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Jim Thorpe celebrates Olympian’s birthday

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    Jim Thorpe birthday celebration festivities start at the Jim Thorpe Mausoleum on Saturday. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO

Published May 16. 2019 12:21PM


Jim Thorpe’s birthday celebration will be held this weekend to honor James Francis Thorpe, a Native American and “Athlete of the 20th Century.

Festivities start off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with a Native American Tribute at the Jim Thorpe Mausoleum along with Don Wild Eagle, John Thorpe (Grandson), Carlisle guests and Native Americans.

At 11 a.m. the Jim Thorpe Area High School Olympian Cross Country and Track Teams will carry the lighted torch from the monument to the Jim Thorpe High School Stadium to light the Olympic Torch for the Special Olympic Track and Field Competition and then down Center Street to the Heights, down Opera House Hill and then down Broadway to Josiah White Park for the lighting of the Olympic Torch.

Varsity cheerleaders will stretch a ribbon across Broadway in front of the County of Carbon Court House before the arrival of the runners. Medals will be awarded to the team and coach and the resolution that Rep. Doyle Heffley had the Pennsylvania House pass declaring that May 18, 2019, has been named “James Francis Thorpe Day” in the Commonwealth will be read. Town dignitaries will also be invited to honor this occasion with their presence.

A large birthday cake will be presented, cut and pieces sold as part of the festivities for the weekend.

In addition, there will be the following activities in the Josiah White Park: Medicine Horse Drum Group, Saturday and Sunday; Earth lore and Dance by Don Wild Eagle and family, Saturday and Sunday; Brad and Luke Duo, Saturday and Sunday; Buster the Clown for the children, Saturday and Sunday; Jim Thorpe Cheerleaders performance, Saturday only; Faculty Brass Strolling through town, Saturday and Sunday; Face Painter, Saturday and Sunday and live music entertainment, Saturday and Sunday.

There will be a Special Olympic Track and Field competition on Saturday in the Jim Thorpe High School Stadium. The special guest for the event is John Thorpe, Jim Thorpe’s grandson.

There will be craft vendors and food, and all attractions, shops and restaurants will be open. There will be an Olympic Auction on Saturday and Sunday in Josiah White Park. Donations are being accepted at Nature’s Trail, 5 Broadway, Jim Thorpe.

For additional information, contact Ann Marie Fitzpatrick, event coordinator at 570-325-9281 or email or see the website at


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