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Tamaqua’s Summerfest set to return in June

A Tamaqua tradition is set to return on Father’s Day.

After a one-year hiatus for the first time in over three decades, the Tamaqua Historical Society’s annual Summerfest event is scheduled to rock-n-roll downtown on June 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One of the main highlights of the event is the large street fair.

Of course, there will be many delicious local favorites, along with a ton of crafters and vendors.

Dale Freudenberger, president of the Tamaqua Historical Society, said there are typically about 100 vendors that participate in the event.

“We have all kinds of great food vendors up-and-down Broad Street,” Freudenberger said.

“I’m actually surprised at the amount of excitement that I’ve seen and heard through Facebook comments, emails and people stopping us on the street that Tamaqua’s Summerfest is returning. It’s nice to see that people appreciate these events in our community.”

Another exciting element of this year’s event will be three train rides offered that day. The duration will be a one-hour round trip from the Tamaqua station.

“We didn’t have it for the past couple of years, but it’s stronger than ever,” Freudenberger said. “We have the beautiful new platform, which was built in front of the station, which was built by the railroad. It’s going to be better boarding and getting off the train for the passengers. We will announce details as soon as we have them.”

The festival offers for all ages.

The community will be able to check out the car show on South Railroad St. put on by the Jukebox Cruisers car club.

There will be a variety of children’s amusements and games, including a petting zoo.

The Tamaqua Historical Society Museum and Annex will have an open house. There will also be demonstrations and tours of the 1848 Hegarty’s Blacksmith Shop with a working blacksmith.

A variety of music can be heard scattered around the downtown festival area.

“I’ve seen a tremendous happiness from the community and our vendors that we are coming back,” added Freudenberger.

According to Freudenberger, some community members were disappointed that there was no Summerfest in 2020. He said they didn’t want to take any chances for health, safety and the well-being of the everyone in involved.

“We will do our best to make it COVID safe again. There will be slight adjustments to placement as so forth. We encourage people to wear masks at this event, keep their hands clean and practice social distancing when you can. We want everyone to stay safe.”

Freudenberger noted the annual event is much more than a street fair to the Tamaqua community.

“It’s not only a festival, but it seems like a great homecoming weekend for people who have family or relatives who are formerly from Tamaqua. It was never planned that way, but I see it every year. It’s nice to see that people use it as a gathering time and also a time to spend time with your family.”

When planning for Dad on Father’s Day this year, Tamaqua has much to offer during Summerfest weekend.

“There are a number of good restaurants open in downtown Tamaqua,” Freudenberger said. “If you’re thinking of bringing Dad down, you can plan for a good meal at one of those sit-down locations and then stroll the streets for a good time.”

The event is rain or shine.

“Our track history has been excellent, at the most we’ve had a sprinkle. Pretty good odds for three decades.”

Visitors stroll Broad Street during a recent Tamaqua Summerfest celebration. The event will return after it was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. FILE PHOTO