Railfest 2014 Grand Marshal Announced at Steamtown NHS
Contact: Bill Nalevanko, 570-241-8258
Railfest 2014, an annual celebration of railroading past, present and future that is held on the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend at Steamtown National Historic Site, will take place on August 30 and 31. The park will mark the event with an opening ceremony on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m., and announced that Mrs. Donna Hagen, wife of late Superintendent Harold "Kip" Hagen, has been named Grand Marshal for this year's event! Superintendent Hagen died of a sudden heart attack in December, after 17 years at Steamtown.
Mrs. Hagen is a 34-year career employee of the National Park Service. She is currently employed by the Office of Associate Director, Park Planning, Facilities and Lands in Washington, D.C., and works in the Recreation Fee Expenditures program. Mrs. Hagen notes that when she first arrived at Steamtown NHS in 2002, she didn't know the difference between steam and diesel locomotives, but quickly grew to share her husband's passion for Scranton's railroading history. She is awestruck with the extensive time and effort that goes into operating Steamtown NHS in order to keep the park open and trains running for the education and enjoyment of the visiting public. During their 12-year marriage, Mrs. Hagen could always be found at her husband's side at park events and excursions as "Steamtown's #1 Fan." One of her fondest memories is that of the special train excursion to reopen a rail connection with Steamtown's neighboring National Park in 2003 – the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Born in St. Louis, Mrs. Hagen is a graduate of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. She currently resides in Tafton, Pennsylvania. As Railfest Grand Marshal, Mrs. Hagen will join with Steamtown Superintendent Deborah Conway in welcoming visitors to this year's celebration of railroading in Scranton.
Railfest 2014 will feature a daily roundtrip excursion to Moscow, Pennsylvania with "photo run-bys" included in each trip! Before the Railfest event, the park has plenty of summer excursions still available for your family enjoyment.
On July 27 and August 9 trips to Cresco Station, the Barrett Township Historical Society plans to host tours of their museum, feature a "G-scale" model train layout and, on July 27, feature guitarist Ted Satterthwaite during the one-hour visit.
Located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, from I-81 follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); then, follow the signs to the main entrance at Lackawanna and Cliff Avenues. Keep abreast of Railfest 2014 plans and activities at www.nps.gov/stea/planyourvisit/railfest-2014.htm. The park is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm daily; for train excursion information and reservations phone (570) 340-5204, 9 am – 4 pm daily.