The 14th annual Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration was held this past weekend, in the town that bears his name with festivities at Josiah White Park in the historic downtown section of the town.
According to event coordinators Anne Marie Fitzpatrick and Ray Brader, after torrential rains in our area just the day before, the weekend weather just could not have been better.
Food stands, vendors, live entertainment in the Gazebo at Josiah White Park, and a large birthday cake honoring Jim Thorpe were only part of the weekend celebration.
Native Americans including Don Wild Eagle were also present to perform Native American dances for the area residents and visitors.
In addition, the musical duo of Brad and Luke filled Josiah White Park with music performed in the Gazebo.
For the younger set and young at heart, Buster the Clown was on hand to entertain and and thrill the kids there with a wide variety of balloon animals.
Fitzpatrick said that this year the celebration probably had the most vendors that it has ever had.
With about 38 vendors present, there was a lot of good food and nice crafts available for everyone.
The arrival of a steam train excursion from Tunkhannock on Saturday afternoon swelled the festivities and downtown area with hundreds of additional people to help celebrate the 122nd birthday of the "Greatest Athlete in the World".
In addition to all of the activity in the downtown area of Jim Thorpe, the weekend celebration had begun with a Native American tribute to Jim Thorpe at his mausoleum on the East side of the town which was followed by a Special Olympics track and field competition at the high school stadium.
Relaying a torch from the mausoleum to the Special Olympics track and field competition was the Jim Thorpe Area High School cross country and track team which then proceeded to run the torch across town to Josiah White Park to light a torch there in Jim Thorpe's honor.
The members of the cross country and track team and their coach were awarded medals with red white and blue ribbons and bearing a new Jim Thorpe logo this year.
While the runners received the new medals with ribbons, the same medals, in the form of a key chain, were available for the public to purchase at the birthday celebration in Josiah White Park.
After the birthday celebration, these key chain medals will still be available for purchase at Nature's Trail on Broadway.
All proceeds from the sale of the new key chain medals will go to support the Jim Thorpe Memorial Run and to offset the cost of producing the medals awarded to the JTAHS cross country and track team for their participation in the event.