COUDERSPORT, Pa. — Al Capone and Eliot Ness will renew their acquaintance in Coudersport next month.
The occasion? The second annual Eliot Ness Fest — slated for July 19-21.
Paul Heimel, Potter County commissioner and board member of the Eliot Ness Fest, said this year’s festival “is going to be amazing.”
“Among the highlights are a dramatic re-enactment of the Trial of Al Capone with Coudersport’s own Eliot Ness as a witness and the national debut of a world-class musical production, ‘Eliot Ness: A Biographical Suite,’ followed by a Musical Journey Back to the Roaring ‘20s,” Heimel explained.
The first ever reunion of the Sons and Daughters of the Untouchables, a group of descendants from the federal agents who served under Ness in Chicago, when he was going after Capone, will be held at the event. The event will also feature presentations regarding the innovative law enforcement and public safety career that built Ness’ legacy.
“There are three big car and truck shows — including the vintage Ness and Chicago Era show that is headlined by a very famous Rolls-Royce from 1920s Chicago,” Heimel said. “We’ll have some really cool, action-packed street theater, a speakeasy operating for much of the weekend, a costume contest and more.”
And just how did the famous crime fighter end up in Coudersport?
A new company seeking to market its anti-forgery solution throughout the nation wanted a recognizable spokesman with law enforcement and sales experience. Ness was a fit for the North Guaranty Paper Corp., which was touting a special wax-based watermark to be applied to printed materials, from payroll checks to legal documents.
After World War II, forgery was a growing problem, and North Guaranty was pursuing contracts with financial institutions and government agencies. The firm relocated its headquarters to Coudersport in 1956 to reduce costs. Ness died in May 1957.
Eliot Ness Fest will kick off on Friday, July 19, and will run through Sunday, July 21.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.eliotnessfest.com