Song, wine, chili…mmm, mmm fun


, , , , , , , , ,

The Mauch Chunk Opera House is Jim Thorpe's gem of a venue for live entertainment.

The Mauch Chunk Opera House is Jim Thorpe’s gem of a venue for live entertainment.

A little song, a little wine and a bowl of chili adds up to a lot of hot fun in store for those in Jim Thorpe this holiday weekend.

Our favorite music venue, the Mauch Chunk Opera House, is hosting the Infamous Stringdusters Thursday night, Jan. 15 to kick off the long weekend. Check out Let it Go…no princesses here.

The LA-based New West Guitar Group returns to the Opera House on Saturday night, Jan. 17. If you didn’t catch them on WFMZ earlier this week, check out this link.

Tickets for the Infamous Stringdusters: $23; New West Guitar Group; $15. Showtime 8 p.m.

If you’re looking for a great bowl of chili, you have seven chances to find the one that’s just right for you at Galen Glen Winery’s 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Click here for more information, The winery is just a short drive from Jim Thorpe and a member of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail, of which our neighbors at Big Creek are members.

Can you believe Valentine’s Day is one month from today? At the Times House on historic Race Street, we’re celebrating all-February long with a bottle of wine, bouquet of flowers and a heart-shaped box of chocolates at no additional charge with a two-night stay. Just bring your love!

Lots of holiday fun in Jim Thorpe this weekend


, , ,

Times House on historic Race Street

Historic Race Street gives an Old World – Olde Time Christmas feel.

Don’t pout if you didn’t get to Jim Thorpe’s 33rd annual Olde Time Christmas Festival, there’s still lots of holiday fun and shopping to be had in town.

Great gifts and holiday cheer abound in more than 40 great shops and galleries in the historic district, not to mention great drink and food offerings at our wonderful restaurants and pubs.


And don’t forget to look for that mistletoe to take part in a romantic holiday tradition! Post your mistletoe and other Olde Time Christmas selfies on the Jim Thorpe Olde Time Christmas Facebook page.

The “Spirits of Christmas Past” Scavenger Hunt continues now through December 24th. Kids and adults alike are having fun finding clues in the shops for a chance to win one of 23 gift certificates this Christmas. It’s FREE to play! Entry forms are available at the train station or participating shops, just look for this sign.

Jim Thorpe Olde Time Christmas

Spirits of Christmas Past Scavenger Hunt

Get your tickets early for train rides with Santa – a fun outing for the whole family. Call 570-325-8485 for ticket info.

With Kenny Rodgers at Penn’s Peak and two great shows at the Mauch Chunk Opera House this weekend, there’s lots of entertainment for a quick getaway and still have time for last minute Christmas preparations.

A Grateful Dead-ish holiday party tonight at the Opera House features Splintered Sunlight. Tickets: $15. Showtime: 8 p.m.

The Aztec Two-Step  Holiday Show offers a tribute to Simon & Garfunkle and the Everly Brothers on Saturday night. Tickets: $25. Showtime: 8 p.m.



Jim Thorpe’s Olde Time Christmas – on 10 Most Christmassy Things to Do in PA list


, ,

It's Olde Time Christmas sans snow this weekend as the Jim Thorpe Chamber of Commerce celebrates Christmas in July and Charles Dickens' 200th birthday

It’s Olde Time Christmas time in Jim Thorpe.

Come see for yourself!

Just named one of the 10 Most Christmassy Things to Do in Pennsylvania, by Uncovering PA, this weekend’s installment of Jim Thorpe’s 33rd Annual Olde Time Christmas offers lots of holiday fun in a magical Victorian setting.

Mistletoe strategically placed, train rides with Santa, carolers, strolling musicians, a Christmas scavenger hunt and shopping for that perfect gift in the more than 35 unique stores and galleries, Jim Thorpe is well worth the trip for a day trip or a holiday getaway.

