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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!

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!

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!

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.

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!

Farm Show Complex

farm-showHarrisburg is home to the world’s “largest outdoor show.” The NRA Great American Outdoor Show is beginning two days from now and I for one, am very excited. It is not just us Harrisburg people who make the most of these festivities; my ex-wife — who has since moved to DuBois — is also coming. OK I could do without that but that’s just an example of how much people like it. Indeed, I hear that this excitement spreads throughout the nation with people coming from outside the state to enjoy the “hottest ticket in town.”

I personally go for the hunting exhibitions myself. But this event is also famous for its outdoor sports, fishing, safaris, adventure trails and other cool events. Well, it spans over 650,000 feet so there has to be a lot going on! I actually heard that this year there are going to be more than 1,100 exhibitors present. My oldest has already told me to be sure we have time to check out the Alaska BearFoot Outfitters because “that’s where I want to work when I leave school.”

The show lasts for nine days and tickets are priced at between $6 and $20. This year though, because I’m considering purchasing an NRA membership, it will be free for me. Membership for a year is only $35 and with that I’ll also get insurance, lots of invitations and so much more. I think it’s time I treated myself. I do love this kind of thing.

Do be sure to download GAOS 2016 (which I just did) so you can follow happenings and events as they occur. And just make sure you don’t miss this; from past experiences I can honestly say it’s the hugest thing to hit Harrisburg, past, present and future.

Hip Hop Harrisburg

music festivalFor the second consecutive year, Harrisburg residents are able to enjoy a hip-hop musical festival. The PennsylMania Music Fest that started yesterday brings together around 15 artists hailing from the Harrisburg, Lancaster and York area at Harrisburg’s very own Abbey Bar, Appalachian Brewing Company.

I think I’m going to go. I missed it last year (when apparently there were around 300 people) because I had the kids but this year I am planning on asking my girlfriend to accompany me there. I think it will make for a nice evening out. I’m not so into the music but I think the atmosphere will be great.

Besides, it’s always good to support local events isn’t it?

Woo-Hoo for Festivals!!!

harvest-festivalThe Harrisburg Harvest Festival, that took place over the last weekend in August, was just awesome. We had such fun. Indeed, it has quite become the main pulling event of Harrisburg. I think Brian Latta, our City Manager, got his goal accomplished when he said that they wanted to make sure the Festival was “a local celebration for our heritage, farming and the grass seed harvest.” It truly was.

Also it’s good because apart from last year, they didn’t have the Harvest Festival for like a decade and a half. I’d really missed it. Was very glad it came back. They decided it would be a good way to draw people in to town and farmers were interested in doing it again. I think they succeeded.

Either way my kids loved the tent with games and the horseshoe tournament was just so different! In my opinion, it was a great pre back-to-school activity. And now that my kids are back in school I think I might just have to have a little festival of my own! Happy fall everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harrisburg Happenings

foodThere is a lot going on in Harrisburg over the summer. The two events that particularly caught my interest happened last week. First, the AFRAM Celebration that took place at my son’s school (Marshall Elementary School) which had a ton of stuff from various African-American businesses and youth groups. There was lots of yummy food being sold by local vendors too. I enjoyed a delectable hog jowl – I know, I know, probably not the healthiest thing I could have consumed but too delicious for words!

The other event I went to the next day with my girlfriend was the Equality Fest. I felt like considering I’m sort of from the older generation (okay yes I admit it I’m middle aged!) it was time I started understanding and accepting the whole gay thing that is truly a part of our lives now. This was a great festival and a fun way to pull down barriers. There were lots of crafts music and different performances as well as a wedding expo that was truly quite colorful and beautiful.

I look forward to the rest of the summer in Harrisburg! Bring on the festivals I say.