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Jim Thorpe Winterfest
February 2016
3 years ago, we went to the Jim Thorpe for their annual Winterfest. It's a fun event that encompasses the entire downtown area of this quaint little mountain town. We decided to go back this year since we had a free long weekend. The big difference from last time was that this time the temperature throughout the weekend was 5 degrees below zero with a wind chill of -24!!! I like the cold, but this was painful cold unless you had the right gear on. I'm quite happy that I bought a new LL Bean parka last Fall. There was an ice carver and a wood carver creating sculptures on the street.

There's a "mug walk" where you purchase a mug and them show it at a bunch of stores throughout the town and they give you some small item in return. It's a fun way to get people into every little shop. Of course, our favorite shop is the Country Cottage where the "pickle lady" resides. She makes the best pickles you'll ever try. This year, the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad was also running. We took an excursion on that which made for a fun break from the bitter cold.

(click any photo for a larger version)

001 Train and Station 002 Train 005 Mom in Winter Gear
The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad was running for the festival
The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad was running for the festival
Can you tell it's 5 degrees below zero with a windchill of -24 degrees?
006 Michael in Winter Gear 007 Mugwalk Mugs 009 Train and Staff
Can you tell it's 5 degrees below zero with a windchill of -24 degrees?
The mug walk is one of the most fun aspects of the Jim Thorpe Winterfest. You take your mug from store to store and get goodies.
The bundled up railroad crew keeps the train running on time.
010 Old Cabooses 013 Lehigh River 016 Waterfall
Passing old cabooses as we start our train excursion
Crossing the Lehigh River
A waterfall that isn't frozen… yet.
018 Cable Crossing 020 Lehigh River 022 Tunnel Entrance
Cable crossing over the Lehigh River
Riding the rails alongside the Lehigh River
Not all old train tunels are still in use.
028 Reenactors 030 Reenactors 032 Wood Carver
Reenactors defend the tent of delicious Italian pastries at the train station.
Reanactors defend the tent of delicious Italian pastries at the train station.
Chainsaw woodcarving on the streets of Jim Thorpe
033 Wood Carver 035 Carbon County Court House 037 Carbon County Court House
Chainsaw woodcarving on the streets of Jim Thorpe
Carbon County Court House
Carbon County Court House
038 Broadway 039 Jim Thorpe National Bank Entrance 041 Eagle Ice Sculpture
Looking up Broadway
Jim Thorpe National Bank
One ice sculpture is already complete at the Mauch Chunk Opera House
043 Ice Carver 046 Marion Hose Company 048 Dimmick House
Ice carving outside the Mauch Chunk Opera House
Marion Hose Company
Dimmick House is a home from the 19th century
050 Mauch Chunk Opera House & First Presbyterian Church 053 Train Cars 055 Caboose
Mauch Chunk Opera House & First Presbyterian Church
Icicle-laden Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway cars
A train isn't a train without a caboose
056 Cardinal Wood Sculpture 057 Stone Row 058 View from Race Street
It's amazing to think that this little wooden cardinal was carved with a chainsaw
Stone Row is home to many cool shops, including the pickle lady.
Looking down Race Street to the gazebo and train station
060 Saxophone Ice Sculpture 061 Train Station 062 Train
And the saxophone ice carving is now complete
Mauch Chunk/Jim Thorpe train station
Despite appearances, this is NOT a photo of a locomtive about to run over a person on crutches!
064 Sheperd's Pie 065 Fish & Chips 066 Lobster Tail
Sheperd's pie at Molly Maguire's Irish Pub
The fish and chips at Molly Maguire's Irish Pub is great! (as it should be in a true Irish pub)
A HUGE and delicious lobster tail pastry we picked up from the pastry tent. We had to let it thaw once we brought it in from the subzero temperatures!
070 Ice Carver 071 Carbon County Court House 074 Anthracite Coal
On Sunday the ice carver moved down to the gazebo.
Carbon County Court House
A giant lump of anthracite graces the plaza. A nod to the incredible coal mining heritage of this region.
075 Train Station Sign 076 Saint Mark's Church 078 Lackawanna Coal & Navigation Building
Before Jim Thorpe as Jim Thorpe, it was Mauch Chunk.
The castle-like Saint Mark's church stands over Race Street
Lackawanna Coal & Navigation Building
079 The Inn at Jim Thorpe 082 Dimmick Memorial Library 083 Door & Wreath
The Inn at Jim Thorpe has been in business in one form or another for 183 years.
Dimmick Memorial Library
It might be February, but there's still a Christmas feel in Jim Thorpe
084 Mauch Chunk Opera House 086 First Presbyterian Church 088 44 West Broadway
We went to a show at Mauch Chunk Opera House last time we were here. It's a cool little historic venue.
First Presbyterian Church
44 West Broadway is a small bed & breakfast run by the Inn at Jim Thorpe
094 Carbon County Historic Marker & Civil War Memorial 095 High Street 097 Through the Looking Glass
The Carbon County Civil War Memorial
I wouldn't want to have to drive up High Street everyday when it's icy.
We had a great lunch at the very cozy Through the Looking Glass
102 Reenactors 109 Ice Carver 110 Ice Carver
The reenactors brave the cold
I see an icy pegasus forming
I see an icy pegasus forming
111 Locomotives 112 Lehighton Sign 113 Lehigh River
A few new locomotives came in to relieve one with some mechanical issues
We stayed in neighboring Leighton
Crossing the Lehigh River on our way out of town
114 Mom with Obama Statue
My mother bumped into President Obama at Country Junction

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