Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania in the Delaware Water Gap

I had occasion last month to visit Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania to attend a family wedding and was struck by the friendly ambience on Main Street in Stroudsburg. The town is located in the heart of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania and has been in existence since the mid-1700’s when Jacob Stroud and his family settled in the area. Today the Pocono region is Pennsylvania’s biggest tourist attraction with over 8 million visitors annually.

We arrived late on the night before the wedding and were told to meet our family members at the Siamsa Irish Pub located at 636 Main Street. Siamsa means “fun and music” in Gaelic. Since we were a large group, we were given a private room and were able to order a variety of Irish dinners including Guiness Irish Stew, Shepard’s Pie, rack of lamb, corned beef and cabbage as well as American fare – short ribs, chicken pot pie, roast beef or chicken. Everyone raved about their particular dinner choice.

We had time the next morning to browse around Main Street after our free full breakfast at the Hampton Inn just around the corner on South 8th Street. One of the early risers suggested that we take a look at the Book Store on Main Street which was unlike any book store I had ever seen and which we browsed for almost an hour that morning. The name of the store was not in evidence as its awning merely stated “Book Store.”

The wedding reception was held at the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC), located within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania. Although it took about 45 minutes to reach the site, the scenery through this national park was breathtaking. We went in caravan and most of our cars stopped to see a family of bears romping in the wild not far from the main highway. At the reception, guests were treated to venison which the bridegroom, an avid hunter, brought home from one of his hunting expeditions in the local area.

Stroudsburg could be called a college town since it is the home of nearby East Stroudsburg University from which the students arrive on weekends, mainly to patronize the Siasma Irish Pub for its live band and trivia contests. It is also a mecca for skiers since Shawnee Mountain Ski Area is located just outside of East Stroudsburg which receives an average of 50 inches of snowfall each winter.

The annual Tree Lighting takes place each year in Courthouse Square on 7th Street on the day after Thanksgiving. It is one of the most popular events in Stroudsburg. Festivities begin with traditional Christmas carols, followed by the lighting of the tree by the Mayor of Stroudsburg, Charlie Baughman. Santa Claus arrives after the ceremony and visitors can enjoy a ride around town in a horse-drawn carriage.

I hope to visit Stroudsburg and the Delaware Water Gap area again soon as it is a place that calls out to those who love nature and small town America.


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