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J.T. celebrates 2011 WinterFest on President's Day Weekend

Published February 10. 2011 05:00PM

The Jim Thorpe Chamber of Commerce hosts its 17th annual WinterFest Weekend, February 19 and 20, on President's Day Weekend.

A mix of family-activities, special shopping and dining promotions and Opera House performances mark a weekend of winter fun.

Ice and wood carvers ply their trades in the downtown Josiah White Park next to the Jersey Central train station and also give demonstrations two blocks up the street at the Mauch Chunk Opera House both afternoons.

Living history highlights the weekend activities as Civil War re-enactors The Pennsylvania 69th Irish Volunteer Infantry performs demonstrations and leads children's activities.

The weekend will also feature a chamber of commerce fundraiser Mug Walk during which, for the price of a Jim Thorpe mug, visitors can look for signs which indicate participating shops and stores that will fill those mugs with something free, including cookies, soup, coffee and other surprises.

Also for the kids (under 12) there will be a pinata busting at the downtown train station at noon on both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday afternoon from 12:30 to 3:30 you'll hear the Faculty Brass, a Lehighton-based quartet playing tunes of all genres from marches and polkas to recent pop tunes as they stroll up and down Broadway.

On Saturday evening audiences will be treated to two fine bands from Philadelphia and Bethlehem respectively, The Ben Arnold Band with special guests The Billy Bauer Band. They perform at the Mauch Chunk Opera House at 8:30 PM. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 570-325-0249 or visiting .

A special 6 PM Opera House classical performance on Sunday features Lehigh University pianist Helen Beedle performing 19th-century classical salon music with unique musicianship and flair. Transporting the audience to another time with inspiring versions of L.M. Gottschalk's "The Banjo" and the lyric strains of "Home Sweet Home", her repertoire also includes works by African American composers Thomas Greene Wiggins and Francis Johnson, and the songs of Stephen Foster. Accompanied by the acclaimed Jari Villanueva on cornet.

For more information call (570)325-5810 or visit the official Jim Thorpe website, for further details.

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