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Sights and sounds draw crowd to Tamaqua Heritage Festival

  • Shane McGeehan, left, and Olivia Morrison perform outside the train station during the festival.
    Shane McGeehan, left, and Olivia Morrison perform outside the train station during the festival.
Published October 15. 2012 05:05PM

Nice fall weather made for a great visitor turnout during the Tamaqua Historical Society's 28th Annual Tamaqua Heritage Festival yesterday.

"We had a nice variety of talent, vendors and entertainment," said Dale Freudenberger, president of the historical society. "You could tell that everyone had a really fun time."

The festival, which encompassed seven blocks of downtown Tamaqua, had many things to offer visitors, such as homemade foods, crafts, childrens activities, HO model train display, music on the streets, tours of the 1801 Moser log home, train whistle display, walking tour, trolley rides, car show, civil war re-enactors, and an ethnic diversity display. In addition, the museum was open to the public.

The event also included an art and entertainment show held at the Tamaqua Community Arts Center.

A unique 'steam whistle blow' display by Brian Ference drew the attention of people miles away, as it could be heard for long distances.

Freudenberger added, "The festival celebrates the fall foliage season in the community - that historically has served as a 'Gateway to the Anthracite Region.'"

Many of the most popular attractions center around the borough's history, featuring its traditions of the railroads and anthracite mining.

"The streets were lined with visitors," said Linda Yulanavage, executive director of the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce, who estimated the weather, which started off a little chilly, helped draw in more visitors later in the day.

On South Railroad Street, the Tamaqua Street Machine Association held its annual Heritage Day Car Show, which attracted over 30 vehicles.

"It was also a great day for food sales," said Freudenberger. "People got to enjoy a large variety of seasonal and ethnic food favorites."

Freudenberger expressed his appreciation to all the historical society volunteers who spent numerous hours in preparation of the festival.

He also gave thank you's to supporters TIMES NEWS, WMGH radio, DJ Brandon Fritz, Polka Joe Manjack and entertainers Coal County Express, Bwahaha band and Quartet of Five.

To volunteer, or for more information about the historical society's Summerfest or Heritage Festival, contact the chamber of commerce office at (570) 668-1880.

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