Train returns to Jim Thorpe's Winterfest


Photo by Devin Strohl

The train station in Jim Thorpe.

In a world where winters are plagued by more rain than snow, Jim Thorpe created some excitement with their annual Winterfest this past February.

For the last 28 years, Jim Thorpe has delighted its community of locals and tourists by hosting a festival filled with fun the whole family can enjoy. The 20

20 Winterfest kicked off February 15-16. Guests engaged in a mug walk— where visitors stopped at businesses to pick up coupons and keepsakes to puti nto their official Jim Thorpe coffee mug—carriage rides, live music, ice sculpting, shopping and more.

Not only did the festival feature a large assortment of wintery activities, February 15 marked the official return of the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. As a subject of much heated debate, the popular scenic railway was removed in late 2019. However, the borough and railroad owners came to an agreement early in February, and the sound of the train horns returned to the small town. Matt Fisher, general manager of the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad, was enthusiastic about the much-anticipated return.

“We’re very happy to be back,” Fisher said. “This is the fifth year we are back for Winterfest. The festival is very special to the area, and we’re happy to help Winterfest stay successful.”

Dubbed the “Switzerland of America”, Jim Thorpe offers a variety of events throughout the year. In addition to train rides, March 14-15 sets the stage for the second annual Irish Festival in town, and April will see Earth Day celebrated in town square.

Conveniently located next to Lehigh Carbon Community College’s Jim Thorpe campus, Winterfest provides the opportunity to engage in many different heritages, cultures, and holidays.