More Olde Time Christmas fun in Jim Thorpe – no mittens required

OTCheaderNew (2)Despite the mild December weather, you can still wear your ugly Christmas sweaters  but there’s no need for mittens this weekend to enjoy Jim Thorpe’s 34th annual Olde Time Christmas Celebration this weekend.

There are train rides with Santa, strolling musicians, carolers, and Evan the 7-foot Elf. There’s storytelling and Gingerbread houses on display at the Dimmick Memorial Library. A Christkindlmart will be held at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Route 903 and 5th Street on the East side, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, with a free organ concert, tours, food, gifts and even a yard sale.

Back to the historic district- At 2 p.m. on Saturday, folks will get the chance to worship the way the Packer and Sayre families would have done when the parish was founded. On the National Historic Register, St. Mark’s and St. John’s Episcopal Church, 21 Race Street Saturday, will celebrate a Victorian Eucharist from the 1789 Book of Common Prayer. The combined choirs from Trinity Church, Easton and St. Mark’s and St. John’s will provide the musical offering during this liturgy.

According to the Rev. John Wagner, all baptized Christians are welcome to receive the Eucharist.

The liturgy will be followed by the 21st Century equivalent of High Tea (coffee, tea and baked goods) to be served in the Great Hall.  During that High Tea, music from the Victorian Age will be offered by the Trinity Church, Easton, choir.

There is to be no charge for attendance at either the Eucharist nor the High Tea.  Offerings will be gladly accepted.

Come Saturday night, local favorite Craig Thatcher will return to the Mauch Chunk Opera House for his Rockin’ Christmas Show. For tickets and info, visit

Sunday afternoon, there will be a special presentation of the 40 Story Radio Tower with J.F. Hiatt onstage at the Opera House. Some may know the playwright from his Olde Time Christmas fireside stories at the Gilded Cupid.

For the complete schedule of Olde Time Christmas fun, visit

Jim Thorpe candlelight vigil for peace

candle-in-the-darkJim Thorpe will join the world in prayers for peace during a candlelight vigil Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. in the Josiah White Park.

Jim Thorpe author and spiritual activist Michelle Gallagher organized the bring-your-own-candle event after witnessing social media reaction to terrorist attacks and the Syrian refugee crisis.

“Let’s create peace in the world by starting right where we are – on and offline. This is for our children,” Gallagher said.

The bells of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church will ring to open the ceremony which will include poetry, music and the ringing of Tibetan bells to raise and carry the vibration of peace around the world.

Those unable to attend the actual event are encouraged, wherever they may be, to light a candle and offer their own thoughts and prayers for peace.

For more information or to participate in this event please contact Michelle Gallagher at 570-954-4520 or email at

Enjoy the warm glow of Christmas Past & Olde Time Christmas in Jim Thorpe

OTC Desha
Photo courtesy of Desha Utsick

The warm glow of Christmas Past beckons you to the 34th Annual Olde Time Christmas Festival in Jim Thorpe, PA, celebrated the first two weekends in December – December 4, 5 & 6, 12 & 13.

Like a scene from Currier and Ives, the village nestled in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains and decorated in Victorian style will kindle the heart and captivate the imagination.

Recognized by Smarter Travel as one of the 10 Best Small Towns for the Holidays and 10 Most Christmassy Things to Do in PA by Undercover PA, the Olde Time Christmas Festival is presented by the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency (JTTA).

With Santa, strolling carolers, characters and musicians, there’s lots of fun for the whole family.

tree lightingThe tree lighting celebration at Josiah White Park (train station) kicks off the festivities on Friday, December 4 beginning at 5 p.m. with music, caroling and dancing. Santa will arrive by firetruck at 6 p.m. to light the Jim Thorpe Christmas tree donated by Beisel’s Christmas Tree Hill in Lehighton.

Also Friday evening, the historic St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 21 Race Street, will host an open house, with tours, caroling, guitar music and refreshments, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Donation requested to benefit St. Mark’s.

