Jim Thorpe to celebrate Olde Time Christmas
Santa greets people during a previous Olde Time Christmas in Jim Thorpe. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO
As the town formerly known as Mauch Chunk, celebrates its bicentennial this year, so too does the Christmas classic “Silent Night” — composed and first performed on Dec. 24, 1818, in Oberndorf, Germany.
Presented by the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency, the 37th Annual Olde Time Christmas in the town named by msn.com as the “Most Adorable Small Town” in Pennsylvania will be celebrated throughout the month of December with special events on Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16.
The tree lighting celebration at Josiah White Park (train station) kicks off the festivities with lots of small town holiday charm beginning at 5 p.m. this Friday, including live music and performances by the Jim Thorpe Area High School marching band, concert choir and cheerleaders, Angela Marie Nardini, Katya Fitzpatrick from BRC 13 and ’80s Guru Ann Marie Calabrese from WMGH Magic 105.5 will emcee the event.
Santa will arrive by firetruck at 6 p.m. to countdown the lighting of the town Christmas tree donated by Yenser’s Tree Farm in Lehighton. Beginning at 6:15 p.m., Santa will be on hand for photos inside the train station.
Also Friday evening, the bells of historic St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 21 Race St., will ring out “Silent Night” to welcome guests to an open house with tours, caroling and refreshments, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A donation is requested to benefit St. Mark’s.
The Bach and Handel Chorale will perform their Christmas concert at St. Mark’s at 3 p.m. Saturday. Throughout Olde Time Christmas, people can enjoy train rides and photos with Santa, a gingerbread house display at the Dimmick Memorial Library, 54 Broadway, during regular library hours, (Entries must be delivered before 5 p.m. on Nov. 29.) holiday shows and concerts at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, 14 W. Broadway, and shopping the town’s 50 unique shops and galleries for that perfect gift.
New this year: Each Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the celebration, the Mauch Chunk Ballroom, upstairs from the Mauch Chunk Museum at 41 W. Broadway, will play host to the Olde Time Christmas Kids Club with family entertainment, kids crafts, face painting, refreshments and more.
The 11th annual display of more than 500 crèches from around the world (Dec. 1 and 2) will be held at the Lutheran Church of St. John, 319 South Ave. Free shuttles with caroling angels are available from Josiah White Park.
The Gilded Cupid Bed and Breakfast, 40 W. Broadway, and wonder at their beautiful live Christmas tree decorated with authentic German ornaments from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 1 and Dec. 8.
Tour the historic parlors of the Harry Packer Mansion and their nutcracker display. Follow along as you visit a display inspired by a different scene from “The Nutcracker Suite” in each room.
The Stone Row Pub and Eatery will host an Ugly Sweater Party on Dec. 8 with entertainment by Len Brunson to benefit the Dimmick Memorial Library.
The third annual Christmas Cookies and Cocktails event from 3-6 p.m. on Dec. 15. Visit two dozen participating locations throughout town to sample delicious Christmas cookies and holiday cocktails. New this year is the Cookies and Cocktails After Party at the Mauch Chunk Ballroom from 7-11 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.jimthorpe.org/cookies-cocktails.
Jim Thorpe businesses will have sprigs of the “kissing plant” mistletoe strategically hung for maximum effect. Share the love and bring home live mistletoe donated by the Times House and sold by JTTA outside the train station in Josiah White Park.
For more information on Olde Time Christmas events, follow www.facebook.com/JimThorpeOldeTimeChristmas or visit www.jimthorpe.org.