Beloved Jim Thorpe Christmas Tradition Missing Something Big This Year

JIM THORPE, Pa. - Santa brought Olde Time Christmas back to Jim Thorpe on Friday night. Saint Nick was greeted by several hundred people as he rode into town on a fire truck.

However, for the first time ever this year, there's something big that won't be riding through town this holiday season.

The area's iconic train pulled out in October after Jim Thorpe borough council filed a lawsuit against the Reading and Northern Railroad over unpaid taxes.

In an effort to keep the train, the borough dropped the suit. For now, the scenic railway that once hauled thousands of tourists to this historic Pocono community has ceased its operations.

Andrew Conto has been coming to Olde Time Christmas for decades. He said it's not the same without the train.

"It's terrible, its the greed of the government hurting the taxpayer again," Conto said.

"I thought it would've destroyed Jim Thorpe because it's a big event in Jim Thorpe it would've hurt the town," Don Schaefer of Palmerton said.

Some restaurants in Jim Thorpe are still expecting big crowds this year for Olde Time Christmas because there are so many different events happening every weekend.

"With Old Time Christmas and everything that's happening we are going to be full in town. I know for a fact that our Cookie and Cocktail walk that we're doing next weekend, we sold over 600 passports already," Broadway Grille and Pub manager Karen Miata said.

There are more than 50 stores and businesses in downtown Jim Thorpe that typically see a big boost in business because so many tourists come to visit during the holiday season.

Nature's trail owner Ann Marie Fitzpatrick isn't worried too much about the loss of the locomotive.

"Will it hurt Jim Thorpe? No. No. The beauty is still here and there's a lot of other activities," Fitzpatrick said.

The borough hopes to bring the train back next year.

Jim Thorpe officials and leaders of the train company are set to meet sometime after the New Year to discuss a possible agreement.

Olde Time Christmas is every weekend in Jim Thorpe until December 22nd.

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