Throughout Olde Time Christmas, goers will enjoy train rides with Santa, a gingerbread house display and children’s story time at the Dimmick Memorial Library, 54 Broadway, the 8th annual display of more than 500 crèches from around the world (Dec. 5 & 6) at St. John Lutheran Church, 319 South Avenue, holiday shows and concerts at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, 14 W. Broadway, and shopping Jim Thorpe’s 35 unique shops and galleries for that perfect gift.

Lovers can celebrate a little holiday romance and meet under the mistletoe all over the town named by Philadelphia Magazine as its 2012 Best of Philly: Best Romantic Getaway. The shops, galleries, restaurants, pubs and other local businesses will have sprigs of the “kissing plant” strategically hung. Folks can bring home a little Jim Thorpe love, with mistletoe sold by JTTA outside of the train station in Josiah White Park.

Gilded Cupid treeA visit to the Gilded Cupid, 40 Broadway, will take folks back in time with a German old-world themed tree display on Saturdays, December 5 and 12, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fireside stories for children will be presented at 2 p.m. on both days.

F. Hiatt’s fireside stories for adults only are also back by popular demand at 9 p.m. on both Saturdays. Reservations are required. Refreshments will be served. $10. A portion of donations from the afternoon and evening events will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

There are many charitable opportunities to give back this year, including the annual Toy Drive and Mitten Tree collections. Likewise, Stone Row Pub and Eatery is celebrating the season with a Steam Punk Tea offering that benefits St. Mark Episcopal Church’s bell restoration fund.

For more information on Olde Time Christmas events, follow us at or visit 

You needn’t go far away to feel as if you’ve gotten away from the stress of the holidays. Jim Thorpe is only 90 minutes from Philadelphia, two hours from New York City and 35 minutes from the Lehigh Valley.

JTTA plans, presents and promotes four major festivals each year: WinterFest (February), the Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration (May), Fall Foliage (three weekends in October), and the Olde Time Christmas festival (December). These events attract thousands of visitors, who stay at hotels, B&BS, inns and campgrounds in Jim Thorpe and throughout Carbon County. For all things Jim Thorpe, visit

Magical Halloween on historic Race Street

Halloween labyrinth, Jim ThorpeOn the dark side of the mountain, Race Street in Jim Thorpe is a magical place.

Here at the bottom of the valley of Old Mauch Chunk in front of the Stone Row and the old church, residents and shopkeepers will gather with brooms in hand to sweep cobwebs out and magic in.

The event will begin in the Stone Row Gallery, 29 Race Street, with an exhibition of ghost photography . The work is by Kevin Yee, whose Victorian Cabinet Card Creations have been attracting the attention of serious collectors.

5:00 p.m. – Pennsylvania writer Colleen Davis will read her most recent short-short story, ” 31 Days of Ghosts.” Christian Gould will perform Edgar Allan Poe’s much-loved ‘The Raven ” in period dress.

6:30 p.m. – The sweeping ritual will begin. We welcome visitors to historic Race Street and ask they bring along their brooms, and even their Masks, and Capes to join us in circling the spiral Labyrinth in the Race Street Park..

Refreshments appropriate to the occasion will be served from antique cauldrons on the Etching press in the gallery.

Fall Foliage Festival Fun in Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe historic Race STreet
Banners and colorful mums welcome visitors to the Times House B&B and historic Race Street.

On Penn Live’s Bucket List of 28 Things to Do in PA Before You Die, Jim Thorpe’s Fall Foliage Festival Weekends are here!

Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18 – Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival Weekends – Outstanding vendors (food, arts and crafts), free music events at four stages throughout the downtown area, ticketed headline shows at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, and seasonal specials from restaurants, and shops. For more information, visit

In addition to free live music throughout the historic district, there are some great shows lined up this weekend at the Mauch Chunk Opera House. Tonight Ted Vigil will put on an incredible John Denver tribute concert. Showtime: 8 p.m.; tickets – $26.

Damn the Torpedoes will rock the house Saturday night. The third visit to the venerable ol’ opera house for the group, the Tom Petty tribute band’s front man Rich Kubicz does Petty better than Petty does Petty, according to some. Showtime: 8 p.m.; tickets – $20. Check out video from May’s performance.