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Residents celebrate the past, embrace the future during Heritage Day

Orwigsburg residents and visitors gathered in Center Square on Sept. 11 to celebrate the past and embrace the future during the 29th annual Heritage Day event.

The yearly tradition, put on by the Orwigsburg Business and Professional Association, started with the firing of a musket in the center of town at 10 a.m. by Revolutionary War reenactor Douglas Bender of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment. He would continue to fire the musket every hour, on the hour for the duration of the event.



After having to put Heritage Day on hold last year due to the pandemic, it was important for members of the Orwigsburg Business and Professional Association to be able to bring back the yearly tradition this year.

“We knew we had to bring this annual celebration back, no matter what,” said Liz Brensinger, Orwigsburg Business and Professional Association event chair, in an interview prior to the event.

As such, community organizations and vendors were able to return to Center Square, and residents were once again able to celebrate Orwigsburg the way they had in years past.

“It’s wonderful,” said Brenda Binns at the Salem United Methodist Church tent, which offered free face painting and held a bake sale during the event. “We’re delighted to be back at public events.”

Brenda Binns, Salem United Methodist Church member, puts the finishing touches on cupcake on the cheek of Tonya Vidzicki, 12, of New Philadelphia, during the annual Orwigsburg Heritage Day celebration on Sept. 11. (Shea Singley — Reading Eagle)

Donations and proceeds from the bake sale benefited UMW Missions and Outreach and will go to Mission Central, the local central Pennsylvania mission hub. Mission Central is supplying flood buckets and supplies for the victims of recent fire and hurricane disasters.

Sharon Booher, Salem United Methodist Church member, said members have been very active in raising funds to help those in need locally and on a larger scale. The bake sale was yet another way the members could raise funds to continue to support these causes.

Like Binns, Bender was glad to be back at Heritage Day.

“I didn’t want to miss it,” he said, after one of his hourly musket firings. “I’ve been doing this for a few years now. When I got the call from the organizers, I made sure I was going to be here. Orwigsburg is a beautiful town. I love these small towns and seeing the community get together.”

Later in the day, Bender and Jeff Bender presented a special living history program, A Soldier’s Life, at the Orwigsburg Historical Society and Museum. The museum was open to visitors throughout Heritage Day.



Center Square and the surrounding areas were busy with live music, children’s activities including a bounce house and a dunk tank, horse-drawn carriage rides, The Victorian Highwheelers cycling around and circus performer Madeleine Belle bringing a smile to the faces of those she towered over on her stilts.

The Orwigsburg Fire Department hosted two trainings on Heritage Day. The morning started with an American Heart Association hands-only CPR training. Then during Heritage Day, the department partnered with Peifer’s Fire Protection to provide fire extinguisher training.

Source: Berkshire mont

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