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Winterfest comes at right time

Published February 12. 2010 05:00PM

Now that the hard work of digging out from under the thick blanket of snow from the storm that walloped the region on Wednesday is over, it's time for a little wintry fun.

The Jim Thorpe Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring Winterfest 2010 this weekend.

The Valentine's and Presidents Day weekend is packed with activities, including Civil War Re-Enactments, ice carving, concerts, horse-drawn carriage rides, the famous Jim Thorpe Mug Walk and a 19th century soiree.

The Civil War Re-Enactment will be performed by the PA 69th Irish Volunteer Infantry.

Here's what the group is all about, according to it's Web site:

"During the American Civil War, the lads of the 69th Pa. Volunteer Infantry, also know as the Irish Volunteers, fought in every campaign with the Army of The Potomac. Mustered into service as part of the Philadelphia Brigade from 1861 to 1865, they were in the midst of almost every major battle. These men, mostly born in Ireland, fought under their green battle flag to save the Union. The PA 69th is made up of men, women and children reenactors who educate the public on the Civil War with an emphasis on the Irish soldiers who fought for their new home in America.

"The 69th strives to honor the memory of the brave men who fought and died in the Civil War by participating in battle re-enactments, living history programs, parades, grave site ceremonies, music and camaraderie. We are a family-oriented unit of children and adults with a variety of backgrounds such as doctors, lawyers, tradesmen and a number of other professions. We all share a common interest that bind us together in the unit, namely the love of history and representing those who gave their lives for freedom.

"When the men put on the uniforms and the women their period dresses, we strive to represent the sacrifices of veterans of ALL WARS who permit us to live in freedom. This Web site is dedicated to the memory of the men of the original 69th Pa. Irish Volunteer regiment. They were truly the 'Rock of Erin'."

Ice carving demonstrations will be held both days at Josiah White Park, in front of the Victorian Train Station at Hazard Square and at Opera House Square.

Weather permitting, visitors can ride from attraction to attraction via old-fashioned horse-dawn carriage.

If walking along the picturesque, shop-lined streets of Jim Thorpe is more your pleasure, you are welcome to partake of the Famous Jim Thorpe Mug Walk. Buy a souvenir mug at the train station and businesses all over town will fill it for you, free of charge.

Ask for a coupon flier at the train station for special deals at shops, restaurants and local attractions.

After a brisk stroll outdoors, visitors are invited to relax on Saturday evening at the Mauch Chunk Opera House with an 8:30 p.m. Fleetwood Mac tribute concert by Tusk. Call (570) 325-0249 to reserve tickets.

The weekend wraps up with an elegant, romantic 19th century soiree of music and dance at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Opera House. The gala event features Lehigh Valley pianist Helen Beedle, who will perform a number of pieces, including Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu as well as romantic music by Argentinean composer Alberto Ginastera, The Banjo by L.M. Gottschalk mixed with the music of Stephen Foster and others. Call (570) 325-0249 to reserve tickets

For more information about Winterfest, call 1-888-JimThorpe or (570) 325-5810.

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