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Coal Miner's Heritage Festival set for Sunday

  • SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS A volunteer will demonstrate laundry day, one of many historically accurate portrayals at the Coal Miner's Heritage Festival.
    SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS A volunteer will demonstrate laundry day, one of many historically accurate portrayals at the Coal Miner's Heritage Festival.
Published July 08. 2014 04:00PM

The seventh annual Coal Miner's Heritage Festival will take place Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum in Lansford.

The annual event, presented by the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum, celebrates northeastern Pennsylvania's coal region history, culture, art, crafts, food and music. Admission to the festival grounds and parking are free.

Underground tours of the No. 9 Coal Mine will be available throughout the day. No. 9 is the world's oldest deep mine, having been opened in 1855 by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company and closed in 1972.

Guided underground mine tours last approximately 45 minutes and are available throughout the day. Visitors will ride into the mine in the safety of mine cars pulled by an original mine locomotive. The nearby No. 9 Coal Mining Museum in the 1920s-era wash shanty houses one of the largest collections of anthracite coal mining artifacts, tools, photographs and memorabilia in the coal region. Admission is charged for the coal mine tour.

The coal miner's competition invites anyone over the age of 16 to participate in coal shoveling competition. Trophies will be awarded to the winners.

Coal region art and photography will be featured as part of the festival including a display of works by Frank Wyso, Jack Savitsky, Joe Evanousky, Scott Herring, Nicholas Bervinchak, Renie Novak, Louise Soloman, Louise Keich, Joe Mataconis and others.

Exhibitors and vendors will fill the grounds surrounding the museum offering a variety of homemade and traditional crafts and sale items.

A large exhibit will highlight coal region heritage and culture. The old-time "Wash House" display features one man's unique collection and exhibit highlighting the evolution of washing clothes from early hand-washing techniques to the early electric washing machines made of copper.

Other exhibits include local historical societies, antique vehicles, mine safety and rescue displays, a restored vintage mine lokie, an operating antique coal screen, operating antique steam winch, an antique moonshine still exhibit, and the miners bath day and wash day in the patch exhibits.

A variety of music typically found in the coal region will be featured. Ray Owen will present three of his popular heritage themed musical programs featuring music from the coal mines, railroads and Civil War. The WMGH Polka Program with Polka Joe Manjack will be live on the air. DJ Shawn Frederickson will play other classic coal region folk music.

Reenactors from the Eckley and Patchtown Players will stroll the grounds in authentic patch town outfits, performing skits, telling stories, and sharing tales throughout the day.

A variety of homemade coal region ethnic foods will be available.

Free children's entertainment will be offered, including old-time coal sack races with prizes for the winners. Buster the Clown will make balloon animals for the children.

Numerous local and regional organizations will be represented at the festival with exhibits or sale booths including the National Canal Museum, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, DEP Mine Safety and Rescue Unit, Holmes Mine Safety Association, Eckley Miners Village, Lansford Historical Society, Lansford Fire Department and other groups.

The Coal Miners Heritage Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Carbon County Commissioners and the County Room Tax Fund. Staff support is provided by the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. To register as a participant, contact Dale Freudenberger 610-597-6722 or emaildale@delawareandlehigh.org.

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