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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Carbondale, PA - Pioneer Nights and Ethnic Heritage Festival

Carbondale Pioneer Nights - Ethnic Heritage Festival
Celebrating Our City's Rich Heritage

What?  Really?

Kudos, Carbondale on a wonderful idea, but since when did Carbondale's primary heritage belong to only the Italians (with a slight nod to the Russians)?  In doing just some brief research, and I do mean brief, one can easily find that the English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish and Germans had a much larger role in the establishment and growth of Carbondale.  The founders themselves, William and Maurice Wurts, are of German decent.  When visiting the pages of the Carbondale Historical Society, you will find the names of several prominent Carbondaleans, none of whom are Italian.  Not that the Italians do not have a place of prominence in the city, they absolutely do, but how can you label a festival as one celebrating ethnic heritage without including the others that played a more major role?

Some of the surname origins to which I am referring:

Astor - German/French
Avery - English
Cannon - Irish
Colville - Scottish
Cornell - German/French
Dickson - Scottish/Irish
Elbrecht - German
Halstead - English
Hendrick - Dutch/Scottish/English
Kenendy - Irish/Scottish
Levison - Jewish
Low - English/Scottish
May - English/German
McDonald - Scottish
Morgan - English/Scottish
Morton - English/Scottish
Powell - English/Welsh
Russell - English/Scottish/Irish
Taylor - English/Scottish
Ward - English
Wurts - German

I probably have more to say, actually I know I do, but I'm a little set aside right now.  Do you realize, also, that 5 out of the 6 Pioneer Nights committee members are of Irish, English or Scottish decent?  Perhaps Italian as well, but why were the other ethnic groups to whom we should pay homage forgotten?  All of those who turned this little coal-mining, railroad town into a city and called it home?  If you are going to label Pioneer Nights as an Ethnic Heritage Festival, you really do need to include more of the city's heritage; if you are going to highlight only one, then perhaps a separate festival is warranted, something like Carbondale's own La Festa Italiana.

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