Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

Jim Thorpe is a great place for Valentine’s Weekend with all kinds of things going on. One of those things is that our many restaurants have special events prepared just for the occasion! Check here often for updates on the variety of places to go for your special Valentine’s getaway.Valentines Dinner in Jim Thorpe PA

Romantic Valentine’s Package at the Inn at Jim Thorpe (24 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, (570) 732-4343) Grab your sweetie and celebrate Valentine’s in one of America‘s most romantic towns!  Philadelphia Magazine voted Jim Thorpe, and the Inn, as their “Best Romantic Getaway” a couple of years ago.  Two night packages include lodging, a delicious gourmet Valentine’s dinner, complimentary bottle of wine and souvenir wine glasses, daily $7 breakfast voucher, taxes and gratuity and start at just $229 per person.  Optional massages and spa services available, too. February 13-15 or February 14-16

Stone Row Pub and Eatery (47 Race Street, Jim Thorpe, 570-732-0465) – Valentine’s 5-Course Dinner for Two: Tasty food + romantic setting + 2 options (2/13 & 2/14) = SHAZAM! Dinner includes a shared appetizer, cup of soup, salad, choice of entrée, dessert, tea or coffee. Vegetarian, vegan, allergen-sensitive options & special Valentine’s Cocktails are available. $65 Per Couple. Reservations strongly suggested. See website for details. Bonus offer: for those who “can’t get rid of the kids,” family seating is available on a separate floor, away from all the couples looking at one another with googly eyes.

Penn’s Peak Valentine’s Dinner Dance with Remember When (325 Maury Rd, Jim Thorpe, 866-605-7325) – Your evening begins with a delightful meal followed by the sounds of Remember When.   Ticket prices, which include show, meal, gratuity and applicable taxes, are $49 per person.  Entrée selections are Maryland Crab Cakes, Chicken Cordon Bleu or Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus.  All entrées are served with a cup of Italian Wedding soup, fresh garden salad, Chef’s choice potato, fresh seasonal vegetables, strawberry layer cake and choice of coffee, tea or fountain beverage.  Cash bar available. Saturday, February 14, 2015, doors open 5:00pm, dinner 5:30pm to 7:00pm, Remember When 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Reservations are available through our Box Office at 866-605-7325 or by calling Deb Biege at 610-826-9663.

The Broadway Grille and Pub (24 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, (570) 732-4343) Have a Romantic Valentine’s Dinner at the Broadway Grille on February 14. Enjoy a special gourmet Valentine’s dinner featuring surf and turf, filet oscar or lobster tail, all served with dinner salad, vegetable du jour, mashed potatoes, dessert and a complimentary glass of Champagne. Reservations highly encouraged.

Moya (24 Race Street, Jim Thorpe, 570-325-8530) Enjoy your Valentines dinner at Jim Thorpe’s most romantic restaurant. Our amazing chef takes great pride in creating you and your special someone a fabulous romantic dinner. Relax in our dimly lit elegant dining room. Featuring a regular menu with plenty of delectable dinner specials. Expect special martinis and an extensive wine and beer list. Reservations will be accepted from 5:00pm until 9:45 pm

Tony Stella’s Encore (66 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, (570) 325-4440) – After 35 years in the restaurant business, Tony Stella’s background is legendary, from the food to the service. Join Tony and his staff for an evening of love and romance. Complimentary roses for the ladies, phenomenal drinks, 40 beers, and the also-legendary absinthe. His award-winning 5-star menu and personal attention to you are from start-to-finish: treat yourself.


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The Randy Rabenold Art Show will exhibit the collective works of local area educator, known to many as a living legend and an inspiration to many who have pursued art in their life, Milan Melicharek, Doug Rontz and Tracy Everett among the many., August 24th.

featuredA thirty-seven year veteran art teacher, Randy’s art roots were anchored in the Great Depression and baptized in the cruel winters of the Korean War, Rabenold’s works bear witness to a soul born in stark loneliness, his subjects often faceless forms traversing shadows toward a destination unclear.

