Story Ideas for 2016: What’s New in the HHR? Revised for Fall & Winter 2016
HARRISBURG, PA (August 29, 2016) — With Labor Day Weekend marking the unofficial end of this region's busiest travel season, we've decided to rounded-up some of the Top Tourism Story Ideas for Pennsylvania's Hershey Harrisburg Region for the Fall & Winter months ahead.
The Sweetest Place On Earth® always has new & exciting developments each year. Our friends at Hershey’s® Chocolate World® Attraction and the Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company have graciously shared the following nuggets for what their properties and attractions will reveal in 2016.
HERSHEY’S® CHOCOLATE WORLD® Attraction – Refreshed Chocolate Making Tour Experience
In 2016 the most-visited corporate visitors’ center in the world revamped its free Hershey’s Chocolate Tour ride which has been simulating the chocolate-making process for visitors since Chocolate World opened on June 30, 1973. The ride has undergone several revisions in its 43-year history, including a major $4.5 million update in 1988. The last renovation in early 2006 introduced animatronic singing cows named Gabby, Harmony, and Olympia. While details of all the extensive changes made to the ride are not being released in this write-up, two important elements of the classic ride did not change: the cost (free) and the complimentary sweet treat for riders at the end. The company reports the year-round attraction located at the entrance to HERSHEYPARK welcomes approximately three (3) million visitors annually and in August 2009 celebrated the 75-millionth guest. For more information on this story please contact Todd Kohr, Marketing & Publicity Manager for Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction at 717-534-4006 or TKKohr@Hersheys.com.
Hershey Lodge – New Indoor Water Complex
“Hershey's Water Works” made a splash with guests at the Hershey Lodge when it opened for Memorial Day weekend 2016. This new indoor pool complex includes many special attractions and themed features including two zero-entry indoor pools, whirlpool, Twizzlers Twists Slides, Reese’s Water Walk, Water play structure, and Outdoor splash pad. The new complex is an extensive addition to the 665-room property and includes a fitness center, game room, full-service food and bar offerings. The new facility also includes additional space for events, adding to the 100,000 square-feet of meeting and conference area currently available at the Hershey Lodge. For more information on this story please contact Reilly Fies, Communications Specialist for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts at 717-534-3396 or ReFies@HersheyPA.com.
Hershey Gardens – New Conservatory & Year-Round Tropical Butterfly Atrium
When the Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory at Hershey Gardens opened in late summer 2016 it stood in honor of the conservatories built by Milton and Catherine Hershey in the early 1900’s. The elegant 16,000-square-foot facility, inspired by one such structure built in 1909, now serves as the new formal entrance to Hershey Gardens and includes a year-round indoor Butterfly Atrium, Welcome Pavilion, and Educational/Horticultural Wing. The new year-round facility will host several hundred North American and tropical butterflies, educational programming and events, and provide visitors with a scenic overview of the town of Hershey from an outdoor terrace. For more information on this story please contact Anthony Haubert, Communications & Public Relations Specialist for The M.S. Hershey Foundation at 717-298-2214 or ATHaubert@mshersheyfoundation.org.
The Hershey Story Museum – New Chocolate Tastings for Kids
Sample exotic warm drinking chocolates made from cacao beans grown in one specific region of the globe at Tastings, located in the Grand Lobby of The Hershey Story Museum. Tastings chocolates are made with beans sourced from just one country, resulting in a distinctive artisanal flavor. Common flavor notes include licorice, fruit, caramel and vanilla. A sampling of drinking chocolate made from Hershey’s chocolate is also included in Tastings. Full flights of six or half flights of three are available. Tastings for Kids is new in 2016 and offers youngsters the opportunity to try their hand at making warm drinking chocolate by swirling a chocolate stirring lolly in a mug of warm milk. Kids can choose a white or milk chocolate lolly. For more information on this story please contact Anthony Haubert, Communications & Public Relations Specialist for The M.S. Hershey Foundation at 717-298-2214 or ATHaubert@mshersheyfoundation.org.
