BY BROGAN SCOTCH
Downtown Scranton will continue its tradition of celebrating autumn with the ninth annual Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces.
The event, organized by the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, combines a celebration of fall with aspects of different cultures that have had an impact on the food and traditions of Northeast Pennsylvania. This year, the bonfire on Saturday, Oct. 19, will celebrate Polish heritage.
Jacquelyn Schulte, president of the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum Associates board, has been involved in the bonfire for the past six years and watched it develop into a community mainstay.
“It kind of heralds the beginning of the fall,” Schulte said. “The weather is usually turning. (The bonfire) allows the city to have this collective celebration of the change of seasons, but it also educates people of the various cultures that have impacted our area.”
Taking place from 6 to 10 p.m., the event will feature Polish food favorites such as kielbasa, pierogies and potato pancakes, and the John Stevens Polka Band will provide entertainment. Guests can head to the cultural tent to check out exhibits and activities provided by the Everhart Museum, Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, the Greenhouse Project in Nay Aug Park and United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Each organization will offer something unique for visitors to experience.
Additionally, guests can enjoy tarot card readings, face painting and balloon art. The Crufeli Sideshow and Circus Arts, meanwhile, will wander the grounds, showing off acrobatic performances that include stilt walking.
Of course, the night would not be complete without the bonfire, which will be lit around 8 p.m.
Two ticket options are available for the event. For $25, guests receive general admission to the grounds at the base of the furnaces along with access to the variety of entertainment. Five complementary Bonfire Bucks — the currency used to buy food and drinks and participate in activities — are included in the ticket.
The second option is the VIP ticket, which costs $50 and includes all of the general ticket’s benefits plus access to the VIP pavilion at the top of the furnaces. There, guests can indulge in catered food from POSH at the Scranton Club, beer, wine, a signature drink and additional entertainment.
All tickets can be purchased in advance at scrantonbonfire.com and the Anthracite Heritage Museum in McDade Park, Scranton, which is open Wednesdays through Sundays. General admission tickets also will be available at the gate.
In the past, nearly 1,000 people have shown for the celebration — even in the rain, Schulte said. She thinks the event’s location at the Scranton Iron Furnaces could not be any better.
“The event can touch so many people, and it brings them to the historic site,” Schulte said. “(The furnaces) are an integral part of our area’s history, and having them as the backdrop is fantastic.”
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127
If you go
- What: Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces
- Where: Scranton Iron Furnaces, 159 Cedar Ave.
- When: Saturday, Oct. 19, 6 to 10 p.m.
- Details: Tickets cost $25 for general admission and $50 for VIP and include $5 in Bonfire Bucks to spend on food, drink and activities. Admission is free for children 12 and younger. Visit scrantonbonfire.com or the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, McDade Park, Scranton, for more information or to buy tickets.
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest