Note-Worthy Blog

Leafing summer behind

By - Last modified: October 1, 2013 at 8:44 AM

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The end of summer signals many things: the start of post-season baseball, closing your pool until next Memorial Day and packing away your shorts and sandals, to name a few.

But while several things might be coming to an end, others are just getting started.

From leaf peeping in the Poconos to hitting the ski slopes at an area resort, to paintball excursions to ice fishing, the autumn and deep winter months of the Northeast offer quite a variety of activities within our local communities.

But let's not jump into the snow piles too soon. After all, as we said, autumn is just ramping up.

And with autumn comes October, one of the most exceptional months in our region – offering new, seasonal craft beers from local breweries, a panoply of colors served up by Mother Nature, fall festivals and of course, Halloween. So, while we're all dreading snowstorms and single-digit temperatures, let's take the time to embrace outdoor activities before we dig out our snowshoes and shovels.

One place that truly takes advantage of the fall season is Jim Thorpe. Home to one of the most prestigious fall foliage festivals in the region, the small town's celebration is for everyone. Offering children's activities, craft vendors and live entertainment, the festival takes place over three weekends in October, and it has a huge economic impact on the local community.

Dan Hugos, coordinator of Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage weekends, has worked tirelessly with local businesses and politicians to make possible this event. Perhaps his biggest contribution has been the festival's expansion along most of Broadway, the town's signature street.

"Over the years, the festival was centralized [solely] in the Josiah White Park area downtown," Hugos said. "It was taking away from having tourists visit all the small businesses located on Broadway. About four to five years ago, we really made an effort to spread the festival throughout the entire downtown area.

"We now have live music and entertainment from the train station area all the way up the Mauch Chunk Opera House. It's proven to be extremely successful in generating revenue for the local businesses in the downtown area."

Hugos said the festival is very important to the area.

"It generates about $30,000 in revenue each year for Carbon County," he said. "The ultimate goal is to get people to visit the town and have such a welcoming experience that they'll go home with a sense of true satisfaction, and want to come back again."

And while the festival directly stimulates the business community, it also brings residents of the area out of their houses to enjoy the beautiful town in which they live.

"We have so many volunteers that are residents of the town that come together to make this event possible," Hugos said. "Without the help of the town's residents accommodating visitors and making them feel welcome, this event wouldn't be such a huge success."

The town will be filled with vendors (food, crafts and arts), free music at four different venues, and seasonal specials will be offered at local restaurants and shops in the downtown district.

In addition, ticketed entertainment takes place each Saturday night of the fall foliage weekends at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, recognized as one of the finest and most beautiful downtown music venues in Pennsylvania.

The festival weekends are Oct. 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20. Parking is available in the county lot behind the train station. New restrooms now are open at the visitors' center downtown, and the Opera House restrooms and bar will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on festival days. For more information on the festival, visit www.jimthorpe.org.

The music schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Oct. 5

Josiah White Park Gazebo

Wes Holmes: Noon-2 p.m.

Shannon Marsyada: 2-5 p.m.

Dimmick Memorial Library

Steve Brosky and Jimmy Meyer: 2-5 p.m.

YMCA

Shane and Livi: Noon-2 p.m.

AmRev II: 2-5 p.m.

Mauch Chunk Opera House

Billy Patrick: 2-5 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 6

Josiah White Park Gazebo

Maury and Tim: Noon-2 p.m.

Becky and the Beasts: 2-5 p.m.

Dimmick Memorial Library

Real West: Noon-2 p.m.

YMI: 2-5 p.m.

YMCA

Dave Matsinko: Noon-2 p.m.

Billy Patrick: 2-5 p.m.

Mauch Chunk Opera House

Shane and Livi and Pat: Noon-2 p.m.

Free Range Folk: 2-5 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 12

Josiah White Park Gazebo

Bees Knees: Noon-2 p.m.

Billy Bauer: 2-5 p.m.

Dimmick Memorial Library

Jay Smar: Noon-2 p.m.

The Boiled Owls: 2-5 p.m.

YMCA

Shane and Livi: Noon-2 p.m.

John Byrne: 2-5 p.m.

Mauch Chunk Opera House

The Wallace Brothers Band: Noon-2 p.m.

Brad and Luke: 2-5 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 13

Josiah White Park Gazebo

Shellshocked Churchills: Noon-2 p.m.

YMI: 2-5 p.m.

Dimmick Memorial Library

Mark Arrington: 2-5 p.m.

YMCA

Matt Miskie and Tom Storm: Noon-2 p.m.

Shannon Marsyada: 2-5 p.m.

Mauch Chunk Opera House

Day Rubies: Noon-2 p.m.

Free Range Folk: 2-5 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 19

Josiah White Park Gazebo

Real West: Noon-2 p.m.

Shannon Marsyada: 2-5 p.m.

Dimmick Memorial Library

Burr Beard: 10 a.m.-noon

Tom Storm: Noon-2 p.m.

AmRev II: 2-5 p.m.

YMCA

Jay Smar: Noon-2 p.m.

Steve Brosky and Jimmy Meyer: 2-5 p.m.

Mauch Chunk Opera House

Mycenea Worley: Noon-2 p.m.

Brad and Luke: 2-5 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 20

Josiah White Park Gazebo

Mycenea Worley: Noon-2 p.m.

Friends of Tom: 2-5 p.m.

Dimmick Memorial Library

Burr Beard: 10 a.m.-noon

Billy Patrick: 2-5 p.m.

YMCA

Burr Beard: Noon-2 p.m.

YMI: 2-5 p.m.

Mauch Chunk Opera House

Day Rubies: Noon-2 p.m.

Becky and the Beasts: 2-5 p.m.

(Note: The author of this blog, Christopher Holland, plays banjo for The Boiled Owls, which plays Oct. 12 at the festival.)

Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland

Researcher Christopher Holland covers all business sectors throughout the region. He can be reached at chrish@lvb.com or 610-807-9619 ext. 110. Follow him on Twitter at @LVBChrish.

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