The Hotel Hershey – Renovated Cottages
The Woodside Cottages at The Hotel Hershey have been renovated during the first quarter in 2016. Woodside Cottages are The Hotel Hershey's most premium accommodations. Interiors feature upscale furnishings, marble bathrooms, and native stone hearths exuding an intimate, cottage grandeur.
Hersheypark Announces New Rides for 2017
The 110-acre theme park announced its newest attraction for Spring 2017 will be Hershey Triple Tower™ comprised of three individual drop towers of different heights: Hershey’s Tower™, Reese’s Tower™ and Hershey’s Kisses Tower™. When the new rides open it will make Hersheypark the first amusement facility in the country with three towers at different heights and each tower providing a different ride experience with varying heights, thrill levels and speeds. Hershey’s Kisses Tower™ at 80-feet high and Reese’s Tower at 131-feet high will be “double shot” towers offering two cycles of positive and negative G-force experiences by rapidly propeling riders up to the top of the tower and then gently lowers them down, with a series of air-cushioned bounces. The Hershey’s Tower™ will rise 189-feet and offer a variety of experiences for riders including a “space shot” propelling riders to the top of the tower; and “turbo drop” which will hurl riders down the tower at speeds faster than a typical freefall. The new Hershey Triple Tower™ will cost approximately $8 million to build and will make up the 70 rides and attractions available for guests at Hersheypark in 2017. (Image below is an artist rendering of the new ride towers from HersheyPA.com)
Troegs Brewing - The Splinter Cellar Expansion
Back in 2010, brothers Chris and John Trogner were sketching a vision for their new brewery on the back of a napkin. Today, when you visit the 90,000 square-foot Tröegs Brewery tucked in beside Hersheypark and The Tanger Outlets at Hershey, you will see what they came up with: a large 5,00 square-foot central Tasting Room, an open brewhouse, a self-guided tour path around a Quality Control lab, plenty of room for fermentation and a General Store for beer and goods to-go. Tröegs also provides guided tours of the brewhouse on designated days. While the new brewery HQ officially opened in 2011, the brothers’ napkin included an important yet unrealized vision which was a space dedicated to wood-aging. It would be a sanctuary for strong age-able ales, a home for wild yeast and bacteria, and a wide-open canvas for creative cellaring. From this space would grow a new series of Pennsylvania wild ales brewed with the fruit and microflora from their backyard. In July 2016 the brothers opened their “wood-aging dream space” dubbed The Splinter Cellar. The space features three 20-foot-tall “foeders” – Dutch for large oak tank – handcrafted by the 200-year-old Italian barrel manufacturer Giobatta & Piero Garbellotto from dozens of staves of Italian, Hungarian and French oak that have been air dried for three years to mellow any harsh flavors.
Celebrate the harvest this fall with seasonal events and traditional activities that connect visitors to Pennsylvania’s Hershey Harrisburg Region.
Kipona Celebration - 100 Years (September 3 - 5, 2016)
On Labor Day in 1916, the City of Harrisburg held its first Kipona celebration along the banks of the Susquehanna River. The word "Kipona" is a Native American term meaning “to be upon the sparkling water,” and therefore the daylong event which became a tradition for the next century would always include activities that took place in and around the Susquehanna River. This year's 100th Anniversary event in 2016 will include two live music stages, canoe races, food trucks & 30+ food vendors, a variety of vendors & artists, Doggie Olympics and Kissing Booth, Beer Garden, Centennial Celebration History Wall, Festival of India, Native American Pow Wow, Crab Cake Eating Contest, Children’s Festival, Children’s stage with performances by the Popcorn Hat Players, Midtown Cinema dark screening tent, Carnival games, a Raindrop to River Conservation Carnival, and Fireworks to close the evening.
