Top o’ parade weekend to you

2010 Grand Marshal Hugh Dugan gets the crowd going during the 2011 St. Patrick's Day Parade.

With the Irish Tricolor flag waving across Broadway, green lights and paper shamrocks bedecking borough windows, not to mention the tent back up on the deck at the Molly Maguire, it can mean only one thing – it’s St. Patty’s Day parade weekend in Jim Thorpe.

While Sunday marks the 15th St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Jim Thorpe, there are festivities all weekend long.

The Barley Boys will take the stage at the Mauch Chunk Opera House tonight at 8. Saturday night Noel V. Ginnity and Taylor’s Irish Cabaret, will entertain goers with traditional Irish songs, dance, as well as comedy.

One of my favorite events of parade weekend has always been the Hibernian Mass at Immaculate Conception Church on Saturday afternoon.

During the tenure of the previous pastor, Monsignor John Chizmar, the Mass was especially touching for those with the blood of the old sod flowing through their veins. The sashed Hibernians would process into the church adorned with shamrocks and green carnations to traditional Irish songs as well as hymns such as Our Lady of Knock. Small loaves of Irish Soda Bread were given out after communion and the recessional was always When Irish Eyes are Smiling.

Under the current pastor, the Reverend James Ward, however, some of those touches including the beloved recessional have gone by the wayside in favor of more religious hymns. Still it wouldn’t be parade weekend for this writer without the Hibernian Mass.

The parade kicks off on Sunday at 1 p.m. back at the church with a blessing, and then a stop at the old jail to lay a wreath in memory of the Molly Maguires hung there in 1877, before heading down Broadway. Grand Marshal for the 2012 parade is Charles ‘Chuck’ Thamarus.

Voices of the Hollow Maze at Venus & the Moon

Acclaimed local artist David Watkins Price will exhibit some of his latest works during the March 2, First Friday event at Venus & the Moon, 31 Race Street in Jim Thorpe. Each month Venus & the Moon features artists whose work is forward-looking and transformational, connecting the viewer with cosmic energies.

Known for his seminal work Standing Stones (for which he received the F. Lamott Belin Scholarship out of Waverly), Price is working on a series of new prints he calls Voices Of The Hollow Maze. Inspired by travels to China and Egypt, Price recently returned from central France where an interest in Templar Architecture led him to a small stone cottage. In a place untouched by the outside world he found inspiration for this new series, a section of rural France where the past remains in abundance. Surrounded by fields of wild flowers and labyrinths of speaking streams, farm ruins of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are poised between past and present time. These experiences forged a vision for Price’s new series of prints.

“The works are nurtured and transformed by luminal places in the margin we connect with–worlds beyond our sight,” says Price. “Voices of the Hollow Maze is less about architecture and more about resonance–the resonance of forms left behind by people who have abided within them all the days of their lives. These works are about people whose hands have lit the fires on homely hearths, whose hands have stirred apple butter in their summer kitchens, and who have walked the hollow maze of paths that connect with quiet places in the margin. Perhaps the most important connection I feel as an artist is to the feelings of love found in ordinary things.”

Price’s Voices of the Hollow Maze will be exhibited throughout the month of March. The First Friday event begins at 5 p.m. For more information, visit Venus & the Moon.

It’s WinterFest!








If it’s President’s weekend, it must be WinterFest in Jim Thorpe – the Switzerland of America, the gateway to the Poconos.

This year marks the 18th annual festival sponsored by the Jim Thorpe Chamber of Commerce. Goers will enjoy ice and wood carving exhibitions down at the Josiah White Park (train station), the famous Jim Thorpe Mug Walk, pinata busting, kids shows, Civil War reenactors, and much more.

The Lehighton-based Faculty Brass, shown here in front of the Times House Bed & Breakfast, can always be counted on to lend a musical backdrop to Jim Thorpe festivals. They'll do the honors once again on Saturday for the 18th annual WinterFest.

The Mauch Chunk Opera House has two great shows lined up for the festival weekend. On Saturday night, the British blues band, Savoy Brown, will celebrate the release of its new CD, Voodoo Moon. Blues guitarist and Opera House favorite, Craig Thatcher, will open.

The acclaimed Allentown Band will take the Mauch Chunk Opera House stage for a 5 p.m. Sunday show.

Up on historic Race Street, the Country Cottage will be offering huge savings during its Anniversary Sale. Be sure to ask Lori for a pickle fact. She’s got a hundred of them. On Saturday, just a few doors down, David Miller will be doing Tarot card readings at Venus and the Moon from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Walk-in appointments subject to availability.

