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Jim Thorpe prepares for annual Fall Foliage Festival

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    Appearing in front of the Mauch Chunk Opera House during the 2017 Fall Foliage Festival in Jim Thorpe on Saturday was the home-town duet of Skyler Stabin on keyboard and Lexi Martinez.  VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published September 12. 2018 12:24PM

Jim Thorpe’s annual Fall Foliage Festival is less than a month away, and logistical preparations are winding down.

Michael Rivkin, vice president of the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency, told borough council Thursday night that an agreement for police coverage has been finalized for the event, which runs Oct. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21.

The hours of police coverage will be reduced from previous festivals due to the tourism agency’s budgetary constraints.

“The police covered 72 hours during last year’s festival, and that will be down to 45 hours this year,” Mayor Mike Sofranko said. “We’re OK with that. We really haven’t had too much trouble with traffic, so we’re going to try it out and see how it works.”

The total cost to the agency for the police contract will be around $3,500 to $3,600, he added.

The annual event usually draws thousands to Jim Thorpe.

Rivkin said the tourism agency will have volunteers in the downtown area to help direct pedestrians to obey the crosswalk signals.

“We’re going to monitor things close,” Rivkin said. “If we need to add some protection after the first weekend, the chief knows to do what needs done.”

The tourism agency will again be shuttling in visitors from Mauch Chunk Lake. A guaranteed spot is available at the park for $20 before the festival. The price drops to $15 on festival weekends but is only available on a first-come, first-served basis. Rivkin said the agency pays the county $1,000 for the use of the lot.

Parking will also be available at the county lot for $10, behind the train station downtown, however that lot usually fills up quickly each morning.

The transportation route will be similar to prior years, Rivkin added.

“The only exception is rather than stop on the opposite side of the street on the bottom of Hill Road, we are going around to what is essentially a striped no-parking zone on lower West Broadway,” he said. “That will be our loading and unloading zone. That sits well with some of the residents and merchants we chatted with.”

There will also be only one change with the music stages.

Stages will still be located at the gazebo in Josiah White Park, on Quarry Street and at the Mauch Chunk Opera House.

“Rather than have music on the deck of the library, we are going to have a small stage on Race Street,” Rivkin said. “It will be acoustic, probably either a solo act or a duo. The intent is to get some visitors moving around different areas of town.”

The official times of the festival are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Music performances are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Shuttles run continuously to the Mauch Chunk Lake parking area from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Check back to for a full entertainment lineup when it is released.

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