SHAWNEE ON DELAWARE PA – Heavy rain was expected, and arrived as predicted, Sunday (July 9, 2023) afternoon across much of northeast Pennsylvania. The storms were occasionally torrential. Yet they couldn’t keep hundreds of people from attending RiverFest, a highly anticipated event in Smithfield Township near the foothills of the Pocono Mountains.
One of Smithfield’s most well-known locales is Shawnee on Delaware, home of the famous Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. The resort’s free annual Shawnee RiverFest Concert on Sunday marked the event’s 12th anniversary. As in the past, it benefitted fund-raising efforts of the Pocono Mountains United Way.
RiverFest, named for the adjacent Delaware River, each year gains the support of big-name corporate sponsors and plenty of other local retail donors. Their contributions help the United Way underwrite regional non-profit programs that promote health, education, and financial stability and mobility.
“Every foot tap, every heart-thumping beat supports our community,” this year’s concert Facebook page reported in a post. Attending visitors could turn their enjoyment into “a beacon of hope,” it proclaimed.
Enjoying the RiverFest activities
RiverFest’s eight hours of live music, family activities, and food vendors were indeed a big draw. Thanks to forecasters’ advance warnings, most events occurred inside a ballroom and other spaces at the inn. Guests happily kept dry and savored the festivities.
Some also satisfied their curiosity by using the opportunity to explore the resort area and its surroundings.
The 103-room-and-suite inn and its heralded golf course have for decades been a haven of celebrities and the well-to-do. The course features 27 holes of golf, 24 of them on an island reached by a bridge across the river. A variety of overnight accommodations and package offers are available at the inn, according to its website.
Nearby are pools, a craft brewery, spa and salon, a bamboo garden, archery, axe throwing, tennis and volleyball courts, trails, river trips, a winter skiing area, and daily recreational activities.
Within just a mile of the inn
The surrounding village of Shawnee On Delaware, and adjacent municipalities, hold charms for visitors as well.
Several of their destinations are described in the media as “quaint” and “rustic,” and provide the views and services sought by those on a weekend get-away or week-long vacation. Private bed-and-breakfast operators abound. So, too, do fine restaurants, specialty cafés, and gourmet ice cream shops.
And a little further out
Only 8-1/2 miles from the inn, in East Stroudsburg PA, is the Jinyin Buddist Temple. It opened in 2017 and remains in varying stages of development. Although its indoor prayer hall is closed for the privacy of worship, its outdoor meditation park and garden are open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October. It’s a purposefully tranquil place, filled with revered statues (above) and intricate carvings (at right). Visitors should be aware of its list of rules for guests.
Sightseers also seek out mansions of many designs, some decades old and others nearly new, hidden within the forested landscape. Trails criss-cross the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, giving hikers, climbers, bicyclists, and others plenty of places to explore. With the river close by, canoeing, kayaking, and other water sports are popular.
Photos and video by Travels With The Post