Tag Archives: Lancaster City

Capital for a Day

What do Annapolis, Princeton, Philadelphia, and Lancaster all have in common?

Believe it or not, all of these cities were once the capital of the United States.

Of all the places listed above, Lancaster was the capital for the shortest amount of time – one day to be exact!

So how did Lancaster become the third capital location of the country?

During the Revolutionary War, British Troops were on a mission to take Philadelphia, the capital prior to Lancaster. They were successful in capturing the city after defeating George Washington’s men at the Battle of Brandywine. This led the Second Continental Congress to search for a new, more secure capital.

The day after the British invaded Philadelphia, the Continental Congress met in Lancaster at the Courthouse that once stood in the town square – making it the Capital for the Day.

After September 27, the Continental Congress moved once again to distance themselves further from the British Troops. They chose to move to York, across the Susquehanna River from Lancaster, increasing the distance from Philadelphia and adding a physical barrier. They stayed in York until June 1778, before making their way back to Philadelphia.

When visiting Lancaster today, you unfortunately won’t be able to see the courthouse where this meeting took place. The original courthouse, constructed in 1737, was destroyed by a fire in 1786.

Happy Capital Day, Lancaster!

Resource: Trex, Ethan. (2017, September 27) Glory Day: Lancaster’s Brief Stint as Our Nation’s Capital. MentalFloss.com

Top 10 Things to Do in Lancaster: September Travel Guide

September brings the beginning of fall, cooler weather, pumpkin flavored goodies, and great events to Lancaster. It’s time for football tailgates and evenings at the farm show, as the days get a little bit shorter and the air gets a little bit crisper. Whether you’re a local discovering what’s in your own backyard or in town to explore during the weekend, you’ll find something that strikes your fancy and gets you in the mood for fall’s exciting offerings.

Check out our list of 10 things to do this month in Lancaster (just to name a few):

Kids will love…

The Corn Maze at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm | All Month
Find your way through the Amazing Maize Maze, an interactive corn maze filled with twists, turns, and clues along the way. Once you’ve found your way out of the corn, Cherry Crest Adventure Farm has loads of fun farm-themed activities, friendly farm animals, and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch to experience life down on the farm.

Day Out with Thomas™ at Strasburg Rail Road™ | September 16-24
Thomas the Tank Engine is back in town for railroading fun. Join Thomas and his pal Percy for a ride on the historic railroad, activities, and more. This is a “must-do” for families with little train lovers. They’re sure to remember the time they got to meet Thomas the Tank Engine himself.

Foodies will love…


The Whoopie Pie Festival at Hershey Farm | September 9
Celebrate this Lancaster dessert at Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn. Treat yourself to a traditional whoopie pie or try a more adventurous combo while you enjoy games, activities, unique craft vendors, and more. It’s the most delicious day of the month!

Fall Bluegrass Concert at the Vineyard at Grandview | September 9
Sit back and enjoy an afternoon in the vineyard featuring live bluegrass music, locally-crafted wines and brews, and tasty fare from local food trucks. Two great bluegrass acts, Porthouse Yard and Hog Maw, will provide lively entertainment to keep your toes tapping.

Restaurant Week in Lancaster City | September 18-24
Explore the diverse culinary offerings Lancaster City has to offer during Fall Restaurant Week. Participating restaurants offer deals from $10 to $40 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including some offerings created just for this week. Be sure to come hungry, and share your delicious moments using #LCRW2017.

Runners will love…

Run, Ride & Soar Weekend | September 8-10
Lace up your sneakers for the annual Run, Ride, and Soar weekend in Bird-in-Hand. Runners can participate in the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon or 5k, while bikers can take to the backroad for the Amish Country Classic Bike Ride. If you’d rather catch the action from above, the Amish Country Hot Air Balloon Fest features launches in the morning and evening for a birds-eye view of the farmland.

Shoppers will love…

Wool Frolic at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum | September 16
Are you a fan of knitting, crocheting, or other fiber arts? Find yarn of every texture and color, fleece, and more at this artsy event. Crafting demonstrations will be going on throughout the day, along with hands-on activities for kids.


