Cold Night, Hot Reception For First Lantern Walk

October 20, 2008 at 9:57 PM

            The “Spirit of DuBois” turned a cold night into a hot event for the over 175 people who participated in the first DuBois Area Historical Society “Spirit of DuBois” Lantern Walk last month.

            Counting the many volunteers, who were working at the Society and also took the opportunity to go on the walk, nearly 200 people took the historic stroll during nine tours. This included visitors from as far away as Ambridge near Pittsburgh and Lancaster.

            A DuBois Area Historical Society committee starting with an idea in January spent nine months planning a walking route, researching and writing a script that would both educate and entertain an audience of all ages, and making or obtaining costumes. Volunteers from the community and the Society then learned their lines to provide the eight stops on the tour.

            “The DuBois Area Historical Society is grateful for the support of the community in making this project successful,” said Tom Schott, Society vice president and chair of the lantern walk committee. “A lot of work went into this project and the attendance verified our efforts.”

            The committee who planned the event included:  Gene Aravich, Evo Facchine, Jean Hayes, Galen Kilmer, Beecher Klingensmith, Rob Peoples, Tom Schott, Virginia Schott, Julie Stewart, Jackie Syktich, and Todd Thompson.

            Those taking the tour encountered eight “Spirits” of DuBois’ past, who provided historic information. The “Spirits” were:  the Miner – performed by Dave Clark; the Sister – performed by Pam August; Jean Richards and the Central School fire – performed by Jean (Richards) Hayes from personal recollections; the Minister – performed by Rev. Chris Ramsey, DuBois Area Cooperative Lutheran Ministry; the Horse – performed by Tharren Thompson; the Woman at the Train Station – performed by Jackie Syktich; the Conductor of DuBois’ last passenger train – performed by Sam Richards, whose grandfather was the conductor on the last passenger train; and the Movie Fan – performed by Beecher Klingensmith.

            Researching and writing the script were:  Gene Aravich, Jean Hayes, Beecher Klingensmith, Rob Peoples, Tom Schott, and Todd Thompson.

            Lantern guides were Tim Gearhart, Mike Gressler, Galen Kilmer, and Todd Thompson; with Gene Aravich, Jeanne Hayes, Rob Peoples, and Jerry Watson accompanying the tours.

            Helping in the museum with signups, short tours, and refreshment management:  Dave Beer, Nellie Beer, Sandy Bloomberg, Denise Delp, Barb Emmer, Ann Facchine, Evo Facchine, Judy Leach, Audrey Lott, Linda Riccadona, Tom Schott, Virginia Schott, Cheri Shannon, and Julie Stewart.

            Sponsorship and special assistance were provided by:  City of DuBois, CNB Bank, Downtown DuBois Revitalization Group, Patty Gilliland for providing the horse costume, Scotty’s Donuts, Sisters of Mercy of Erie for making the Sister’s habit, Joe Skubisz for providing the railroad lantern used in the logo, and Way Office Supply.

Category: News