Since 1978, folks both young and old have been gathering every September for a long weekend filled with jazz music. This community event draws visitors by the thousands to gather and enjoy music at the outdoor amphitheater. The Delaware Water Gap COTA festival is celebrating its 38th year this September. This annual event is taking place this year on the weekend of September 11th through the 13th.
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. Their mission is to present and to support the art of 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 38th Annual Water Arts Festival will kick 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 2 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. The Sunday Jazz Mass is 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. And 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 $28.00. A 2-day ticket can be purchased at the gate for $40.00. Children ages 5 to 12 years old are $10.00 and children less than 5 years old are admitted for free. Tickets for students with identification and seniors over age 65 are $15.00. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here or purchased on the day of beginning at 10:00am on Saturday and 9:30am 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 is the town of Hawley right in the Pocono Mountains. The Settlers Inn can be your home away from home while vacationing in Pennsylvania. Spacious guest suites with most rooms featuring a Jacuzzi tub and fireplace are the perfect spot for unwinding after a busy day. During July and August, The Settlers Inn will be celebrating on the deck every Wednesday evening 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 which begins July 1st.
Photo courtesy of Elisabeth D’Orcy