Since 1978, folks have gathered every September for a long weekend filled with jazz music. This community event draws visitors by the thousands to enjoy music at the outdoor amphitheater. The Delaware Water Gap COTA festival celebrates its 42nd year this September. This annual event takes place on September 6-8.
COTA, which stands for Celebration of the Arts, is a not-for-profit organization that was started by NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods, Rick Chamberlain and Ed Joubert. Its mission is to present and to support jazz in all its forms and historical breadth, support and cultivate interest in art through youth education, performing arts presentations, scholarship opportunities and community outreach throughout the Pocono area.
The 42nd Annual Jazz and Arts Festival kicks off with a free event on Friday evening with a jazz art exhibit at the Dutot Museum. On Saturday, musicians will take the main stage for two full days of jazz music presented in all genres. Be sure to bring blankets and chairs as flat seating is limited. Sunday brings about the popular Sunday Jazz Mass, a non-denominational mass of spirituality and jazz. Kids will be entertained at the children’s play area complete with face painting, music and games. Bring your appetite for the many food vendors who will be on hand.
There is a daily admission to attend the festival. Adult tickets are $28. A 2-day ticket can be purchased at the gate for $40. Children ages 5 to 12 years old are $10 and children less than 5 years old are admitted for free. Tickets for students with identification and seniors over age 65 are $15. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here or purchased on the day of beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. The event will go on rain or shine.
The Delaware Water Gap can be found where the Delaware River cuts through the Appalachian Mountains. It’s a great spot for rock climbing, hiking, fishing, swimming and canoeing. Amazing views can be found on the Red Dot Trail which leads to the top of the Kittatinny Ridge. For a place to stay while you’re in town for the festival, consider traveling to the town of Hawley, Pennsylvania, located 39 miles from Delaware Water Gap. The Settlers Inn can be your home away from home while vacationing in the Pocono Mountains. Spacious guest suites, with most rooms featuring a Jacuzzi tub and fireplace, are the perfect spot for unwinding after a busy day. The Settlers Inn hosts Jazz on the Deck ever Wednesday evening during July and August with a rotating line-up of jazz music. With no cover, it’s a great way to listen to great music and enjoy the outdoor setting. When calling to make your reservation, be sure to ask us about the Jazzy Wednesdays special.
Photo courtesy of Elisabeth D’Orcy