Rabenold’s art also intersected the sporting world.  A founding member and director of fifty-years of the Jim Thorpe Summer League and a basketball coach most of his life, he published over 100 sports cartoons featured in the Times News.   Showing the lighter side of life, noting the milestones of athletes and their coaches, these cartoons contain snapshots into the feats and heartbreaks of the late 1970s sports scene.

Perhaps most interesting to many who know the man and his art, one will be able to view the genesis of his creative life as the show will include the pencil sketches of the young Rabenold at war during the Korean Conflict of the early 1950s.  Capturing the daily life of defense of remote ridges of an unforgiving and rugged landscape, one will see the untrained talents of a man who achieved what few can claim: the status of a living legend within one’s lifetime.

Go here to attend this show.

“Such seeds, though planted in bitter soil, still yielded the tenderest of men.”

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The Coal Country Christmas Carol has grown into an annual tradition.

Several years ago, playwright Joe Hiatt and friends wanted to create a version of the classic Dickens’ story, “A Christmas Carol.” However, there were a few elements Mr. Hiatt wanted to use if he were going to write an adaptation. First, he wanted to make it specific to the coal region of Pennsylvania, a place Dickens himself visited when he came to America.

Coal Country Christmas Carol in Jim Thorpe

“There is so much history here that speaks directly to the Scrooge story,” Hiatt explains, “I wanted to bring it home and make it unique to Pennsylvania, which has no shortage of ghosts!”

He also uses the incredible talents of the artists and performers who live and work in the coal region. Home not only to actors and writers, but some of the finest musicians, dancers, circus performers and visual artists around, Carbon County is truly unusual. From this idea grew the Christmas Carol as a live, staged radio play where anything and everything can happen.

What do Scrooge’s ghosts look like? What are his memories? The first time Dani Davison flew out over the audience in an aerial ballet or the velvet box grew into Dan Becker’s towering Christmas tree we realized, in the world of the imagination, it could be anything.

This year, we’re going even further with more music; tradition and original songs by the Free Range Folk, Christie McGorry and more, we’ve added the amazing talents of Bill Lance, Maya Kowalcyk and the Eclectic Circus. Be ready for the march of the breaker boys, the dance of the silk mill girls and, of course, ghosts! It promises to be a Christmas Carol like you’ve never seen before.

“The Coal Country Christmas Carol” is a Jim Thorpe tradition that the entire family can enjoy. You can purchase tickets on the Mauch Chunk Opera House website or downtown at SoundCheck Records. Call 570-325-0249 for more information.

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Old Time Christmas in Jim Thorpe has evolved into one of Jim Thorpe’s most anticipated holiday celebrations, enjoyed by visitors and residents alike. With three weekends of fun, on Dec 1-2. 8-9, 15-16, there’s plenty to experience!

From the bigger-than-ever Christmas Parade, to the famous tree lighting ceremony at Josiah White Park, to the poignant and fun Coal Country Christmas Carol by local playwright Joe Hiatt, and all the festivities you’ll experience each weekend, it’s a time of year you don’t want to miss!

Find all the details at JimThorpeOldeTimeChristmas.com or visit their Facebook page. Happy holidays!

Jim Thorpe Olde Time Christmas

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by Tara Banninger

The 2012 Jim Thorpe Victorian Festival takes place September 14 and 15. Details below!

Three years ago, I was honored when I was approached to be a member of the Victorian Heritage Festival committee.  The committee wanted to take their annual fund raising ball and turn it into a weekend of activity.  The success I had with the First Annual Burlesque Festival prompted them to seek me to join them and  help boost their organization by lending what I had learned at the Burlesque Festival to the Victorian Heritage Festival.  The committee is completely run by volunteers, including myself.  We all work tirelessly to organize and promote the yearly Victorian Ball; the center of the activities that occur on our heritage weekend.  As one committee member put it yesterday, it’s a labor of love.