Fall Antiques Extravaganza in Adamstown | September 28 – October 1
Find dozens of antique shops including outdoor markets as you explore the Antiques Capital in Adamstown. Browse the plethora of wares as dealers and shops extend their hours for this weekend. If you’re looking for that one-of-a-kind item, chances are you’ll find it here.

The whole family will love…

Tailgate Festival at Kitchen Kettle Village | September 15-16
Touchdown! Time to get in the spirit of football season at Kitchen Kettle’s sports-themed festival. There will be tons of tasty homemade tailgate foods to sample, activities for kids and adults to enjoy, and lively musical performances along the shop-lined paths of the village. If you’re in the competitive spirit, participate in their Pumpkin Whoopie Pie filling Contest to test your skills.

Fairs & Farm Shows | All Month
September brings fairs and farm shows to the communities throughout the county. Time for funnel cakes, Ferris wheels, farm animals, and fun! Enjoy the brisk evening air as you stroll down the midway at the following fairs this month: York (September 8-17), Denver (September 12-16), Solanco (September 20-22), Ephrata (September 26-30), and West Lampeter (September 27-29).

For a full list of September events, check out our events calendar.

 

Ten Things to Do in Lancaster County in June

Signs of summer are popping up across Lancaster County. From fun with the kids now that school is out to spending time outdoors in the warm sunshine, here are ten exciting events and things to do in Lancaster this month.

A Day at the Railroad

Railroad fun and history are ever-present in Strasburg this month for the young and young-at-heart.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s special exhibit for 2016, “Safety First! The Evolution of Railroading Safety Practices,” explores how technology and practices helped to improve the safety of railroad workers. For those who love railroading history, this is just the place for you! Along with the special exhibit, the museum also features historic locomotives, a working restoration shop and more. Admission to this year’s exhibit is included with museum admission. The exhibit is open during regular museum hours and will be on display until December 31, 2016.

Thomas is coming back to town – Thomas the Tank Engine™ that is! June 18 through June 26, Strasburg Rail Road® will host their Day Out with Thomas™ event, featuring a train ride with Thomas, storytelling and more. Thomas won’t be traveling alone, as his friend Percy will be joining in the festivities too. Tickets can be purchased for the June, August, and November Day Out with Thomas™ events online.

Live Music Galore

Outdoor music performances are plentiful in June, and what better time to enjoy the warm summer air and toe-tapping tunes.

Looking for something to do on Sunday nights this summer? Grab a picnic dinner and lawn chairs and head over to Long’s Park for their Summer Music Series. Beginning on June 5, live music will be performed at the Long’s Park Amphitheater that will have you dancing along. Admission to these family-friendly, outdoor concerts is free.

Another exciting celebration of music is Kitchen Kettle Village’s Music for Everyone Festival, held on Saturday, June 18. Enjoy various live music performances as you stroll around and browse the village shops.

Celebrate the City and Towns

Join in the festivities as Intercourse and Lancaster City are celebrated with fun and even fireworks!

Intercourse Heritage Days will be held June 17 through 18 to celebrate the history and heritage of the town. Hosted at Intercourse Community Park, this festival includes activities for kids, a pie baking contest, musical entertainment, a reptile show and more. The Taste of Lancaster Food Showcase will feature local restaurants and Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine that plays a role in the area’s heritage. A fireworks display will wrap up Saturday’s festivities.

As a celebration of culture and diversity in the growing City of Lancaster, Celebrate Lancaster will take place on Friday, June 24. Enjoy more than 20 food vendors, live music on two stages and beer & wine, with festivities wrapping up in the evening with a fireworks display.

Beer & Wine… Oh my!

Whether you prefer to sip chardonnay or relax with a brew, here are two wine and beer centric events for your June afternoon.

From the creators of Lancaster Craft Beerfest, comes SIP Wine in the Park, an afternoon of wine tasting the Lancaster City’s Musser Park. Tasting Tickets are on sale now for this June 18 event, and admission includes a commemorative sampling glass plus samples from around the world, live music, and food sampling.

The newest beer fest in town is the Ephrata Brewfest, to be held on Saturday June 25 at the Whistle Stop Plaza in Ephrata. Ales, IPAs, stouts and more will be available for sampling from local up-and-coming breweries including Wacker Brewing Company, Lancaster Brewing Company, St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company and more. Live music and food vendors round out this event which is sure to be a good time.