The Gilded Cupid Fantasy Tree will be open to the public for a donation on Saturday, Dec. 6 and 13 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 40 W. Broadway.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is holding its St. Mark’s Mart, Christmas bazaar, on Friday, Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wear an Ugly Sweater and bring a nice one to donate for some good karma fun.

Wear an Ugly Sweater and bring a nice one to donate for some good karma fun.Tonight’s Ugly Sweater Dance Party at Strange Brew is sure to be fun. Open to all ages, you can BYOB as well.

There are many opportunities to give back this year, including the annual Toy Drive sponsored by the Treasure Shop, 44 Broadway, and Mitten Tree collections sponsored by the Jim Thorpe Lioness Club, as well as others with a fun twist including Strange Brew’s Dec. 12 Ugly Sweater Party that has goers wear their most outrageous holiday sweaters and bring pretty sweaters to donate to charity (79 Broadway). Likewise, Stone Row Pub and Eatery, 45-47 Race St., is celebrating the season with a Steampunk High Tea offering that benefits St. Mark Episcopal Church’s bell restoration fund and hosting a Steampunk Costume Party Saturday night, which will also benefit the bell fund.

The Mauch Chunk Opera House has another great weekend lineup of holiday fun – both naughty and nice. Friday night the popular Peek-a-Boo Holiday Revue takes the stage. Tickets: $25. Showtime: 8 p.m.

Saturday night, Craig Thatcher and Friends Rockin’ Christmas Show will surely get you in the holiday spirit. (Saw the show last year and loved it.) Tickets: $26. Showtime: 8 p.m. 

Last night but not least, a production of Joe Hiatt’s annual favorite play- A Coal Country Christmas will be performed onstage at the Mauch Chunk Opera House on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $5, $10 and $15.

Tonight’s Olde Time Christmas tree lighting honors hometown hero


, , , , , , , , , ,

33rd Annual Jim Thorpe Olde Time Christmas tree lighting tonight at the Josiah White Park.

33rd Annual Jim Thorpe Olde Time Christmas tree lighting tonight at the Josiah White Park.

Santa’s arrival by fire engine, Christmas trees, carolers and hometown heroes – the holiday season doesn’t get more All-American than the 33rd Annual Olde Time Christmas Festival in Jim Thorpe.

Sponsored by the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency, the festival will be held the first two weekends in December. It not only echoes the Victorian Dickens theme of the Spirits of Christmas Past but also the Olde Time Christmas traditions of community, generosity and thankfulness.

This year the residents of Jim Thorpe and surrounding area are especially thankful for the round-the-clock work of the Pennsylvania State Police protecting families in their homes and on the road, making trips to Grandma’s house safe this year.

To show their appreciation, the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency has tapped Jim Thorpe native State Police Cpl. Mike Dugan to light this year’s Christmas tree, donated by Beisel’s Christmas Tree Hill in Lehighton, during Friday’s ceremony at Josiah White Park. Dugan was one of the thousands of law enforcement officers that searched the Pocono Mountains for the fugitive now charged with the murder of State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson in a September ambush outside the Blooming Grove barracks, which also wounded Trooper Alex Douglass.

A true role model for area youngsters, Dugan has also organized teams of Jim Thorpe cyclists and raised more than $15,000 for the Tour De Shore Bike Race, which benefits children in need and the families of fallen firefighters and police officers including Dickson.

“The Tour De Shore Irish Pub has graciously donated $5,000 to the family of Cpl. Bryon Dickson,” Dugan said.

The Community Choir and Jim Thorpe/Kidder Township Daisy Girl Scout Troop 30331 will get the festival crowd in the spirit singing Christmas carols “loud and clear for all to hear,”  during the tree lighting ceremony, which will begin at 6 p.m. after Santa arrives at the Josiah White Park, courtesy of the Jim Thorpe Fire Department’s Diligent Hose Company.

