Monday, February 20, 2017

Festing with Winter on a Summerish Day

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

As the temperatures soared into the high 60s to low 70s, the borough of Stroudsburg, PA held its Annual Winterfest on Saturday February 18th. The day was filled with sights and sounds celebrating the winter season while the unseasonably warm weather made the exploring of all that occurred a great deal more comfortable than if the wintry conditions indicative of this time of year existed. Ice sculptures lined the sidewalks of the town whose artistry were admired by the many who paused to examine their intricacies. A number of events filled the festival which included a concert given by The Trinity Centennial Band and The Pocono Vocal Local at The Stroudsburg United Methodist Church as well as an Artists’ Reception held at The JUIC'D Smoothie and Juice Bar that premiered The Origins on the Go Series.

By the time I arrived in town during the late afternoon hours of the day, many of the ice sculptures were in the process of melting due to the unexpected heat. However, their beauty and the craftsmanship of their creators stood in their majestic glory as passerbys paused to take photos of one another beside the frozen monuments. I then entered The Stroudsburg United Methodist Church who presented The Trinity Centennial Band and The Pocono Vocal Locals Concert.

The concert was sponsored by the Stroudsburg, PA branch of The First Keystone Community Bank with the proceeds gathered at the event benefiting the Animal Welfare Society of Monroe (A. W. S. O. M.) Monetary donations along with much needed supplies such as kitty litter, bleach, paper towels, 45 gallon trash bags, Fancy Feast and Friskies wet kitten and cat food, Wellness wet and dry cat and kitten food, Wellness grain free cat food, and wet and dry dog food were accepted at the door. However, these and other items are always in need of replenishment and they can be made anytime by contacting the organization.

The concert began with a rousing rendition of the US National Anthem, “Star Spangled Banner,” performed by The Trinity Centennial Band under the direction of Karl McDannell. The orchestra continued entertaining the large audience that attended with a number of pieces which filled their hearts and memories. Greg Graham, who shared his talents within the band as a Clarinetist, spoke between each selection which gave some amusing insights to the compositions that were played.

It was after a time did The Pocono Vocal Locals lend their extraordinary talents to the afternoon under the direction of Bob Riley. Their beautiful blending of voices flowed with the music provided by the orchestra to create a complete sensation of joy throughout their performance. The selections included a piece titled, “Valentine” composed by Jack Kugell and Jim Brickman. It featured a solo performance given by Diane Taitt whose voice brought out the beauty of the composition and placed it in the heart of each listener. The concert concluded with The Trinity Centennial Band’s rendition of John Phillip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” which was followed by an opportunity to meet the afternoon’s performers and share in some good conversation while munching on some tasty goodies which included a cake that expressed appreciation to The Trinity Centennial Band and The Pocono Vocal Locals for their performance.

It was after chatting and enjoying the company of who I met did I venture out toward The JUIC'D Smoothie and Juice Bar where The Origins Gallery held an Open Art Exhibition as the premier of their Origins on the Go Series. The series is designed to place one day only exhibits in a variety of businesses throughout the Stroudsburg area providing local artists more places to share their talents and more opportunities for art lovers to explore their work. The beauty of the work presented along with the excitement generated by the many who attended the exhibition was complimented by the welcoming atmosphere of the establishment.

The work presented showcased a variety of styles and creative approaches of the artists who participated in the display. Joyous conversations abound as deliciously healthy juices of every imaginable concoction and excellent sandwiches were being purchased and consumed. It was during this event did Robbin K and his guitar take the microphone in order to sing a number of well interpreted songs that proved to be pleasant harmonies to the ears of all who heard them. The Origins Gallery’s famous Art Raffle was held in which those who purchased raffle tickets eyed them with great anticipation as Jody Singer, Director of Origins, read the numbers while the illustrious Marty Carr enhanced each item by showing it to the gathering.

It was soon after this did the gathering disperse and the artists took their unsold pieces home. Although there were several more events held throughout the day, I was unable to attend many of them. However, if the caliber of the Winterfest could be echoed by the events I did attend, it would be accurate to assume the whole festival was a wondrous one to experience. The events I wasn’t able to attend included The First Keystone Community Bank’s Artists' Reception for The Stroudsburg Student Art Exhibit featuring the work of Art Students Grades K-12 and The Renegade Winery concert featuring The Kings of Queen Street You’ll be able to see more of the photographs I took during the day in The Festing with Winter on a Summerish Day Gallery at

Stroudsburg is a borough in Monroe County, PA that serves as the county seat. It is located at the confluence of the Brodhead, McMichaels, and Pocono Creeks. The town is part of the East Stroudsburg, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area which in turn is part of the New York metropolitan area. Stroudsburg is the only traditional downtown in the area with more than 24 restaurants, 9 art galleries, 3 women’s clothing stores, numerous antique stores, several general merchandisers, many specialty shops, 2 hotels, the local YMCA, 11 financial institutions, and the core of the legal profession in Monroe County. Downtown Stroudsburg also features a wide tree lined Main Street with historically rich architecture. You can learn more about Stroudsburg, PA by exploring their Facebook Page at of their Website at

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