Relax on the River

With the cold weather behind us, the outdoors are just waiting to be explored. Take some time this month to experience water sports on the Susquehanna River.

Combine biking and paddling for a day of adventure along the river. Chiques Rock Outfitters, conveniently located at various points along the river, offers kayak, canoe and bike rentals. To ultimately cure your lingering cabin fever, opt for an hour long bike ride on the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail then trade your bikes in for a kayak for a three hour ride on the river back to where you started. The trail is fairly flat and winds through wooded areas for a shady, leisurely ride.

With a variety of events in June, Shank’s Mare Outfitters offers a few different ways to experience the river. Whether you’re a novice or a paddling pro, Shank’s Mare offers stand-up paddle boarding classes, some even incorporating yoga in to the mix, and kayaking classes and tours. Follow an evening of paddling with a dinner along the river with one of their evening kayaking tour events.

Spend Your Thanksgiving Break in Lancaster

In an area that is filled with a tight-knit community of locals and business owners, Lancaster during the holidays lights up with excitement and warmth. It’s the truth, when residents are happy they radiate that happiness creating a magnetic draw to visitors. With this being said, explore Lancaster and feel the magic and energy through the streets and through these events!

When should you start getting into the holiday spirit? The day right after Thanksgiving, of course! No, seriously, when the weather gets cold you must find a way to stay warm with spirit!

On November 27, break your norm of Black Friday Shopping (who wants to wait in all the lines anyways?) Relax, enjoy your time off and go on a family outing! At 6:30 p.m., bundle up and join us at the Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Tuba Christmas. Want a traditional way to view the holiday window displays? Hop on a Horse Drawn Wagon Ride from 7:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.

On November 28, this is where the new norm is put into place. Small Business Saturday! All over Lancaster, business owners open their doors to help you find unique, memorable presents for everyone on your shopping list. When shopping local, you essentially build relationships with the shop owners, so it makes future interactions more personable and helpful. The beauty of shopping local is you have a VERY slim chance of purchasing the same item for someone that they might already have. Give gifts that are genuine and one of a kind!

On November 29, have your eyes light up gazing at Christmas displays. Find the hidden Santa’s on the layout at Choo Choo Barn from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Walk through a Dutch Winter Wonderland from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. Warm up at the National Christmas Center and explore the 14 exhibits they have to offer.

Spend time this Thanksgiving breaking your norm and checking out the unique and festive events Lancaster has to offer.

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The author of this post, Julie Press, is currently the Marketing Intern at Discover Lancaster. She encompasses the Lancaster brand. Growing up in a farm house in Adamstown, she identifies with the rustic, homegrown feel Lancaster brings. Now relocated only minutes away from Lancaster City, she feels a strong connection to the City’s creativity, culture, and innovation. Julie studies Public Relations at Millersville University.

A White Christmas in Lancaster

I am not ashamed to admit this:  I have a love affair with old movies. Any type will do, but I especially love classic musical theater. (Nope, not ashamed to admit that either!) While most little girls in the 90’s fantasized about meeting New Kids on the Block, I dreamed of one day meeting Gene Kelly or Danny Kaye. There’s just something about classic musicals that is uplifting and magical to me. One of my all-time favorites, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, is currently on stage on The Fulton Theatre. So I reserved two tickets and told my husband it would be our first official Christmas activity for the 2014 holiday season.

Since moving to Lancaster, I’ve always been in awe of the grandeur and beauty of the historic Fulton Theatre. I was beyond excited to finally experience one of their productions. We picked up our tickets at will call and made our way up to the mezzanine to our seats. The theater, which is decorated in reds and golds, is both very beautiful as well as comfortable – a perfect mix of Victorian elegance and modern convenience. Before the show began, we walked around to different parts of the theater to get a feel for different audience perspectives. We did not find one seat in the the whole theater without a full view of the stage.

The lights finally dimmed and the orchestra started playing the intro. The stage adaptation of the original 1954 movie tells the story of a famous entertainment duo (Bob Wallace and Phil Davis) and a lesser know sister act (the Haynes sisters) that, through a series of comical twists and turns, come together to save a declining Vermont inn – which just happens to be owned by the famous duo’s former commanding Army general.

