Heritage Festival Set for This Weekend

VALLEY TOWNSHIP -- It's all about railroads and history this weekend in Danville at the annual heritage festival. Organizers call it a step back in Danville's history.

Cutting rail is something you would expect to see in the Danville area in the 1800s, not in 2017. But that's exactly what was happening at Dale Hoover's home Wednesday afternoon.

"Teaching the kids about the railroads. I mean, yeah, they're still around, but not near like they had been, and I think it's great," Hoover said.

Hoover used to work for the Westshore Railroad in Lewisburg and donated some pieces to Van Wagner, who organizes the Danville Heritage Festival.

"It's a little bit smaller than what the rail he would be looking for, but it's better because it's on a smaller scale," Hoover said.

The group spent the day cutting the rail into pieces so they could recreate the process of bending railroad track like the Union soldiers would have done in the Civil War.

"It's ironic that some of Sherman's men made the t-rails here in Danville and then they were in the Union Army marching down South destroying the t-rail," organizer Van Wagner said.

The rail bending will be featured at this weekend's heritage festival, which takes place mostly at the Hess Field Complex, with events all over the Danville area.

The Iron Heritage Festival was a longtime tradition that was canceled in 2014 for financial reasons. But it was brought back a year later under a different name, the Danville Heritage Festival.

"Another way of saying it is this is our 19th year of having a heritage festival the third week of July in Danville," Wagner said.

People tell Newswatch 16 they are excited about the heritage festival.

"I think it's really nice for this area, just to show some of our heritage and what we have here in Danville. It's a really quaint little town," Lisa Strausser said.

The festival is free. It takes place July 14-16.