DANVILLE — A 5K, music, living history demonstrations, garden tour, car cruise and fireworks over the Susquehanna River will highlight this year’s Danville Heritage Festival on July 19, 20 and 21.
This is the fifth year of the festival, which took the place of the Iron Heritage Festival after 16 years. It is now a triple partnership between the Danville Business Alliance, the Danville Area School District and a core of community volunteers, according to Van Wagner, an event organizer and local musician.
“I have been involved with all 21 of the festivals in Danville in some way or another. There is a great core group of volunteers who have not only kept this festival alive, but (also) growing. This year will be incredible,” he said.
Wagner will lead a free 1-mile “Iron Ore Mine Hike” that will depart Sunnybrook Park, located off Route 642 near the corner of Columbia Hill Road, at 7 p.m. Friday, July 19. The hike will go by several former mining sites, some of which date to the 1800s.
The three-day event kickoffs earlier in the day at 4 p.m. with a pig/corn roast and tours of the Gate House. The historic building currently serves as a shelter for homeless families.
The festival kicks into high gear 8:30 a.m. Saturday with a 5K at Hess Field. Race-day registration will be held 7:30 to 8:20 a.m. at the Danville Middle School gym along Route 11.
Various demonstrations, entertainment and guest speakers will begin at 10 a.m. at the school. A blacksmith, strolling drummer, and historians will be among the participants.
Attendees can learn about frontier history, flint knapping, abandoned mines and woodworking, among other topics.
The speaker schedule is as follows:
• John Mazich, rare historic photographs of Danville, 10 a.m.
• John Moore, Montour County during the Revolutionary War, 11 a.m.
• Captain Mick, local canals, 1 p.m.
• David Fowler, abandoned mines, 2 p.m.
• Terry Diener, history of the Maus family and Mausdale, 3 p.m.
“Our speakers and demonstrators are the core of our event,” Wagner commented.
Music acts will perform hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The schedule is as follows:
• Young performers from The Music Box, 10 a.m.
• Alf Bashore II, 11 a.m.
• Such ’N Such, noon.
• About Time, 1 p.m.
• The Brothers Band, 2 p.m.
• Van Wagner, 3 p.m.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., children can learn about history through an interactive children’s activity booth manned by Kristin Joivell, a teacher from Juniata Valley Elementary School.
Vintage vehicles are expected to line Mill Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the second annual Classic Car Cruise-In.
A parade traveling on East Market and Mill streets will begin at 5 p.m. An “all-town block party” will be held in the Coles Hardware parking lot following the event.
The day will conclude with a fireworks display over the Susquehanna River. The show will be sponsored by Gladys Magill and Maria Joseph Continuing Care Community.
A multi-stop garden tour will be held noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 21. Stops include Geisinger’s Ewing Garden and the residential gardens of Karen and Tony Laporte, Stephanie and Michael Fuller, and Bob and Marysusan Umbriac.
The Ewing Garden at the entrance to Geisinger Medical Center contains a painted mural, original pillars from the George F. Geisinger Memorial Hospital built in 1915 and multiple plantings of flowers, trees and shrubs.
The Laporte garden, at 625 Railroad St., features a boardwalk that borders a variety of perennials and annuals, and a pergola with climbing wisteria and trumpet vines.
Stephanie and Michael Fullmer’s garden, at 1339 Ave. F in Riverside, is a certified wildlife area, consisting of a variety of smaller gardens, such as hummingbird-butterfly, vegetable, grassland, bog and fairy.
The Umbriac garden, at 538 Chamber St., Danville, has a large selection of perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs. In front of the home is a very large vegetable garden and a circular garden containing a gazebo, fish ponds and two levels of plantings. A rear garden, which can be accessed by walking underneath a tea rose arch, features a covered bridge, waterfalls, pavilion, wishing well, root cellar, grape arbor and multiple terraces and stonewalls.
The evening will conclude 6:30 p.m. with a hymn sing at Montgomery Park, adjacent the river.