The entire show was wonderful, funny, and engaging. The dancing was incredible! My favorite part of the production was the actor playing Phil Davis (originally played by Danny Kaye in the movie version.) Everything about him reminded me of Mr. Kaye.

The staff at the theatre is extremely customer-focused. They even started offering the service of pre-ordering concessions, so that you’re not waiting in a line during intermission. This definitely contributes to an even better guest experience.

In addition to high-quality, Broadway-caliber productions and great customer service, the Fulton Theatre embraces and invests in the surrounding community. They offer theatre academy and training programs, partnerships with schools, pay-what-you-want performances, and more.

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Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is playing at the Fulton Theatre now through January 4, 2015.  Click here for the full 2014-2015 production schedule.

white-christmas-dana

City art, food, and culture

We decided to enjoy a “staycation” in Downtown Lancaster from Sunday to Monday at the end of June. Since we both love art (in fact, Stephen is a local artist), we thought it would be cool to sleep in an art gallery – and we actually did. The Lancaster Arts Hotel is a hotel and an art gallery in one.

Sunday morning after breakfast, we walked to our favorite block in the City – the 300 block of Queen Street. Our first stop was Art & Glassworks. Just looking at the front of this colorful storefront is amazing. There’s art, glass globes, trinkets, jewelry, pottery, and more to discover. Wandering through this incredible display takes time. It’s like a gallery; you can’t rush through it. Before we left, we had to stop to pet the store cat, as that is a tradition, despite the fact that we are both allergic to cats. There was a “Fairy House Workshop” going on in the garden patio behind the store where, on First Fridays, you can sit and enjoy a bottle of wine (BYOB) and listen to local musicians under the stars. Tres cool!

Intersecting Queen Street is Walnut Street. At 24 Walnut Street you find Annex 24 which specialize in exhibiting artwork of this area’s emerging artists. During any given month, you can find 15 to 20 different artists’ work on display in their bold and edgy gallery. We just have to mention that over 45 of Stephen’s works of art were on display at the time we visited.

Later that evening we enjoyed an outdoor concert at Long’s Park. The Long’s Park Summer Music Series is every Sunday evening from June-August. After the show, we were exhausted, but we had a restful night surrounded by artists’ work on the walls of our luxurious room at the Lancaster Arts Hotel.

Stephen and Sandy Gambone live in Lancaster. When Stephen’s not immersed in Fusion – ART, www.Etsy.com/shop/FusionARTfurniture, he enjoys being a personal fitness trainer. Sandy works for a local advertising company and loves to cook, spend time with her “grand puppy” Bella, experience art, culture, food… and, of course, wine.  

stephen_sandy_gambone

A match made in Heaven

A cafe on the first floor and a working artist’s studio on the second floor. It’s practically a match made in heaven.

When I walk up the steps to Julia Swartz’s gallery and working studio, I welcome the smell of oil paints and fresh flowers. It’s somewhat intoxicating. The color and scale of the canvases – incredible! Julia is a skilled painter so there is a lot of amazing work to see in her gallery. When you go, make sure you have time to soak in each painting. This is not a place to rush.

One of the great annual gems of Lancaster ArtWalk is Julia’s “People’s Painting” event that invites every one of every age and skill level to contribute a few brushstrokes to a collaborative canvas. There’s really no plan ahead of time. Wherever the people take the painting is where it will go. Sometimes it’s weird and sometimes it’s amusing, but it’s always a fun time.

Equally enjoyable is the experience at Prince St. Cafe. The urban design motif is interesting and inviting. Exposed brick, reclaimed barnwoods and metal accents set the mood. But clearly the stars of the show are the drinks – any coffee drink you could wish for and maybe some you never imagined existed. I happen to enjoy their smoothies and chai lattes.

Place your order at the counter, find a seat and they’ll bring it out to you. If you have the time, I recommend getting lunch. The sandwich menu is limited, which means everything on it is good and well-prepared. It’s a space that you should linger in – not only for the ambiance and good libations – but also for the pristine view of the historic Fulton Opera House across the street.

