September 5, 2023 - The 16th Annual Coal Miners Heritage Festival and Picnic took place on West Dock Street in Lansford, Carbon County, as a nod to the region’s rich coal mining history. Despite being postponed due to inclement weather, crowds gathered to pay tribute to the time when coal was the driving force of the industrial revolution in northeastern Pennsylvania.
The festival showcased various vendors and activities, including an hour-long tour of the No. 9 Coal Mine. Held by the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum, the event aimed to embrace the region’s anthracite coal heritage, culture, and ethnic roots.
Zachary Petroski, the President of the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum, emphasized the significance of coal in shaping the valley and northeastern Pennsylvania. He stated, “This is a celebration of what built not just this valley but northeastern Pennsylvania. I mean, this was the fuel of the industrial revolution.”
For attendees like Larry Bulanda of Jim Thorpe, the festival offered a personal connection to their family history. Bulanda shared, “I have an interest in this because my grandfather worked in the mines and he actually got killed in No. 10, which is just down the road, it was down the road, so I come here every year to just see what it’s all about again.”
The Coal Miners Heritage Festival not only helped preserve and showcase the region’s coal mining past but also brought together individuals with personal ties to the industry. It served as a reminder of the sacrifices made by coal miners and their lasting contributions to the development of northeastern Pennsylvania.