Jazz & Wine Festival (September 9 - 11, 2016)
The 10th Annual Dauphin County Jazz & Wine Festival is returning to the beautiful Fort Hunter Park overlooking the majestic Susquehanna River. This event has grown to become one of the most highly anticipated and popular events in the region with national, regional and local recording artists performing over three days. While the music plays, attendees casually browse and sample some of Central Pennsylvania's top wines. The environment is warm, welcoming, and laid back. Visitors will feel right at home with the locals who have made this a summer-end celebration for a decade.
Cornucopia Wine Quest Weekends - Saturdays & Sundays (Oct. 15 - 30, 2016)
Every Saturday & Sunday over three weekends in October will highlight 16 of the Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country partners with fun seasonal activities from hayrides and roasting s’mores to making grape vine wreaths and decorating wine bottles. See some activities by winery below and find more information for the special weekends including ticket prices at the Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country web site.
- ADAMS Vitners - Roasting S'mores
- Armstrong Valley Winery - Grapevine Wreath Making
- Broad Mountain - Glass Painting
- Buddy Buy - Wine Bottle Decorating
- Cassel Vineyards - Pumpkin Judging Contest
- Moon Dancer - Scavenger Hunt
- Nissley - Cork Toss
- Spring Gate - Bottle Toss
- Vineyard at Grandview - Hayrides
- Vineyard at Hershey - Apple Fun: Bobbing & Caramel
- West Hanover Winery - Scavenger Hunt
- Winery at Hunters Valley - Pumpkin S'mores
Hershey Resort Events
In Hershey the thrills keep going with Hersheypark® in the Dark with rides, live entertainment, and seasonal treats over three weekend (Oct. 14-30). Hershey Gardens has a new year-round Tropical Butterfly Atrium open during the day and offers the annual Pumpkin Glow at night every Friday & Saturday for two weekends (Oct. 21-28) with 150 illuminated pumpkins, storytelling, carving demos, and free candy.
The AACA Eastern Division National Fall Meet (Oct. 5-8) is the largest car show & flea market of its kind in the country and the Antique Auto Museum in Hershey hosts Trunk or Treat (Oct. 22).
Runners flock in the fall for the Hershey Half Marathon (Oct. 16); 5K Glow Run in Hershey (Oct. 22); and the Harrisburg Marathon, a Boston Marathon Qualifier (Nov. 13).
For more iconic Autumn events, check out www.VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org.
History & Heritage Exhibits
250th Anniversary of Harris-Cameron Mansion (2016) – Harrisburg Founder’s Home
The mansion was built in 1766 by John Harris, Jr., one of the founders of Harrisburg. In 1863, it was purchased by Simon Cameron, Lincoln's first Secretary of War. Cameron transformed the Georgian house into a stylish Victorian mansion and lived there until his death in 1889. The house became the headquarters of the Historical Society of Dauphin County in 1941.
The National Civil War Museum – New Special Exhibit on Vice & Virtue - thru December 31, 2016
“Tell Mother I’ve Been Good: Vice & Virtue in the Civil War” is the latest in the National Civil War Museum’s ongoing series of programming to effectively illustrate a topical theme through personal stories, images and artifacts from this period in American history. New for 2016, this special exhibit illustrates the moral challenges faced by thousands of men and women tempted by drinking, gambling and fraternization on both sides of the American Civil War.
U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center – New Vietnam Exhibit – thru 2017
Opened in November 2015, this new exhibit Courage, Commitment, and Fear: The American Soldier in the Vietnam War, features several unique immersive experiences, such as a "spider hole" and "booby traps," which will allow visitors to experience, first-hand, the types of challenges U.S. Soldiers faced. Each Soldier's story is unique, and the exhibit showcases different areas of Vietnam, with corresponding Soldiers' stories to illustrate the experiences of the men and women who served. In-country experiences in combat and medical evacuation operations will be featured, in addition to sections relating to the experience of POWs and veterans upon returning home. The exhibit also includes the short film, "Our Journey Through War," which was produced in-house by the USAHEC team, and features the stories of those who were involved in the conflict.
