What a week it’s been in Shamokin.
What a summer, really.
It’s been awhile, from this perspective, that there has been this much “togetherness” in one week.
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The fun kicked off Saturday with “Cruise Shamokin: The Miracle Mile,” which was better coordinated and policed this year and attracted hundreds to the downtown (and its businesses). Sunday and Tuesday featured two more free swim days at the Lawton Shroyer Memorial Pool, the latter even more valuable because of the presence of sponsor Merakey Behavioral Health Services, which dispensed information on mental health and addiction treatment services.
Later Tuesday, National Night Out gave city residents, especially younger folks, a chance to play games and meet with local police officers. It’s another valuable event that wouldn’t happen without the efforts of local volunteers whose boots on the ground help bring in sponsors and vendors.
Wednesday night was a unique and special gathering of the community to open the time capsule pulled from the burned rubble of the former Masonic/Fun Shop building. The image of city officials gathered on stage in front of hundreds of onlookers to open the capsule for a peek back at 1901 — simply to celebrate the past — was inspiring.
And then there was Thursday night’s debut of the Anthracite Symphony Band at the career and arts center, the latest showcase of the community’s musical talent and pursuit of cultural endeavors.
Not every week will be packed with this much activity, though more free swims and the Aug. 25 “Doo Wop” are among the events still to come. And don’t forget the summer concert series at Claude Kehler Community Park that’s been going on since May.
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It’s difficult to put a finger on what has inspired so much activity, but certainly a very engaged mayor, city council and administration have helped. They have generated action by saluting local businesses and volunteers and coming up with ideas such as the free swim sponsorships.
But a groundswell of volunteering and community betterment efforts has been ramping up for years. Local people want to see their community survive and thrive, and they’ve been hard at work producing annual events and new ones. It seems a lot of that work has paid off recently with the constant flow of fun, culture and community gatherings.
To those who see no value in a “old” coal region community, we beg to differ. Success breeds success, and that process has clearly been demonstrated this summer in Shamokin.
Congratulations to all those involved. And to the citizens, get out and enjoy.