Anthracite Heritage – part 1

It was 7:45am when my parents and I arrived to help set up the two areas that St John’s had rented for the 4 th annual Anthracite Heritage Festival in downtown Shamokin, Pa. My dad helped set up the tent for the food area, and I helped my mother set up the church’s new “Dunk a Duck” game (where you try and knock one or more small rubber ducks off a platform using either a water cannon or three water balls of varying sizes).

The food area was ready for the 9am opening colliery whistle, but our duck game was nowhere close to operational. Dad was already at the church on “the off-chance that someone showed up for a tour,” the Contemporary Worship Band was performing on the main (only) stage and mom had disappeared somewhere into the ether. That meant I was thrown into the running a game that had no set rules, a convoluted list of prizes and was only partially set up. Did I mention there was already a line?

The church band returned from their performance, and I quickly grabbed one of the confirmands and told him I was off to find the nearest porto-potty. It was directly across from the seating area on Chestnut St, and it had its own portable hand sanitizer station. I then took the opportunity to wander around the booths (there were three other groups with duck themed games) and try to find a half decent lunch.

The vending\entertainment area of the festival covers about three blocks of Market St, but there was also a classic car show in the Rite-Aid parking lot, carriage\trolley rides and cemetery tours. My next destination was the Anthracite Heritage Museum on the 2 nd floor of the American Legion building, and it was, conveniently enough, located next to the famous Coney Island hot dog stand.

The museum itself was a small loosely connected series of band\sports photos, yearbooks and student newspapers from local high schools (some of which closed decades ago) laid out in the hallway and storage rooms adjoining the Legion’s meeting room (though it was unclear if said room was also part of the museum or not).

The museum exited directly into the line for the Anthracite Model Train Layout, which is open during the festival and on weekends in December. I went through it with my camera taking pictures of our finely detailed region in miniature, and then I left to check in with my dad at the church (he had "exactly two" visitors other than me).

It was nearly 2pm when I left the church, but I had one more stop to make before returning to the festival area.

Categories: coal region, festivals | Leave a comment

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