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Coal miners to find special welcome at Coal and Coke Heritage Music Festival

8/31/2010 —

The September 11 Coal and Coke Heritage Music Festival at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus offers coal miners a special welcome at the festival: free admission for current and retired miners who show proof of work.
Committee Co-chair Gina Jones says, “The Coal and Coke Heritage Music Festival is designed to celebrate and honor the unique coal and coke heritage of southwestern Pennsylvania. With that in mind, the committee wanted to honor our local coal miners, so we are doing that by offering coal miners free admission to the festival if they bring proof of work. And, as a way to show their pride in their occupation, we are encouraging miners to wear their hard hats at the festival.”
The festival begins at noon and will feature food, arts and crafts, and a variety of musical and dance performers including The Clarks, Chris Higbee Project, Joe Grushecky, Harold Betters, NewLanders, and many more. The Kiddie Koal Mine offers activities for kids. And new this year is a fireworks display.
The Coal and Coke Heritage Center--another highlight of the festival--will showcase the softer, feminine side of the Connellsville Coke region through photographs, paintings, books and crafts. Wives, mothers and daughters have contributed to the rich coal and coke history in this area and their work will be displayed for all to enjoy. Paintings by Alex Varnak, Dorothy Hook and John Tomasko will depict the home and family. Chris Della Mea’s photography of the Northern Appalachian Landscape will be exhibited. Photos from the Briar Hill community and mining complex from the 1920s and art in the Frick Museum of New York City, including the Connellsville Coke Arch and the Davidson coke yard, also will be on display. In addition to the visual exhibits, the popular musical group NewLanders will perform in the Coal and Coke Heritage Center. The group combines American-style music with the history, heritage and culture of Pennsylvania.

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