Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and Harrisburg has a lot going on to mark the date.  Perhaps in anticipation of the day, last week Harrisburg’s Art Association held its 2018  Bal Masque under the theme Celtic Ceilidh from 6pm-10pm in the Capital Room at the Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center.

Guests came dressed in kilts, tartans and other Celtic dress since there was a prize-giving costume parade.  There was also entertainment provided by traditional Celtic musicians and dancers including those from the Carraig School of Irish Dance.

For those who missed the boat though, there is still a way to mark St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow at the annual parade. Organized by the Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District (for the 2nd consecutive year), events include: the Lucky Charm 5k/10k race, marching bands, pipe & drum bands Irish floats and much more.


Festive Season in Harrisburg

If you didn’t make it The Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show that took place from November 29-December 3), shame on you and boy did you miss out! It was a truly festive celebration of this happy season’s most awesome arts and crafts, decorations, dance, food, music and more.  There was a ton of neat jewelry for sale as well as kids toys, stuff for the house and cool Christmas-themed paraphernalia.

Still, there are plenty of other things going on to get you into the holiday spirit.  On Friday there is the Tales of Paranormal Christmases of Yore at which you can observe the Nightwatch Paranormal team discussing the links of Spirits and Christmas Traditions as they share their experiences of tales of yore as well as give an insight into other traditions that take place around the world.

Once Christmas has come and gone the festivities continue as there is still New Year’s to consider.  For those looking for something out of the ordinary for New Year’s Eve, might I recommend the Gettysburg Murder Mystery Dinner Party: Totally 80s, Totally Murder.  That looks like a lot of fun as, let’s face it, the 80s were the best!  So come on down with your leg warmers, jean jackets and other 80s gear to rock out at this fun party!

Making Sense of Savings

When it comes to saving I’ve never been all that great.  But I have always known and understood the importance of the basics:  and that is, sticking to the 50/30/20 rule:  (50 percent for essentials – which does not mean my wine club!; 30 percent for discretionary spending – which really should be connected to my kids’ needs; and 20 percent for savings).

So I started thinking about reading what some of the experts have been saying for the regular man in the street to get their finances in order.  I came across something very interesting from James Sullivan of Essex Financial Services and I actually really related to what he said.  He believes that everyone really has to establish their very own “savings hierarchy,” which means that even though we all know about the 50/30/20 rule, there is a lot of wiggle room within that.  We should still stick to the principle, but depending on our specific circumstances (some people work for places with a company match) before we put all our eggs in one basket for example.

The other idea I gleaned was that apart from looking at our current tax brackets, we should investigate our potential future ones and based on that information look toward our savings plan.  And keeping all contributions in one account just makes things a lot easier and less stressful to manage.

So I will really try to make sure 20 percent is put toward savings and, when I do, go back to people like Sullivan for more specific tips on how to engineer this.



Annual PA National Horse Show!

Now in its 72nd  year, the annual National Horse Show is a must-attend event in my opinion.  Held this year from 12-21st October, it has garnered a reputation throughout America as being one of the “largest and most prestigious horse shows,” where those who came along got the opportunity to observe America’s best “hunter and jumper” horses do their thing.

Indeed, almost 1,500 Junior and Adult competitors (from around the world) competed at the show…And prize money went to $500,000!  Presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, it took place at Pennsylvania’s Farm Show Complex & Expo Center.

I never really saw myself as a horse lover but I have to say, this event changed my mind!

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.