Heritage Festival celebrates 150th Birthday of the ‘Red Bridge’

Hundreds of Berks County residents learn about local history Saturday during the Berks County Heritage Center’s 36th annual Heritage Festival. The one day event featured an abundance of activities including musical entertainment, crafts, displays, demonstrations, great food, and more.

Stephanie Grace performs on stage at the Heritage Festival

Sunday’s activities throughout the day feature a carriage and wagon show; draft horse driving activities; an antique auto display of vehicles 1959 and older; on stage performances by Stephanie Grace and Wahoo Medicine Show and Phydeaux’s Flying Flea circus with George Esparza; Matt Dodd’s historical music programs at the Canal Center, children’s pedal tractor pull coordinated by the Old Time Plow Boys Club and Red Bridge talks with Fred Moll.

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1920’s hit and miss engine demonstration.

In addition to the festival, Berks Parks Department also celebrated the 150th Birthday of Wertz’s “Red” Bridge. Built in 1867 by Amandas Knerr the bridge is named (Wertz) after the man who operated a grist mill along the west bank of the creek. It is the longest single span covered bridge in Pennsylvania.

Blacksmiths stoke the fire for the day.

Several arts and crafts vendors and antique farm equipment were onsite for spectators enjoy. The festival also included history of the Lenni Lenape Indians shared by Darius Puff, guitar workshops with Butch Imhoff, and storytelling by Karen Terri Ludwig. Plus, tours of the Hiester Canal Center, Gruber Wagon Works, and Melcher’s Grist Mill.

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