rather than driving a distance."

The Summerfest midway spreads over several blocks of West Broad Street plus South Railroad Street to Spruce, Berwick and Nescopec streets, and Hegarty Avenue.

The festival will include a showcase of vintage wheels and transportation, featuring Bigfoot the monster truck on display, miniature working trains, model trains, classic cars, highwheel bikes, a steam calliope and a horsedrawn carriage.

The Brandywine Miniature Railroad will offer free rides for children and adults all day long at Hegary Avenue.

Railfans and those with curiosity about trains are invited to a train show and swap at the Tamaqua Salvation Army Community Center from 8 to 3.

In addition, the Tamaqua Anthracite Model Railroad Club will feature an open house at its newly re-designed model train display, a panoramic look at the colorful spectrum of railroad history, located 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 unique items throughout the downtown.

The festival will provide a rare opportunity to see what life was like in the 1800s with free forge demonstrations at the 1848 Hegarty Blacksmith Shop by resident blacksmith Don Campbell and apprentice Chris Opresko. 'Jupiter's Arrow' will be stationed near the blacksmith shop to provide music. Smokey Bear will stroll the downtown and fire equipment will be on display.

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, say organizers. A DJ will be on hand, spinning the favorite oldies.

The Victorian Highwheelers of Tamaqua will demonstrate their vintage highwheel bicycles along the festival route throughout the day, weather permitting. The group will be making its first at-home appearance this year after being featured in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Girardville and Shamokin.

A steam calliope will play classic tunes at the M & T Bank lot from noon until 3.

The band 'Won Ton' will be featured at the Tamaqua Area School District Administration Building parking lot. 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. A display of vintage photos will be on display in front of the Tamaqua Historical Society Museum, 118 W. Broad Street, and DJ Brandon Fritz will be playing summertime favorites at that location. The 1874 Tamaqua train station will be open all day. In addition, horse-drawn trolley rides featuring Belgian draft horses will be offered at Berwick Street.

In the same general area, visitors will have a chance to see Bigfoot the monster truck up close and personal.

The Tamaqua LEO Club will sponsor a dunk tank in front of Wachovia Bank all day long and the Tamaqua Gallery will showcase a display that features original artwork by the Rimm family of Tamaqua.

The always popular Polka Joe Manjack of WLSH will play all of the upbeat hits and chat with festival goers on West Broad Street.

A wide variety of ethnic and favorite festival foods will be available along the festival route, as well as other attractions.

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.

"Summerfest is always one of the largest single day activities in Downtown Tamaqua and we invite everyone to come out and join the fun," said Linda Yulanavage, society secretary.

For more information about Summerfest, contact the Tamaqua Historical Society at (570) 668-5722.

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