DURYEA — It all started in 1891. More than 12 decades later, Duryea will explore its rich history with this inaugural event.
The Duryea Heritage Day Festival will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at Germania Hose Company. The event is a project of the Duryea Betterment Committee, in conjunction with the borough. Spearheading the event is Duryea resident Scott Moscatelli.
Moscatelli said he was approached by several residents asking why the borough’s heritage was never celebrated.
“As residents of Duryea, we forget a lot of our heritage and the rich history we used to have here,” he said. “It’s good to bring it up and show people how it was back then.”
One of the biggest attractions of the event will be displays by www.duryeapa.com co-founders Bernie Stiroh, Nancy Stiroh Davis and Mike Lizonitz. The site has thousands of photos and articles dedicated to the borough.
At the festival, the group will have photos on display, but they are also asking residents to bring photos to the event. Anyone with pre-1960s photos of anything Duryea-related are asked see the group at the festival. The site is particularity interested in photos of the Coxton schoolhouse, the Simpson’s Patch Schoolhouse, Peek-a-Boo houses, Marcy Park, the Shukwit Dance Pavilion and the Warnke Washery.
All photos will be scanned on site and returned to owners.
“(Bernie Stiroh) has tons of pictures and history dating back to the late 1800s and up to the 1960s,” Moscatelli said. “It shows coal mining, silk mills, old stores and streets. That will be the biggest attraction.”
There will be live entertainment by The Handsome Devils, Witz End, Nativity of Our Lord Parish choir, and others. There will be food and drinks available from the Germania Hose Company, Komensky’s Market, Peculiar Culinary Company, Silly Willy’s Ice Cream Truck and more.
For the kids, there will be hay rides, face paintings and a dunk tank. The Railroad Ring of Fire will be on display, along with local craft vendors.
Having this event is special to Moscatelli, who has lived in Duryea for all but five years of his life.
“My family history, on my mom’s side, was here since the very beginning,” he said. “I feel an attachment to that and an obligation to my heritage.”
In February of this year, Duryea Borough Council approved the non-governed, volunteer Betterment Committee. The Betterment Committee is a platform for residents with ideas to meet and carry out those ideas throughout the borough. The committee has done several projects thus far, including the Bloomin’ Duryea Yards of Distinction Contest.
Outside of the heritage festival, the committee is working on a Casualties of War Monument to be constructed in Duryea.
The committee will also sell T-shirts at the event. All businesses and residents of Duryea can participate in the festival. For more information on participation contact contact the Betterment Committee by calling 570-457-348.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick