Lackawanna Valley’s thriving industries were a magnet for immigration from 1880 to 1920. Dozens of ethnic groups made this Valley their home and their rich traditions still continue. Connecting the community to its cultural heritage is a vital part of the mission of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority (LHVA). It sponsors a variety of community outreach initiatives.
Heritage Ambassadors Program
Created by LHVA in conjunction with its heritage partners, this one-day rolling classroom takes guests to key heritage sites in the Lackawanna Valley to educate, enlighten, and create a sense of pride and excitement about the area. Stops include: the Electric City Trolley Station & Museum, Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton’s Courthouse Square, the Scranton Cultural Center, the Lackawanna Historical Society, Nay Aug Park, the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, the Everhart Museum, and the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum.
Heritage Valley Roundtable
A unique collaborative venture led by LHV, the Heritage Valley Roundtable is a monthly breakfast meeting of regional heritage site managers and other partners to share ideas and best practices. It includes the Albright Memorial Library, Center for Anti-Slavery Studies, Electric City Trolley Station & Museum, Everhart Museum, Hope Horn Gallery, Lackawanna Coal Mine, Lackawanna County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lackawanna Historical Society, PA Anthracite Heritage Museum, Scranton Cultural Center, Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton Tomorrow, Lackawanna College, The University of Scranton, WVIA-TV, and other key community organizations.
NEPA Conservation Alliance
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Conservation Alliance is made up of representatives from regional environmental organizations and individuals who are committed to share common goals and interests.
Ambassadors in Action
Ambassadors in Action is a wonderful way to use your talents, to develop skills, to meet new people, and to give back to the community.The Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area (LHV) and Heritage Valley Partners (HVP) invite you to join “Ambassadors in Action,” the Heritage Valley’s hands-on volunteer corps! Under the sponsorship of HVP volunteers are needed to help with trail clean-ups, heritage events, office support, and more! There are opportunities for everyone. All tasks offer flexibility in scheduling and consideration of any physical limitations.
The Past Players
The Lackawanna Historical Society’s local amateur theater group, the Past Players, make local history come alive in the Dunmore and Waverly cemeteries with the plays, “Under the Lackawanna Moon” and “Under the Abington Moon.” Developed with assistance from a theater professional and the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit #19, the plays detail local historical figures who were significant in the early history of Lackawanna County. Many of the people portrayed are buried in the cemeteries. www.lackawannahistory.org
“The Place I Call Home”
The Center for Anti-Slavery Studies (CASS) studies Northeastern Pennsylvania’s role in the Underground Railroad and Abolition movements of the 19th century. With LHVA’s assistance, it developed a local history project called “The Place I Call Home.” The project will include a traveling exhibit, website, educational materials, and a series of Underground Railroad bus tours. The project also provided a unique opportunity for LHVA and the Endless Mountains Heritage Region to collaborate on a regional initiative. www.antislaverystudies.org
Saint Ubaldo Day: “The Race of the Saints”
Known locally as St. Ubaldo Day, “La Festa dei Ceri” is an annual celebration that was brought to America by immigrants from Gubbio, Italy, in 1911 to pay tribute to St. Ubaldo. Originating in Gubbio in the tenth century, the festival is still honored in Gubbio. The Jessup event, held in May, features “The Race of the Saints,” and it also offers carnival rides, artwork, ethnic gourmet food, wine tasting, and historic town tours.
LHVA has awarded grants to the Borough of Jessup to support the festival itself. LHVA also partners with Steamtown National Historic Site to offer this new train excursion in 2006 as part of the Heritage Valley Station Stops program. LHVA also was a major sponsor of the WVIA documentary “Ubaldo” which premiered in 2009.
“This community festival is a wonderful expression of Jessup’s pride in its Italian heritage,” said LHVA Executive Director Natalie Gelb. “Many residents in the borough are from families who immigrated to the Lackawanna Valley directly from Gubbio looking for jobs and opportunity. The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority is proud to sponsor ‘St. Ubaldo Day.’” www.stubaldoday.com