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Slatington's 'Gathering' focuses on the community

  • 30_.news_bridgeII.JPG
    The 13th annual Gathering will take place at the Seventh Street located Trout Run Covered Bridge. KELLEY ANDRADE/TIMES NEWS
Published September 30. 2016 11:50AM

At its heart Saturday’s Slatington event is about community.

Along the Slate Heritage Trail at the Trout Run Covered Bridge, the 13th annual “The Gathering” will host local vendors, activities and musicians to create an all-day event.

“People come from a lot of different places for this. That’s why we call it ‘The Gathering,’” said Venture Group member and Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce President Nancy Treskot.

According to Treskot, this will be the third year the Venture Group has organized the event with local nonprofits coming together to raise funds for both trailheads’ maintenance.

“Money will go toward the heat, electric, insurance and upkeep at both the trailheads. For the stuff people don’t think about,” she said.

Another focus of the group this year is the state of the historic covered bridge on Seventh Street.

According to Treskot the pillars sustained some aesthetic damage over the summer from carpenter bees taking up residence in the wood.

“Structurally it’s fine. We treated it for the bees but the woodpeckers came in and made the holes bigger when they went for the larva,” she said.

“If you want to keep something nice you’ve got to keep it up to date.”

Any additional funds raised are earmarked to be reinvested into the community after the trails’ needs are meet.

“This year after the trails, we will divide anything extra and give it back to the nonprofits, like the playground, the rotary club, the amphitheater project and veterans monument,” Treskot said.

“We’re going to try to give back to the organizations that have been there for us.”

The event will feature a new starting activity. Under the guidance of the freshly-formed Safe and Clean Committee, a Main Street cleanup will take place first thing in the morning.

Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber member and former Slatington resident Alice Wanamaker along with volunteers will meet at 7:30 a.m., for some free hot coffee at Charlotte Fay’s Main Street Diner before spanning out to clean up the 600 Main Street block.

“We’re encouraging residents to join. And even if they can’t join us to at least straighten up their yards,” she said.

The committee is just one of three to have been spawned from the Main Street Merchants Group. The group first came together two months ago with the idea of breathing new life into the historic district of the borough.

“We are trying to bring new businesses in and do something positive,” said Treskot of the initiative.

The first Saturday in October has long been reserved for annual event since its conception over a decade ago. This year’s attractions feature 18 food and craft vendors, a basket raffle, 50/50 drawing, three live bands and a fireworks display.

The Slatington Lions Club will host a Biergarten at the pavilion while the area’s Boy Scout Troop 66 will help with the Duck Race beginning 4 p.m. Attendees can purchase the yellow bath floatier up until the voyage down the river begins.

The Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce will continue its tradition of selling historical ornaments on the bridge. This year’s theme is centering on the original Trexler Game Preserve.

A basket social will give participants a chance to win over 50 donated prizes, a lottery tree and locally handcrafted rocking chair.

“Nick Smith makes the most adorable children’s rocking chairs and he donated one this year,” Treskot said.

Live entertainment will take place throughout the day closing with The Large Flower Heads before the sky-sparkling finale.

“You’re really giving back to the community in a fun way,” Wanamaker said.

“Especially if you’re a beer drinker. You can’t beat the price of a pitcher,” she said.

According to Treskot, the most noticeable change will be the hole left behind by the passing of longtime community advocate Ted Kistler.

“The big loss this year will be the absence of Ted. He always ran The Biergarten.”

With so many fall events taking place over the weekend Treskot and Wanamaker strongly encourage residents of the borough and surrounding area to attend the long-standing get together.

“We’re all a part of this community. No matter where you live everything is changing and moving forward and we can’t be left behind,” said Treskot.

“We need to remember out local roots.”

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