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!

Youth Step Championship

kids-runningWoo-hoo!  My kids just competed in the 7th annual Youth Step USA National Championship.  What a great way it was, to spend Memorial Weekend.  Although the kids at first felt weird at going to their school (the event was held at Harrisburg High School), it was such a fun event that really encouraged the kids and made them feel good about themselves.  As Brock Harris, CEO of Youth Step USA said: “It’s a great feeling when you can do something for young people and when you see them in this light really showcasing their talents and enthusiasm it’s a beautiful thing.”


Are We Going Back to the Mesozoic Era?

dinosaurThat being (in case you didn’t know), the time of the dinosaurs.  In Harrisburg it seems we might be going back in time 65 million years ago as dinosaurs visit the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.

The new exhibition – called ‘Discover the Dinosaurs’ – lets visitors come face to face with T-Rex, the Stegosaurus, the Velociraptor and other dinosaurs from that time.  This is a dream come true for my kids at least and I’m sure a bunch of other children.

It’s especially great that the exhibition is in Harrisburg, PA since traditionally Pennsylvania has been a somewhat aggravating state for those who love dinosaurs.  Even though the area has been home to the likes of ceratopsians, raptors and tyrannosaurs’ during Mesozoic times, there are minimal footprints that remain and absolutely no fossils.

Perhaps therefore this new exhibition will shed some light on one of my kids’ favorite hobbies…second only to Lego!

LEGO Fest in Harrisburg!

legoI knew that as soon as my kids would hear about the LEGO KidsFest they’d be more than excited. But I’m not sure they knew how excited I was!  I know that most people assume that Lego is meant to be for kids, but it’s actually not entirely true.

Indeed, just earlier this month Jeff Chabot wrote an article in Gadget Review entitled ’10 of the Biggest, Most Challenging Awesome Lego Sets You Can Kill a Weekend Building,’ detailing some of the top Lego sets for adults! Likewise last year, a video was made depicting the ‘Top 10 Legos for Adults.’ So Lego for adults is not such an anomaly.

So truthfully, the fact that the traveling LEGO extravaganza is finally coming to Harrisburg is indeed a thrill for the whole family.  I sure won’t be missing it!