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Celebrate Region’s Heritage At Forest City Festival

August 1, 2018

A celebration of history and heritage will pan out Saturday, Aug. 4, at Rail-Trail Council of NEPA’s Forest City Trail Town Festival.

2018 marks the 250th year since anthracite coal mining, as well as railroading and iron-making, became a crucial part of the identity and eventual culture of Northeast Pennsylvania. This anniversary led the Rail-Trail Council to host the festival that will highlight not only the area’s ethnic heritage but also the crucial roles coal mining and railroads played in the region’s growth.

Lynn Conrad, executive director of the Rail-Trail Council, hopes the festival will help people recognize those roles.

“Forest City was built around the mining of coal and the development of the railroads,” Conrad said. “In this festival, we’re going to highlight the historical aspects of Forest City as it relates to the old railroads and also as it relates to anthracite mining. I hope that people who come to the Trail Town Festival realize the importance that the railroad played in the development of the town.”

The festival features a day-long lineup of events throughout Forest City, including some on the Delaware & Hudson Rail-Trail, a main project of the council. Located two blocks from Forest City, the trail runs for 38 continuous miles from Carbondale to the New York border. Trail events will begin at 8 a.m. with the Coal Cracker quarter marathon and two-mile run benefiting Forest City Regional High School’s cross-country team, a historical sign dedication ceremony and bike rides.

Forest City Historical Society will host many historical events at its museum beginning at 9 a.m., including guest speakers and a celebration of Forest City’s ethnic heritage that features costumes and period music.

The remainder of the festival’s events will take place in Forest City’s downtown beginning at 10 a.m. These include live music, food and craft vendors, and a light parade followed by an after party at DG’s Bar and Grill, 923 Main St.

“One of the big attractions is the light parade,” Conrad said. “There used to be one every year, but it slowly died down. We’re excited to be bringing it back.”

The night concludes with a fireworks display at Forest City Industrial Park.

Then, on Sunday, Aug. 5 from 8 a.m. to noon, a fishing derby will take place at Kennedy Park, Dundaff Street, to wrap up the weekend.

“We want the Trail Town Festival to be a celebration that attracts a lot of different interests,” Conrad said. “We’re looking for not only people who are interested in recreation but (also) history buffs, railroad buffs, people who may have just never been to Forest City. We want everyone to see what the town has to offer.”

Contact the writer:

lifestyles@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9127

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