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Carnival Raising Money to Preserve Our Past

WEST HAZLETON, Pa. -- A carnival in Luzerne County has a bit of an unusual goal. A weekend of fair fun is aiming to preserve the area's history.

Organizers are hoping this carnival can raise about $20,000 over the next five days so they can continue to keep our area's history alive.

With kids spinning around in teacups and Oreos frying up, this carnival in West Hazleton looks just like any other, but it is raising money to save a museum and preserve the history of our area.

"It's good to know where you come from. If you don't know anything about your area, I mean, it's interesting! You might learn something new and find and explore new places," said Dalton Tolerico, Sugarloaf Township.

The Greater Hazleton Historical Society and Sophia Coxe Foundation are hosting the carnival in the parking lot of the Bowl Arena and Milkhouse Creamery. Sophia Coxe remembers our area's coal mining past while the historical society preserves Hazleton's history with a museum. But this museum is in big financial trouble.

"We are going broke fast. We have 2 1/2 years of money left to keep the museum going and then I would have to start proceeding to shut the museum down," said Tom Gabos, president of Greater Hazleton Historical Society.

Organizers hope they're able to raise about $20,000 from this carnival so that they can raise money to remember all of this.

"A carnival draws in all kinds of people. We are very gracious to the people from Bowl Arena and the Creamery for donating the space to us for that," said Bryan Dunnigan, founder of Sophia Coxe Foundation.

The carnival has games where kids can try their luck. Michelle Hixenbaugh of Sugarloaf Township is glad money spent here is money spent towards preserving history.

"It's great for the kids to see our culture, our history to see what this area is about. The hard-working people, the immigrants that have come here and have worked in the mines, and everything this great area has to offer," Hixenbaugh said.

The carnival is in town in West Hazleton through the weekend.

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