LaBrusca is back in stock at Big Creek Vineyard and Winery. Stop in the Race Street shop for a taste and don’t forget to check out Homespun’s new line of gourmet food and bath products.

The Times House Bed & Breakfast still has availability for the weekend of February 24/25 –  the last weekend for guests to take advantage of its February Valentine’s package. Book two nights and a dozen roses, a bottle of Big Creek wine and a heart-shaped box of chocolates will be waiting for you in your suite.


PS – More Valentine’s weekend happenings on historic Race Street

In celebration of Valentine s Day, Big Creek Vineyard and Winery is releasing a very limited bottling of its 2011 Muscat.  Sweet as Aphrodite but as serious as Bacchus: When sipped, curiously and almost without exception, lips curl into a mischievous smile and the eyes twinkle  An Old World style dessert wine that all wine lovers will enjoy.  This wine deserves a special glass so we will also have our Schott Zwiesel Crystal on sale at half price

Muscat Tasting Notes and Availability
The color is a crystal clear straw blonde with aromas of honey, melon, ripe peach, orange and pears dancing above the glass.  Compared to the previous vintage, it is a little higher in alcohol, lower in residual sugar and fuller bodied.   The 2010 vintage was extremely well received and sold out quickly (2010 tasting notes and award)

Wines will be available beginning Friday February 10th at $12 per bottle until supplies are gone.  We will have it at both the winery in Kresgeville and the Shoppe in Jim Thorpe (27 Race Street) Big Creek Vineyard and Winery

Venus & The Moon for a little Magick
Learn all things Aphrodisiac at Venus & the Moon, 31 Race Street, and leave with love inspired luxuries some made just for you, by you like *Massage Oil *Bath Salts *Love/Lust Karma Bags. Snag St. Valentine’s Tea, Valentine’s Soap, and Love/Lust Incense too!

Receive over a handful of aphrodisiac recipes & more.  Classes Saturday, Feb. 11 and Sunday, Feb. 12 at Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. $50 per couple. Register at

Natural bath & body products, incredible hand dipped incense, organic botanicals, essential oils, stones, wedding & shower favors, Zen Creations Jewelry. Featuring local artists every month. Spiritual consultation & Tarot reading with Michelle Gallagher by appointment.—the-Moon.html/

Moya Restaurant for a Romantic Dinner
Join Heri, Stephanie and Maxine for innovative, elegant, straightforward cuisine in a beautiful setting that’s easy for everybody to enjoy.

Heri s primary goal in opening Moya is to offer gourmet, eclectic cuisine. His food has few rules and is executed in a relaxed, healthy style with an emphasis on flavor and freshness. His menu is constantly changing to accommodate local product and palate. Moya is also home to the paintings of noted local artist Stephanie Verme, wife of Chef Heri Yunda and the co-owner and manager of Moya,  24 Race Street, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229-2004 (570) 325-8530

Spend Valentine’s weekend on the most romantic street in the Poconos

Horse-drawn carriage rides down Jim Thorpe's historic Race Street are a highlight of many a romantic weekend getaway.

Historic Race Street in the heart of Jim Thorpe is considered by many one of the most romantic streets in the Pocono Mountains – not to mention this side of the Atlantic.

In the foothills of the Pocono Mountains, just a block above Broadway, you are in the heart of all Jim ‘Thorpe has to offer but  located where it’s a little quieter than the hustle and bustle of the main street.

Race Street also offers the comfortable elegance of the Times House Bed and Breakfast, as well as fine dining at Moya’s, shops, a gallery and free wine-tasting at Big Creek Winery, not to mention the magnificent architecture and Tiffany windows of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, recognized on the National Historic Register.

On Race, visitors stroll hand-in-hand and often mention the European feel of the street. A few minutes walk up Race Street leads you to Broadway, directly across from the Mauch Chunk Opera House, where Times House guests get a discount. This weekend Tusk, a Fleetwood Mac tribute concert is scheduled.

The Times House celebrates Valentine’s Day all month long and provides the perfect setting for your celebration with complimentary roses, a bottle of Big Creek wine and a heart-shaped box of chocolates. Just bring your love. For Valentine’s weekend – February 10 and 11 – special pricing is also offered.

The Times Elegance Suite is the perfect place to spend Valentine's weekend.

Two nights in the Times Elegance Suite, roses, wine and chocolates are offered at $298, plus tax.

The Times II Suite offers the romantic charm of another era.

For Valentine’s weekend, two nights in the Times II Suite, a bouquet of roses, a bottle of wine and a heart-shaped box of chocolates is only $249, plus tax.