Jim Thorpe's three-week-long Olde Time Christmas will begin with a parade passing the brightly lit seasonly-decorated shops along Broadway next Friday.
The parade kicks off the festival at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3 from Immaculate Conception Church on West Broadway and, at 6 p.m., arrives at the festivities at Josiah White Park. Olde Time Christmas continues through December 20, with many events on the three weekends of December 3-5, 11-12, and 18-19.
The Friday evening of Dec. 3 will be busy. The parade travels down a luminaire-candled Broadway led by Jim Thorpe High School football coach Mark Rosenberger, who is grand marshall. He will be followed by the Jim Thorpe High School Band led by Eric Flowers, a live Nativity scene, and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus riding with the Diligent Fire Company.
Shops along the parade route are competing in a store window decorating contest. Placing your two cents to choose the best decorated storefront will aid local nonprofit organizations.
At the Josiah White Park, where the parade ends, the evening fun continues with a tree-lighting in the park, and a live Nativity at the Gazebo. There will be hot chocolate and cookies, and a visit from Peef the Christmas Bear. Nearby, there will be a wine tasting at the Harry Packer Mansion (reservations suggested), an Open House and Tour at St. Mark's Church, a Rotary Ghostwalk starting at the Inn at Jim Thorpe, and an Open Mic at Through the Looking Glass.
On Dec. 4 and 5, the Grandmaster Organ will be at Josiah White Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The 10-foot high organ with over 600 pipes is so large that it is mounted on a trailer.
There will be events, displays and a craft fair at the Mauch Chunk Museum, a Gingerbread Display at the Dimmick Library, caroling in the street, presentations and shows at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, Penn's Peak, the Angela Theater, Through the Looking Glass, and St. Mark's Church.
"It's an important time of the year celebrating the holidays," said chairman Bill Eckert. "We have a Victorian town and want to beautify the area to attract visitors."
Eckert invited people to to see the piñata breaking on the second Saturday, and a dance recital by the Kenlin Dance Academy at the Mauch Chunk Museum. There will be Santa train rides and photos on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, breakfast with Santa at the Albright Mansion Restaurant, and Miss Lilly Langtry's Victorian-era Christmas Show.
Visitors can also ride through the streets in a horse-drawn carriage, and listen to music by the Faculty Brass and Christmas Ukulele Carolers.
A listing of all events is at: www.jimthorpeoldetimechristmas.com .