Bon­fire at the Iron Fur­naces cel­e­brates fall

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - News - BY MERYL PAINE AND GIA MAZUR STAFF WRIT­ERS

An an­nual au­tumn event will light up the dark with a tow­er­ing flame to cel­e­brate Scran­ton’s his­tory, cul­ture and more.

From 6 to 10 p. m. Satur­day, the sev­enth an­nual Bon­fire at the Iron Fur­naces fes­ti­val will fea­ture food, live mu­sic and ac­tiv­i­ties as it raises money for Penn­syl­va­nia An­thracite Her­itage Mu­seum, which over­sees the Scran­ton Iron Fur­naces, 159 CedarAve. Lead­ing up to and dur­ing the an­nual bon­fire light­ing at 8: 15 p. m., the Dou­ble “R” Twirlettes and Scran­ton Black Di­a­mond Pipe Band will present a fire- twirling show.

“It’s awon­der­ful event, and through the years I’ve no­ticed such a growth,” said Kath­leen Mer­catelli, Twirlettes di­rec­tor. “It’s a re­ally dif­fer­ent event sincewe don’t get many op­por­tu­ni­ties to twirl fire.”

The Gaelic fes­ti­val Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest sea­son and be­gin­ning of win­ter, in­spired the event’s cre­ation. But in ad­di­tion to hon­or­ing the area’s in­dus­trial her­itage, the bon­fire over the years “has grown into an all- en­com­pass­ing cul­tural event,” com­mit­tee chair­man Brian Mur­phy said. It in­cor­po­rated el­e­ments of tra­di­tional au­tumn and harvest fes­ti­vals, such as Mex­ico’s Dia de los Muer­tos, or Day of the Dead, and the In­dian fes­ti­val Di­wali, which peo­ple cel­e­brate in part by launch­ing fire lanterns.

“We al­ways want to re­flect those dif­fer­ent cul­tures and howthose dif­fer­ent cul­tures en­gage and cel­e­brate that,” said Bode Morin, mu­seum and iron fur­naces site ad­min­is­tra­tor. “As the pro­gram evolves, we want to have a big­ger reach and look more atwhowe are as a com­mu­nity, be more in­clu­sive and cel­e­brate our com­mu­nity as well.”

Tick­ets are $ 15 in ad­vance, $ 20 at the door and free for chil­dren 12 and younger. Or­ga­niz­ers en­cour­age guests to buy their passes early at scran­ton­bon­fire. com; the mu­se­u­min McDade Park, 1 Bald Moun­tain Road, Scran­ton; and Elec­tric City Trol­ley Mu­seum, 300 Cliff St., Scran­ton.

Ad­mis­sion in­cludes $ 5 in Bon­fire Bucks, which guests can use for food, bev­er­ages and ac­tiv­i­ties. And they will have plenty to choose from. Guests can cel­e­brate the sea­son with fall and re­gional fa­vorite drinks, such as spiced cider, hot choco­late, beer and wine, and then chow­down on food from Coney Is­land of Scran­ton, Terra Preta, Sweet Lush Cup­cak­ery and more.

The fes­ti­val also will fea­ture per­for­mances across two stages by

BUTCH COMEGYS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Stacy Grega Cazares, Scran­ton, reads tarot cards dur­ing the 2016 Bon­fire at the Iron Fur­naces. This year’s event will be held from 6 to 10 p. m. Satur­day at the Scran­ton Iron Fur­naces.

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