A Look Back at Harrisburg in the 80s

This is a fascinating way to remember Harrisburg from the 1980s.  well, it’s not actually remembering per se for me as I didn’t live there then, it’s more of a great way to see how the place has changed since that time.

So, I took a look at this gallery and now I’m passing it on to you, my readers.  The pics come from PennLive/The Patriot-News and are in black and white.  You can see when the Hilton Harrisburg was put up, as well as Market Street’s Rachel Carson state office building and Market Square’s Bus Plaza. So enjoy!

Health and Wellness in Harrisburg

Check out this video of a recent exhibition on how to kickstart your health and wellness in the Harrisburg area.

Harrisburg’s Wildlife

Harrisburg is no stranger to wildlife, environmental protection and sustainable energy.  It is thus not a surprise that out of every five acres of land throughout Pennsylvania, three of them are forest.  As such, the people of the state are privy to a whole slew of resources including: paper, furniture, wildlife habitat etc.  In addition, work has been undertaken by the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, since 1886, in this area.

I was thinking myself of becoming a volunteer. These individuals are working hard – but really giving back to the community at the same time – and successfully preserving nature in a sustainable way.  The tree farm sets up management plans to promote the advancement of renewable natural resources, protecting the environment with the benefits of a productive forest, for private landowners. These landowners can then decide what they wish to preserve – wildlife, wood, trees, harvesting, preservation of the habitat, etc.

Meanwhile, a recent live-stream of an educational event was organized by the Department of Environmental Protection and Game Commission.  Joining together three young peregrine falcons that had made their homes on the 15th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, students who attended got to identify the dangers of DDT to birds and take part in the advancement of modern environmentalism.   When the nest was installed back in 1996, falcons appeared and since then there have been 64 which have hatched and banded, assisting the institute’s work on recovering the peregrine population in Pennsylvania. Given that Pennsylvania’s peregrine falcon is endangered this action is greatly beneficial to the cause.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations!

St. Patrick’s Day is a lot of fun in Harrisburg.  Probably because it’s not just a day, but it seems to go on forever!  While officially it started 3 days ago (March 17th) there are still celebrations and activities going on…at least in the Harrisburg area.

The first thing we did was on the actual day at Flinchy’s.  Located at 1833 Hummel Ave., Lower Allen Twp., while this hasn’t been my local since moving 2 years ago, it’s still holds fantastic memories and never fails to disappoint.  The buffet of green eggs and corned beef hash was quite amazing and you can never drink too much Irish beer…well, at least not on St. Patrick’s Day. The doors opened at 7 am (my buddies and I didn’t arrive until 10 and that was early for us to start drinking but hey, it’s what Patrick would have wanted!)

The next day I took my boys to the parade.  It was all quite regal with a bunch of bands (pipe & drum, marching), dance groups, floats and so much more.

And we ended our celebrations with the King Street Seisun. This block party featured all-things-Irish and we enjoyed listening to Irish music by The Ogham Stones, Hiding Scarlet, Silent Disco and DJ Edge.

I’m already excited for next year’s batch!

Harrisburg Sports

baseballIt was pretty cool when Cal Ripken Jr., (of Hall of Fame, fame) stopped by in Harrisburg.  While he was more into the Studies when he came by (to the disappointment of my boys who were hoping for a focus on sports), his “Iron Man” reputation came in leaps and bounds before him.

He made a really important visit I thought when he stopped by at the STEM Center (Melrose Elementary School – shame my kids have all graduated from there now) and admired the $10,000+ worth of math, science and technology equipment our Harrisburg kids get to use regularly.

Which of course was to be expected as it is his very own charity – the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation established to honor in his father – which supports all of that there.

Even though he’s actually not played professional baseball for 15 years he’s still a legend here and my kids were glad he came to visit (even though they didn’t actually meet up with him).  Once a legend, always a legend I guess!

Harrisburg Landmark

A Harrisburg landmark is being resurrected by retired US Navy veteran Brian Dennis Douglas.  He felt the need to bring a Shanois Street tree “back to life because it was dying.”

So, a few months ago, together with his wife Grace, Brian bought the hotel.  At one time this 19th century building was home to the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania.  The Douglas’ were distressed by the fact that most people know little about the rich history of the building which is in an obscure spot off South Cameron Street near where the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is located.

The Douglas’ plan to reopen and rebrand the hotel as the 901 Lounge and Restaurant which will serve as a multi-purpose venue offering lunch, dinner and entertainment. Before they do this though they need a liquor license transfer.

Earlier this month they hosted an open house for the public where they asked for ideas on food, drink and entertainment options to be offered at the lounge when it opens.  They are looking to target the over-35 crowd and “will provide whatever the customer wants.”

The hotel closed in 2006 following the death of its owner, Dushan ‘Sonny’ Mudrinich Jr. and renovations are now being undertaken.

AmTrak Train

What fun this was to show the boys; the Amtrack Train that was filmed a few months ago on the Keytstone Corridor Before PTC by Super TrainsAmtrack! Wow we live in a great place!

Harrisburg and Trains

This video shows a variety of trains, Norfolk Southern coal, intermodal and merchandise trains, some Amtrak and more. As Pennsylvania’s state capitol and a railfan featuring rails radiating all around. Harrisburg and the Buffalo Line are connected to D&H Sunbury and Freight Lines to and from New England.

Budweiser in Harrisburg

budweiserEarlier this month, the Budweiser Clydesdales came to Harrisburg and caused quite a commotion.  But it was a lot of fun as well and so great for the summer when I am always looking for something fun and different to do.  Especially since it was outdoors and it’s never easy getting the kids away from their screens.

We got out the house at 11 am and didn’t have to wait at all long for 8 draft horses to parade through the city, pulling a super cool vintage wagon toward the Capitol complex along North Second Street.  I told my boys about the history horses have with Budweiser (that dates back to the 1930s) and have even had a place in US presidential inaugurations!

I was a bit upset we missed the parade at Penn National Race Course, but was happy we at least got to be part of their first parade.  I just hope that they are on the same schedule next year so we can get some more fun in.

Harrisburg in History

harrisburgActually in pictures.  Thanks to PennLive.   Harrisburg is being featured in a series of old photos dating back to the 20th century.  It will use its own archives as well as photos from the Historical Society of Dauphin County.  The photos will not follow any set agenda; but rather just be whatever the journal happens to have in its hard copy files and digital collections, some with detailed information, others not.  They will be published according to date, and started with photos from 1900-1919, then 1920-1929, etc.

So now we can all learn a little bit about what made the capital city of Pennsylvania as great as it is!