Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces celebrates fall
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
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.