Active & Outdoors
Pedal, Paddle, Backpacking
The crisp cool Autumn air is perfect for leaf peepers looking to pedal, paddle, or backpack. Take a lazy river run down the serene Swatara Creek with the cool kids at Cocoa Kayaks of Hershey or explore the urban scenery of the Capital City Greenbelt winding 17-miles around Harrisburg.
The most majestic mountaintop view is earned at the peak of Hawk Rock along the Appalachian Trail in the village of Duncannon. The Doyle Hotel is the no-frills hostel in the center of this tiny town that has become a highly anticipated oasis for the long-haul hikers who post photos and letters on the walls from their time on the trail. (Image below is Hawk Rock Overlook from VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org)
- Strites Orchard - Pick your own pumpkin or grab Granny Smith apple from the branch during harvest at this family farm located conveniently between Hershey & Harrisburg. (Image below is dad & daughter harvesting apples at Strites Orchard from VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org)
- Broad Street Market in Harrisburg's Midtown District - Bag a bundle of bargains from the 40 family farmers and varied vendors inside the oldest continuously operating farmers market in the U.S. dating back to the Civil War.
Roundtop Mountain Resort - New Climbing Course & More OGO Balls
For winter 2015/2016, the resort added 11 new automated Sufag snowmaking towers and 12 new HKD snowmaking stations. This equipment is efficient and allows the ski area to open more terrain faster than ever before. The resort has also renovated their Snow Tubing Lodge Food Court and added more paved parking. For summer 2016, Roundtop added a third OGO Ball lane and have completed construction on a new three-story climbing feature – The Crow’s Nest. (Image below is OGO Ball at Roundtop Mountain Resort.)
Autobahn Indoor Speedway - New Indoor Go-Kart Racing
Speed-lovers need to try the newest attraction taking over the Harrisburg, PA area; European style indoor go-karting. The 40,000-square-feet state-of-the-art facility is the largest completely indoor karting facility in Pennsylvania. This means perfect racing conditions every day. Satisfy your "need for speed" in one of our unique, high speed electric Italian pro-karts. These F1-inspired karts reach speeds of up to 50 mph and the new upscale facility has the latest technology to make your experience fun!
Dining & Lodging & Libations
Greystone Public House – New Restaurant 2016
Jason Viscount, previously the executive chef at Bricco in Harrisburg for nine years, has partnered with developer John G. Frisch to create the Greystone Public House. The new endeavor opened in July 2016 in the historic space previously occupied by the Mount Hill Tavern that closed in June 2015. Extensive renovations to the property that dates back to the 18th century makes the Greystone a completely new dining experience in the region, accommodating groups & events of all sizes in a warm and familiar atmosphere that is family-friendly. The expanded bar and patio make it a perfect place to enjoy a casual drink or grab a snack from the bar menu. Viscount describes the dinner menu as “recognizable” with nothing in the offerings that people wouldn’t understand, covering everything from burgers and sandwiches to entrees.
