This weekend the town of Jim Thorpe honors the man Jim Thorpe, the athlete of the century.
Despite the lawsuit and subsequent debate, the people of Jim Thorpe are doing what they’ve always done – honor the man born on May 28, 1888 Jacobus Franciscus “Jim” Thorpe and Wa-Tho-Huk, which means Bright Path in the Sac and Fox language.
The 18th Annual Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration will kick off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning with a Native American tribute with Don Wild Eagle, John Thorpe (Jim Thorpe’s grandson), at the Jim Thorpe Mausoleum, located at Joe Boyle Circle and Route 903.
While the annual celebration honors both the history and the legacy of the man named “the world’s greatest athlete” by King Gustav V, 101 years ago in Stockholm, Sweden, this year’s installment commemorates the 50th Anniversary of Thorpe’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
At 11 a.m., the Olympian Cross Country and Track teams will carry a lighted torch from the monument to the Jim Thorpe High School Stadium to light the torch for the Carbon County Special Olympic Games, after which the runners will proceed through town to the Josiah White Park where they’ll light the Olympic torch.
The annual celebration always features Native American folklore, dancing and drumming. Here is a video to a past year’s performances.
Goers will also enjoy free outdoor concerts, craft and food vendors, a clown for the children, and a Chinese Auction. The Mauch Chunk Opera House also has three shows lined up for the weekend. The Times House B&B is proud to sponsor Saturday’s Commander Cody concert.