Ta­maqua cel­e­brates her­itage

30th an­nual fes­ti­val set for Sun­day in Ta­maqua

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY ERIC PEDDIGREE COPY ED­I­TOR eped­di­gree@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com

T he Ta­maqua Her­itage Fes­ti­val will hit a mile­stone Sun­day as it re­turns for its 30th year. The an­nual cel­e­bra­tion will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the down­town dis­trict. The Ta­maqua His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety hosts the event, which will be held rain or shine.

A spe­cial at­trac­tion at this year’s fes­ti­val will be the newly ren­o­vated East Broad Street Bridge. The struc­ture, which goes over the Lit­tle Schuylkill River, opened about a week ago after a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion project. The work also in­cluded the preser­va­tion of the orig­i­nal dou­ble stone arch bridge be­neath the main bridge.

“The bridge re­open­ing a week be­fore the fes­ti­val was co­in­ci­den­tal. It was, how­ever, slated to be done by Novem­ber, but the fact that it opened prior to our her­itage fes­ti­val is great for us,” Dale Freuden­berger, pres­i­dent of the Ta­maqua His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, said.

Freuden­berger said the bridge’s re­open­ing also helps traf­fic for the fes­ti­val. He said the event draws thou­sands of peo­ple into the bor­ough.

“It pro­vides eas­ier traf­fic flow through town the day of the fes­ti­val and it gives outof-town vis­i­tors a chance to walk just one block east of the fes­ti­val to look at the beau­ti­ful new bridge, look at the ef­forts that went into pre- serv­ing and re­fur­bish­ing the 1890s stone dou­ble arch bridge, which has been pre­served and in­cor­po­rated into the new bridge on top of the old bridge,” he said.

At the Ta­maqua High Rise, a large stone found in the riverbed dur­ing the ren­o­va­tions will be on dis­play on the front lawn. The stone is be­lieved to be an orig­i­nal cor­ner­stone from a wooden cov­ered bridge that spanned the Lit­tle Schuylkill River in the 1880s. The date and names of the peo­ple who built the cov­ered bridge are hand en­graved into the stone.

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the Ta­maqua His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, the fes­ti­val cel­e­brates the fall fo­liage sea­son in the bor­ough, which was the min­ing, rail­road and man­u­fac­tur­ing hub of the coal re­gion.

The rail­roads are a main fea­ture of the Her­itage Fes­ti­val ac­tiv­i­ties.

The 1874 Ta­maqua Rail­road Sta­tion will be open for vis­i­tors and his­toric rail­road equip­ment, in­clud­ing World War II-era ca­booses, will be set up around the sta­tion. The Ta­maqua An­thracite Model Rail­road Club will host an open house at its head­quar­ters at West Broad and Nescopeck streets. The dis­play will in­clude an op­er­at­ing HO model train lay­out.

Freuden­berger said the fall fo­liage train rides will not be held this year. The train rides will take place ev­ery year dur­ing Ta­maqua Sum­mer­fest on Fa­ther’s Day.

“One of the goals of the his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety or­ga­niz­ing the an­nual fes­ti­val is to get peo­ple to come down­town, spend a fun and leisurely day out­doors and take time to look at the pre­served his­toric ar­chi­tec­ture of many of our build­ings, look at the new bridge, visit some of our his­toric build­ings, such as the 1801 Moser Log Home, the first home in Ta­maqua, watch the black­smith work­ing at the forge inside the 1848 He­garty Black­smith Shop, tour the 1874 train sta­tion, take time to look at the his­toric pieces of rail­road equip­ment around it, check out the blue and white his­toric mark­ers, such as the one for the Lit­tle Schuylkill Rail­road in the cen­ter of town which is the third old­est rail­road in Amer­ica and the first to use steam power to haul coal,” Freuden­berger said.

Ac­cord­ing to Freuden­berger, the Moser Log Home will not be open for tours due to ren­o­va­tions. How­ever, vis­i­tors will be al­lowed to walk up to the home and view it from the out­side.

About 100 ven­dors are ex­pected at this year’s fes­ti­val, sell­ing a va­ri­ety of crafts from jew­elry, hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions and cloth­ing.

Other en­ter­tain­ment sched­uled to be at the fes­ti­val in­cludes Dr. Kelly’s Old Tyme Trav­el­ing Medicine Show at West Broad and Nescopeck streets; horse­drawn trol­ley car rides by Leiby’s fa­mous Bel­gian draft horses and mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment by Dave Matsinko, 3 AM band, WMGH polka pro­gram and DJ Bran­don.

Also, the Ta­maqua Street Ma­chine As­so­ci­a­tion will hold an an­tique and clas­sic car show on South Rail­road Street. Reg­is­tra­tion be­gins at 10 a.m., with awards to be handed out at 3 p.m.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the fes­ti­val, call the Ta­maqua His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety at 570-225-1089.

ERIN CONOVER/STAFF PHO­TOS

Lisa Phillip, Pottsville, cooks Caribbean cui­sine dur­ing last year’s Ta­maqua Her­itage Fes­ti­val. The 30th an­nual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun­day in down­town Ta­maqua.

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