Los Tres Cubanos – New Cuban Restaurant
This little slice of Cuba is tucked away in the quint neighborhood of Shipoke and offers authentic Cuban cuisine in an atmosphere that brings the fun and festivities of Cuba right to your table. Three times the Cubans means three times the flavor and fun! Specialties include mojitos, ceviche and slow roasted pork shoulder. Its owners, a trio of central Pennsylvania physicians, all have roots in Cuba and wanted to bring Cuban cuisine to Harrisburg. The Cuban theme is reflected in the décor from old and new photos of Cuba to busts of of author Ernest Hemingway and Cuban patriot and hero Jose Marti. There is a framed 1950s menu from La Bodeguita Del Medio, a famous restaurant in Havana, Cuba. A 65-year-old wooden bar was imported from Idaho and is significant because Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine at one time had sat around it, according to the owners. (Image below is from the restaurant's web site photo gallery of dish Arroz Con Pollo)
The Millworks – Restaurant & Artist Studios Opens New Brewery & Largest Rooftop Deck in Harrisburg
Named “New Tourism Business of the Year 2015” by the Hershey Harrisburg Visitors Bureau, this vision by developer Joshua Kesler continues to evolve in the Capital City’s Midtown neighborhood. The Millworks is a combination of restaurant, biergarten, and artist studios that opened in March 2015 in the former Stokes Millworks, located near the Susquehanna Arts Museum, the Broad Street Market, and the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. The 160-seat restaurant focuses on authentic local and sustainable food, sourced from growers and producers, many located next door in the Broad Street Market, with a full service bar featuring draft and bottled microbrews, craft beers, and nano-brews from local breweries, plus a full menu of spirits and artisan cocktails. Thirty-five (35) regional artists have studios located inside the Millworks' building, allowing customers the opportunity to watch sculptors, painters, and others from the restaurant and biergarten. Open houses on weekends allow customers to walk through the studios, engaging with the artists and seeing their craft performed in person. With a full stage and sound system, the Millworks also hosts live music consisting of both local and touring bands and singer songwriters. NEW THIS FALL (2016) developer Joshua Kesler expanded to include an in-house brewery and completed the 165-seat rooftop biergarten, the largest in the city, with aerial view of Harrisburg’s Midtown neighborhood. The facility will eventually be named as a National Park Service Registry of Historic Places and the architecture & design includes re-purposed lumber for furnishings & interior construction, lighting from the Broad Street Market from 1920’s, a portion of a Pennsylvania railroad car on display in the dining area, and the wood-fired oven constructed of bricks from an 1830’s farmhouse in nearby Perry County.(Image below is the new rooftop biergarten at The Millworks in Midtown Harrisburg courtesy of http://millworksharrisburg.com.)
Red Umbrella – New B&B
This fully renovated brick Federal-style home built in 1845 is conveniently located to all of the attractions in the Hershey Harrisburg Region including being only 7-miles from Hershey and Hersheypark. You’ll find a strong connection at this B&B to the local artisan scene, as the property was named for a local artist named Liz Hess and paintings from “Liz’s Red Umbrella Collection” are on display and for sale throughout the B&B. The property is also only a short scenic ride to Lancaster, Gettysburg and other attractions. Come and experience the area or come and relax in the comfortably elegant accommodations waiting just for you.
The Manor on Front – New B&B Mansions along Riverfront Park
The Manor on Front consists of two beautifully restored mansions named “The Ledgestone” and “The Mary Sachs” located on North Front Street, overlooking the Susquehanna River. The properties are among the Academy Manor District, known for the wide array of 20th century mansions. Both properties have been beautifully renovated to showcase period details against a tailored, elegant interior, surrounded by a lush campus of mature trees with river views and gorgeous sunsets. The Ledgestone is a 1920's revival Tudor mansion, while The Mary Sachs is a colonial-style limestone mansion. The Riverfront Park is adjacent to the properties with over 10-miles of park-like settings for running, bicycling, skating & walking. Local restaurants, shopping and galleries are a short jaunt away. (Image below is "The Ledgestone" one of the stone mansions at The Manor on Front B&B property.)
Midstate Distillery – New Distillery – Harrisburg’s 1st since Prohibition
Opened in Harrisburg in January 2016 by brother-in-laws Dan Healy and Brian Myers, this new attraction will have the distinction of being the first distillery in Harrisburg since Prohibition. Midstate produces small batches of Shaky Jake's Rum (a super smooth with a hint of vanilla and a sweet finish) and Pennsyltucky Moonshine with plans to make Iron & Ice Vodka. Visitors can stop in for cocktails, take a tour, shop in the retail store and purchase bottles to take home. Midstate joins a growing list of distilleries already operating in this region of Pennsylvania from Thistle Finch Distillery in Lancaster to Old Republic Distillery in York County and Hidden Still Spirits in Lebanon.
Zeroday Brewing Company – New Brewery in Midtown
Zeroday Brewing Co. opened in April 2015 as a 7 barrel craft brewery and 60-seat tasting room located in the Midtown district of Harrisburg right next to the Midtown Cinema. This husband & wife team of Theo and Brandalynn Armstrong are the heart & soul of the story here. They specialize in clean, balanced ales and lagers and love to showcase their amazing brews alongside PA wine and cider, local artwork featured in a 16-foot gallery wall, and with some of the area’s best musicians on any given night. Zeroday is not a full restaurant, but it offers a fun snack menu with items like the Large Ass Pretzel (seriously bigger than your face) or you can bring your own from the nearby market. The couple operated a successful crowd funding campaign to help fund their dream. So what’s with the name? Zero Day is a term used by those hiking the Appalachian Trail for the days you take a break and do nothing. You log zero miles that day. It’s typically reserved for a worthwhile city or town. The couple wanted their spot to be worthy of a Zeroday.
Broad Street Market - New Pop-Culture & Cool Artisan Food Vendors
The Broad Street Market is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the oldest continuously operated market houses in the country. Founded in 1860 and used to feed the civil war troops training at nearby Camp Curtain, this market today serves as the hub of Harrisburg’s Midtown District with 40 vendors offering locally-grown and organic produce, meats, baked goods, and freshly prepared meals. You can read more on the new businesses featured for their pop-culture influence and artisanship approach to the already diverse mix of 40 vendors at the market. Managers work to preserve the historic legacy and cultural diversity of the market in addition to serving the community with food-centered educational events. Ask about the renovations since early 2015 and new local farmer program. TripAdvisor users ranked this #14 for “Top Things to do in Harrisburg” (2016). (Image below of owner of Popped Culture popcorn stand inside Broad Street Market)
Arts & Culture
Susquehanna Art Museum (SAM) – New Collection Exhibits
Immigrant Experience In Art Exhibits in 2016 - In 2015, SAM opened a new 20,000 square-foot location that incorporates a new structure with a pre-existing historic bank building located in the heart of Harrisburg’s trendy Midtown neighborhood, just six blocks from Center City Harrisburg. In 2016 the museum has been hosting a roster of exhibitions and works from national and international artists including two collections focusing on the immigrant experience in art -- New Light: The Pennsylvania Impressionists, Highlights from the Woodmere Art Museum Collection, and Despues de la Frontera. The museum’s Education Center offers educational programs for corporate events and group team-building activities. (Image below of Susquehanna Art Museum's garden mural in Harrisburg Midtown neighborhood)
Gamut Theater – New Performance Space
The Gamut Theater debuted in a new space in 2016 and will be featuring Harrisburg Shakespeare Company and Popcorn Hat Players who perform Children’s Theater. The spacious new home is inside the former First Church of God, a 12,000-square-foot building that provides plenty of room for Gamut's multiple missions, which include the Harrisburg Shakespeare Company, the Popcorn Hat Players Children's Theatre and a Stage Door Series that concentrates on classic stories such as a recent production of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Gamut claims to reach an estimated 36,000 adults and children each year through its 350 performances and classes. Before agreeing to buy the former church for $435,000, Gamut officials had pondered the idea of leaving the downtown.
Mary Smith, President & CEO of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau is available for media interviews regarding the contents of this news release. Please try to make interview requests at least 12-hours in advance. The bureau will make every effort to accommodate all interview requests. Contact Rick@HersheyHarrisburg.org or cell 717.884.3328.
ABOUT THE HERSHEY HARRISBURG REGIONAL VISITORS BUREAU
The HHRVB is the official non-profit partnership-based Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) leading economic growth for Pennsylvania’s Hershey & Harrisburg Region through destination marketing and tourism development. The organization, accredited by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) since 2010, is committed to actively marketing the tourism assets in Dauphin & Perry County to business and leisure travelers both domestic & international. The bureau also leads regional sales efforts to attract meeting & event organizers, sporting event producers, and group tour leaders. For more information go to VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org or call 877-727-8573. Media can use #HHRVB and #HHRVB4Media when tagging stories and social media posts related to the region.