Thanksgiving Football in Pennsylvania: Slatington v. Palmerton (1935-1974)

The football fields

blue bar

Over the years, the Thanksgiving football games were played on different fields.

In Slatington

In Palmerton

I was familiar with all of these fields.

Back in the late 1960s and early 70s we would play on the Delaware Avenue field in Palmerton when I visited my aunt and uncle who lived just a few houses away from the field on Franklin Avenue. Then, in the later 1970s when I played Babe Ruth baseball games, I was able to play on that field as a visiting team from Slatington.

When I was in high school in the 1970s, I played several football games on the field in Blue Bomber Stadium, and I saw the field every time that we visited our family plot at the Lower Towamensing cemetery next to the stadium. When Slatington’s Alumni Field was closed because of the construction of the new Northern Lehigh High School, my brother and I would train on the track up at Palmerton during the summer.

In Slatington, Victory Park was the site of Little League games when I was younger, and the pool where we hung out as kids was right next door to the baseball field. Both are still there. The other thing that I remember about the Victory Park field was that it was the site of kite flying contests back around 1970. Since it was on top of the hill, it could be very windy up there, perfect for kite flying.

Playing football for Slatington High School and also being on the track team meant that I literally spent thousands of hours on the Alumni Field over the years. If there wasn't a game or practice, we could be running laps around the track or just hanging out on the field or practicing high jumping into the pit. It was no big deal to jump the fence to get onto the field, and I was never sure why anyone bothered to even lock the gate.