Let them eat cake in Jim Thorpe


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Spring in Jim Thorpe

Who needs a trip to Paris when you can enjoy springtime in Jim Thorpe?

This first weekend of May not only marks the arrival of regular season train excursions with the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway but also the start of National Tourism Week.

What better place to celebrate than Jim Thorpe! Back in 1850, known then as Mauch Chunk, it was second only to Niagara Falls as the most visited tourist destination in the United States.

On Saturday, Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency (JTTA) members will welcome tourists, locals and business owners alike down at the Josiah White Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. handing out free coffee and cake. JTTA members will also celebrate National Tourism Week at a Cinco de Mayo party on Tuesday, May 5 at the Broadway Pub & Grille.

National Tourism Week, which communities across America celebrate each year, shines a light on what travel means to jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.

Randall Sellers, JTTA president and owner of Sellers Books on Broadway, sees the impact tourists bring to his business.

 “Tourism is the backbone of our local economy, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to Jim Thorpe each year. Dollars spent in shops, attractions and accommodations benefit not just those who cater to tourists but all local businesses and families,” he said.

 It’s also a great time for JTTA to celebrate both tourists and its members.

 After all, we get to live, work and enjoy everything tourists do all year long – in a town with European charm, outdoor adventure, train rides, art galleries, fine restaurants, live entertainment, shops, pubs and wine tasting – not to mention highly rated accommodations.

Also this weekend, be sure to check out the lineup at the Mauch Chunk Opera House. Steepwater Band performs Friday night and local favorite Free Range Folk takes the stage on Saturday.

Jim Thorpe celebrates Earth Day – a better late than never post


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4618486094_246x344Today Jim Thorpe celebrates its 16th annual Earth Day. Organized by Race Street’s Horizons Gift Store owner Shelli Holland, activities include a river clean-up, live music, hula hoops, rock climb, book readings, crafters, and much more. Click here for more info.

The Race Street Park will be the site for several Earth Day activities including Tai Chi demonstrations and Hula Hoop crafting.

What better place to celebrate Earth Day than a place surrounded by natural beauty. Anyone who has ever driven around the gorge on a beautiful sunny day understands the magic of Jim Thorpe.

The late Irish-born, British author Iris Murdoch captures that feeling in this quote of hers. “People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”.

While on Race Street, be sure to stop in and say hello to Beth and family at Everything Nice’s new location at 31 Race Street.

Our friends at Big Creek (formerly of Race Street, next door to the Times House) have just opened down the street next to the Train Station, adjacent to the Josiah Whie Park in the Hooven Building. Check out their new 24-foot bar for wine-tasting and wine by the glass. We’ll have pictures and let you know when they schedule their Grand Opening.

rsd+date_wide+vinyl_2012And don’t forget about Record Store Day!

Sound Check Records, 23 Broadway, will also celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday, one of two days a year where independently owned record store patrons have access to special releases – CD and vinyl – and various promotional products.  For more information, visit http://www.recordstoreday.com

The Mauch Chunk Opera House features a Smiths & Morrisey tribute with Sons & Heirs tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets: $20.


Valentine’s Day and WinterFest in Jim Thorpe


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wine, flowers, chocolate

Valentine’s Day Romance Package all month long at the Times House.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Did you know Jim Thorpe was named the 2012 Best Romantic Getaway by Philadelphia Magazine? Lovers flocking to town this weekend to celebrate Valentine’s Day know and know why.

With Tusk (Fleetwood Mac tribute band) concerts at the Mauch Chunk Opera House both tonight and Saturday nights, delicious offerings at local eateries – some with prix fixe menus, free wine tasting at Big Creek Winery and a wine and chocolate benefit for the Bach and Handel Chorale at the Mauch Chunk Museum on Saturday afternoon, there’s lots of reasons to enjoy a romantic weekend in Jim Thorpe.

Ice sculptures are always a highlight of Jim Thorpe's WinterFest.

Ice sculptures are always a highlight of Jim Thorpe’s WinterFest.

And that doesn’t even count all the WinterFest fun – from Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway train rides, to ice carvings and magic shows, not to mention the infamous Mug Walk.






Baby it’s cold outside


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If you love winter, come on up to Jim Thorpe all week long for some snowshoeing and cross-country skiing along the trails and downhill skiing at nearby Blue Mountain Ski Area.

If you like to look at the beautiful scenery but prefer shorter doses of the great outdoors come on up and spend the weekend. Check out Jim Thorpe’s great shops and eateries and cozy up at a B&B in town.

Here at the Times House on historic Race Street, we’re offering our annual Valentine’s Special. During the entire month of February, book two nights in any room or suite and we’ll include a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of wine and a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

While you’re here, check out the Mauch Chunk Opera House, our gem of a venue withing walking distance downtown. Tonight Donna the Buffalo takes the stage. Tickets: $26. Showtime 8 p.m. For more info, click here.

Check out Donna the Buffalo’s Blue Skies and Buttercups…wouldn’t you love to see some?

ice wolfNext weekend it’s WinterFest with Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway WinterFest train rides on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Check back for more details!


Butter Crumb Cake = Love


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20150120_125444 Times House guests have come to expect delicious baked goods for breakfast. Many of them are family recipes – Mom’s Irish Bread, Aunt Cass’ Apple Cake. Today I’m sharing a favorite recipe and remembering a favorite person – my former mother-in-law, Jean Villano, who died late last month.

Mom V. was a kind, generous, wonderful woman, who loved her family, friends and a good mystery. Her Thanksgiving dinners were stupendous, her Super Bowl lasagna delicious, and her Butter Crumb Cake – heavenly. Everything she made, she made with love. I try to do the same. Though she’s missed terribly, I’ll remember her in so many ways but especially when I make her crumb cake.

So for our food blogger niece, Roberta AKA Homemade Delish, and all of our guests, who’ve asked for the recipe…here it is.

Duncan Hines Butter Golden cake mix – combine ingredients according to directions.

Grease and flour 10″ x 15″ pan, pour in batter and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 17 minutes – until firm enough to hold crumbs.

20150117_105740In a large bowl mix the following together until it resembles coarse sand:
1 pound of soft butter
4 cups of flour
1.5 cups of sugar
1 tbs. vanilla
1 tbs. cinnamon

Drop on cake and bake for an additional 17 minutes.
Shake on powdered sugar and enjoy.

cover-cookbookYou can follow Roberta at Homemadedelish.com
Be sure to stop by and say hello to Roberta, who will be doing food demonstrations and handing out samples, at the Philadelphia Inquirer Travel and Culinary Expo at the Valley Forge Casino Resort on Feb. 21 and 22. You could win a one-night stay at the Times House.


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