Victorian Ball in Jim Thorpe PA

Mauch Chunk Players in Victorian Clothing

Our festival, while more low key, has a series of events that pays tribute to Jim Thorpe, or Mauch Chunk’s, rich Victorian past.  Our little weekend is a chance for you to glimpse into what it was like in Jim Thorpe as you stroll through town and catch the Mauch Chunk Players in full Victorian costume promenading at the train station and up Broadway.  Occasionally, you’ll hear a conversation or two between the two “characters” of Jim Thorpe’s past or you’ll hear them singing off the Balcony of the Inn at Jim Thorpe.

For this year’s theme, I proposed a Victorian Wedding re-enactment.   After all, weddings are my business!  The committee all agreed and we began putting it all together.  Our first task was selecting which Jim Thorpe couple we would like to pay tribute to and Harry Packer and Mary Lockhart were a pretty easy choice. This year’s festival kicks off on Friday September 14th.   There will be a  lecture by town historian Jack Gunsser at Through the Looking Glass Cafe at 7pm (buffet will be served at $14.95/person).   There are many activities planned throughout the day on Saturday that culminates at the ball.

Victorian Ball in Jim Thorpe PA

Harry Packer

We have so many to thank for their contributions.  First, Agnes of Neusse Photography will be donating her services to our cause. We have been granted the rare privilege of photographing the couple playing our Bride & Groom inside the Asa Packer Mansion (thank you Lions club of Jim Thorpe) as well as the other players in full costume on the porch of the mansion.  Our wedding cake is being donated by Stephanie of  Icing on the Cake. The flower centerpieces that will adorn our dinner tables and the bridal bouquet that the Victorian Bride will carry, are being donated by Jean of Rose Boutique Unique Floral Studio.  I have the privilege of  being members together with these ladies in the Elegant Lehigh Valley Weddings & Special Events group.  Kyle, of Crystal View Carriage, will be taking the “Bride” and her entourage up Broadway for what is sure to be a great photo opportunity.     Their work is amazing and I am honored that they generously donated their services to our cause.

The Victorian wedding-themed ball, complete with a wedding ceremony re-enactment, will take place at the beautiful Mauch Chunk Ballroom at 41 West Broadway in Jim Thorpe.  Cocktails start at 5pm followed by the wedding ceremony, dinner and dancing.

Please stop by the Victorian Heritage Festival website to learn more about the event and purchase tickets.  Victorian costumes are encouraged but not required!  Tickets for the ball are $50 each and proceeds benefit the Kemmerer Carriage House Restoration. Of course, strolling through our beautiful town is always free.

Tara Banninger is a local wedding planner and owner of Jim Thorpe Weddings & Events, the exclusive manager and planner of the Mauch Chunk Ballroom space and producer of the Jim Thorpe Wedding Expo . For more information about weddings in Jim Thorpe & The Mauch Chunk Ballroom, you can contact her at tara@mauchchunkballroom.com or by calling 484-629-5070. 

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Not long ago, the Jim Thorpe Earth Day Celebration (details here) was a decidedly local affair with vendors and activities in the downtown park. While the affair continues in its 23rd year connected to its local roots, it has begun to embrace a larger set of activities of interest to a broader set of people.

Jim Thorpe PA Earth Day Celebration“We celebrated Earth Day long before it became hip again to do it,” says local shopkeeper and proprietor Shelly Holland of Horizons, a Grateful Dead store with everything from clothes and music to hula hoops.

Moya Restaurant owner Stephanie Verme noticed 3 years ago that business had taken a much larger turn for the better, with more adults in town and more cars in the county parking lot, to complement the earthier locals and visitors with whom the weekend has long been popular.

Moya Restaurant Jim Thorpe PA

At the Opera House, located just up Broadway from the park, the festivities begin that Friday night, April 20 with a 2-band offering of world music, heretofore perhaps a bit unusual in these parts.

Mighty Mystic at the Mauch Chunk Opera House Jim Thorpe PAMighty Mystic, a Reggae group whose leader was originally from Jamaica and is touring on the strength of their new album “Wake the World,” promises to offer something satisfying to all, while reinforcing an appropriate message for Earth Day.

“When I moved to Boston, I realized the North East region was very influenced by the hip hop scene of the early 90’s, and it also had a bubbling reggae market,” bandleader Mighty Mystic (formerly Kevin Holness) observed. “I wanted to hold on tight to my Jamaican reggae influences, even while living abroad. A huge part of my inspiration is directly linked to the teachings that my family instilled in me. They were beloved in our Jamaican community, for all their hard work, devotion and overall help onto others.”

