Olde Time Christmas in Historic Jim Thorpe kicked off three weekends of Yuletide celebration Friday night with a wide variety of activities and fun things to see and do.

The evening's activities officially began with a Christmas Parade down a seasonally-adorned Broadway, decorated with holiday lights on trees, homes, and store fronts along the way.

This year the parade was divided into three sections following Dickens Christmas Carol with a different grand marshal for each section.

The first section was Christmas Past, with local historian Jack Gunser as the grand marshal.

The second section was Christmas Present with Jim Thorpe Fire Chief Bill Diehm as that section's grand marshal.

The third section was Christmas Future with future Eagle Scout Bruce Soloman Jr. as the grand marshal.

Finally, closing out the parade was Santa Claus, who was accompanied by Mrs. Claus on his trip down Broadway to the tree lighting ceremony at Josiah White Park.

After his arrival at the park, as the crowd counted backward to zero, Santa officially kicked off the holiday's festivities with the lighting of the large Christmas tree standing next to the train station.

To help ward off the evening's chill, festival goers were treated to free hot chocolate to warm them up, courtesy of the Behan Family, owners of Molly Maguires Pub and Steakhouse, located in downtown Jim Thorpe.

Just a few of the Yuletide activities for visitors include a Christmas play, Historic District Ghost Walks, a Gingerbread House Contest, expanded shopping hours, and seasonal dinner specials at Jim Thorpe's many restaurants.

Horse-drawn carriages transport riders through the Victorian streets, past decorated store fronts and the mansions are open for tours and decorated for the season.

Ticketed entertainment takes place each Saturday night of Olde Time Christmas at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, one of the finest downtown music venues in Pennsylvania.

The celebration was organized by the Olde Time Christmas Committee and event organizer Pat Handwerk.

The chairpeople for the event are Bernadette Behan of Molly Maguires Pub and Steakhouse and Sheila O'Neil of The Gilded Cupid B&B

The Olde Time Christmas Celebration will continue through the next two weekends of Dec. 8-9, and Dec. 15-16.

To check on specific times of the individual events and for additional information about the remainder of the Olde Time Christmas Celebration, visit www.jimthorpeoldetimechristmas.com [3].