Keeping Lancaster City’s brewing traditions alive

Lancaster Brewing Company (LBC) stands at the heart of the recent revival of craft brewing and brewpub dining in Lancaster County. Brewing at its current location in the northeast corner of the city since 1995 and under the banner of Lancaster Brewing Company since 2001, LBC produces a wide variety of celebrated beers that honor the rich brewing tradition of Lancaster County.

Head brewer Bill Moore and his crew work hard to create consistently great beer that pairs well with the excellent food served in the pub, from the sweet and roasty Milk Stout (used in a delicious mushroom gravy that tops the brewer’s meatloaf – my favorite!) to its Celtic Rose Ale steamed PEI mussels. LBC is not afraid to venture into the strong, hoppy world of more American style ales such as its award-winning Hop Hog and new Hop Buggy, brewed with Amish grains and a healthy dose of American hops.

LBC’s restaurant, situated on the open loft-style space above the brewery floor, is a great place for a kid-friendly lunch with family (the Hop Hog spiked house-smoked pulled pork is unbelievably good!), a romantic dinner date with a loved one (try the decadent Double Chocolate Milk Stout with a dessert from the a la carte menu), or even a special group outing, which can booked through their banquet manager. If it’s just drinks and snacks you’re after, there are bar specials daily and fantastic small plate options, from delicious Asian Duck Tacos to the truly unique Reuben Egg Rolls, as well as hot, buttery soft pretzels and sweet potato fries.

All of this is situated in an actual working craft-brewery setting within a historic brick building, with copper plated tables and walls adorned with black-and-white photography depicting Lancaster City’s centuries-old brewing tradition. And if you visit during the warmer months, LBC offers a beautiful new outdoor seating area surrounded by rain gardens and raised herb and vegetable beds, which the chef harvests for special seasonal dishes.

For more information and menus, visit them at www.lancasterbrewing.com.

Prince Street Cafe

With what finally felt like some summer weather, last weekend involved a nice, refreshing mix of activities for me that reminded me how thankful I am to be home in Lancaster. Saturday morning started off with a successful trip to Central Market with a close friend of mine. The market bustled with people taking advantage of a nice morning to be awake and downtown. Some fresh asparagus and deep purple flowers for the house in hand, we perused the market aisles, finally deciding that bread samples failed to suffice after a good work-out earlier in the morning. All I had to do was mention Prince Street Café’s baked oatmeal, and any notion of a debate concerning what to do for lunch was gone.

One thing I have always appreciated about Prince Street Café is its large windows that let in the daylight. I tend to get a lot of my studies and work done in coffee shops, what with the regular caffeine kicks, warm environment, and periodic study breaks consisting of quality people-watching as conversations and interactions transpire. I always like to study by windows, and with the high-top tables alongside those of Prince Street Café, I have gone there several times to get schoolwork done while home on break. The free Wi-Fi is yet another reason to visit. I also value the incorporation of art into the space, pieces of local talent against the warm hues of the café’s walls. I have a lot of respect for local businesses who embrace and support the arts, serving the community beyond their primary purpose.

There is always a sense of youthfulness at the café, perhaps due to its fresh style and the many local students and young adults who frequently visit this relaxing and creative environment, much like myself. Just around the corner from Central Market, we found ourselves there in no time with cups of hot coffee, a medium roast from Ethiopia. I recently learned that Prince Street seeks to find fair trade coffees, in addition to buying their foods locally, what with all their pastries, gourmet desserts, soups, salads, and sandwiches.

On this particular visit, the café was naturally busy. My friend got her usual, a bowl of blueberry baked oatmeal and milk, while I decided to try their yogurt parfait. The baked oatmeal was delicious as always, and the parfait was a hit amongst the two of us. With fresh berries, baked oatmeal, and rich yogurt from Pequea Valley Farms, we found ourselves raving over our new find. It’s hard to find a healthy treat that remains too good to classify as anything short of a true indulgence. I’m sure I will be making my way back to Prince Street Café for a cup of coffee and a stroll through Downtown Lancaster sometime soon. And when that just doesn’t seem to be enough and a pick-me-up is necessary, I’ll know just what to get.

Stay Classy 19

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