But it’s only half the story that night. Co-billing is Funk Ark, another world music outfit from Washington, DC. Adulation for their sound has been considerable: “Mixing up a rocket fuel of Afrobeat and funk, this is a killer, uncut dose of pure bomb,” says Midwest Record, while Inside World Music raves, “Funky swagger and soul that is as unforgettable as it is unique.”Funk Ark Music at the Mauch Chunk Opera House

The Funk Ark is the creation of Will Rast, band pianist and spokesperson. “I turned my life over to The Funk in high school,” he says, and has been walking that walk ever since. “To me The Funk is linking all music – people like James Brown and the JBs, The Meters, Santana” and many others. Along with Mighty Mystic, it promises to be quite a night, and a remarkable way to begin the weekend.

It’s only $15 and half off for students!

Activities and vendors will crowd the Josiah White downtown park with free music, arts and crafts and food offerings. There will considerable live free music dispersed throughout town.

All the details can be found here.

Splintered Sunlight at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe PAThe Earth Day theme is admirably continued that Saturday evening, 4/21, with Splintered Sunlight, a Grateful Dead tribute band from Philadelphia that has been working the East Coast for over 20 years. Lead by guitarist Butchy Kochorow, Splintered brings 6 pieces to the stage, including the two-drum sound the Dead were known for. The sets vary considerably, but the main thing is their attention to detail, especially with the Dead classics.

Jim Thorpe in general is the sort of town that appeals to the curious visitor with unusual shops, and plenty of outdoor activities. Earth Day is one of the feature events of spring!

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The Jim Thorpe Art Weekend is a relatively new entrant into the community festival scene, yet an increasingly popular one. You’ll experience many of the distinctive things in Jim Thorpe – visual art, free music, culinary treats, headline shows at the Opera House, gallery openings along Broadway and West Broadway, artists demonstrations, and interesting lectures and workshops.

It’s also relaxed, lacking the rather frenzied pace of, for example, October’s Fall Foliage Festival. It turns out that May is an especially beautiful and unhurried time of year in Jim Thorpe.

You might consider a weekend stay at a local bed and breakfast, or at the Inn at Jim Thorpe, the newly-restored downtown Victorian-era hotel. Every guest who books a stay with a bed and breakfast gets a free ticket to hear local raconteur Jack Gunsser tell entertaining stories of Old Mauch Chunk. He dresses in costume and holds forth in the very appropriately historic Harry Packer Mansion.

Other activities include a lecture on Sunday afternoon by historian Bill Allison titled “The Art of Victorian Architecture,” and guided tours at the Asa Packer Mansion, the Mauch Chunk Museum, and the Old Jail. You’ll be able to combine art and history at a photography workshop with photographer Tom Storm, who knows the spots from which you might take your most memorable opuses of town.

Jim Thorpe GalleryThe festival begins on Saturday, May 5th at 11 AM with a walking tour of studios and galleries. At the downtown Visitors Center is an information table as well as a sales booth for ticketed events. Pick up a visitor’s bag loaded with our brochure and walking tour guide, plus special offers redeemable throughout the historic district.

That evening we celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Mauch Chunk Opera House with a performance by Marko Marcinko’s Latin Jazz Quintet. Directly across the street, an opening at the Dakota Ridge Gallery will present the deeply moving photography of Madascar’s Pierrot Men. The event is open to the public.

Nic East Stained GlassSunday is a day for museums, art lectures, and art demonstrations. Stained glass artist Nic East will demonstrate how to make a stained glass window, then lead a tour through his casa d’art that features more than 30 stained glass doors and windows.

On Sunday, Stone lithographer Ron Chupp demonstrates the fine art of printmaking in his West Broadway gallery on Sunday from a stone he will prepare on Saturday. It’s an excellent chance to see how prints were made before the modern printing press.

For more information, visit here for the details on Jim Thorpe’s newest festival.

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