Emceed by Carbon County resident and BRCTV 13 reporter Katya Fitzpatrick, Jim Thorpe Mayor Michael Sofranko and State Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-122) are expected to attend. A Marine from the Schuylkill/Carbon Marine Corps League Detachment 626 will also be on hand to accept toys for the annual Toys for Tots campaign.

The Behans at the Molly Maguire will also be at the park with their annual hot chocolate donation.

Merchants will remain open until 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. during Olde Time Christmas weekends. A Spirits of Christmas Past Scavenger Hunt through participating stores offers shoppers the opportunity to win 23 gift certificates.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 21 Race Street, will hold an open house with tours, cookies and caroling tonight from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a goodwill donation.

At 8 p.m., Twelve Twenty-Four takes the stage at the Mauch Chunk Opera House with their holiday rock orchestra concert, featuring the music of the Trans Siberian Orchestra. Doors open at 7 p.m. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets: $25. Can’t make Friday’s performance? You’re in luck. They perform again Saturday night at 8 p.m.

For more information on Olde Time Christmas, call 1-888-JIM-THORPE, visit or follow our Facebook page JimThorpeOldeTimeChristmas for complete event information.

2014 World Group of the Year at Opera House Saturday night


, , , ,

Sultans of String in Jim Thorpe

Sultans of String, (from left) Chris McKhool and Kevin Laliberté take the Mauch Chunk Opera House stage Saturday, Nov. 22.

It’s been a great year for Sultan of String’s co-founder Chris McKhool.

Named the 2014 SIRIUSXM Independent Music Awards Winner- World Group of the Year, the Sultans of String are also on the Grammy nomination (pre-nominee) ballot  for Best Roots Performance for Emerald Swing on its latest album, Symphony.

Come Saturday, music lovers are sure to have a great night at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, when Sultans of String’s McKhool and founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté take them on a “musical journey around the world.

Known for dizzying music jams, poly-rhythms and revved up riffs, the Sultans of String sound can’t quite be pinned down. Stylistically a combination of Flamenco, Gypsy Jazz, East Coast Celtic, with Cuban and Arabic rhythms – World Music is the easiest way to describe the Sultans of String, according to McKhool.

Fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar while a funky bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound, telling stories with or without words.

“Our music is a great platform for the things we care about,” McKhool said. “It’s good to remember that we’re all one people.”

The award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter, six-string violinist/bandleader – not to mention children’s music star – grew up learning to appreciate diversity – musical and otherwise.  His paternal Makhoul grandparents immigrated to Canada from Lebanon in the early 1900’s. His Egyptian-born mother is a piano and theory teacher. Growing up he was fed a steady diet of delicious musicality along with Middle Eastern cuisine and violin lessons, according to his website.

It’s no wonder then the Sultans of String have been called Canada’s ambassadors of musical diversity.

Influenced by the people and places he visits, McKhool drew inspiration for the song Josie, on the Symphony CD, while on an ArtsCan songwriting workshop in the Bush Plains of Ontario, which connects artists with indigenous at-risk youth. There he met a woman named Josie. An elder, Josie takes students from the community school out to the bush each spring to teach them how to fish, hunt, trap and lodge.

“She was pretty amazing. I heard she was completely blind and I thought, ‘how strong is this woman, how brave is this woman,” McKhool said.

McKhool was inspired by another woman seven years ago to write, Will You Marry Me, also recorded on Symphony.

He was walking along the water with his girlfriend and had her sit on a rock and wait for him. He ran back to the car, put on a tuxedo, grabbed some champagne and his guitar, ran back, then knelt down and sang it to her.

Note in the video below, there’s a little girl as well – their daughter.

Though Symphony was released about a year ago, the Mauch Chunk Opera House performance is billed as a CD release party because this is the first time the music is being performed in the area, McKhool explained.

Tickets: $20; Showtime: 8 p.m.

For more information about the show, visit the Mauch Chunk Opera House. For more on McKhool and the Sultan’s of String, check out their website.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 102 other followers