Harrisburg Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - PA, USA)
Most months in the Pennsylvanian capital boast a series of events and themed annual festivals, starting with the Pennsylvania Farm Show at the beginning of the year. January is also when the Chocolatefest takes place, at the nearby Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, while in February, both the Pennsylvania Garden Expo and the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo draw thousands to Harrisburg.
As the weather begins to improve, Harrisburg becomes known for its open-air events, processions and street festivals. These include Shakespeare in the Park at the end of May in Reservoir Park, followed by the Annual Juneteenth Celebration, the Celtic Fling and Highland Games (in nearby Manheim) and the Brewers Fest, all of which take place in June.
July 4th, better known as simply Independence Day, is an enormous celebration all over the United States and this is no exception in Harrisburg, where the Riverfront Park and City Island boast live music galore, various family themed activities, sporting events and a dramatic fireworks display in the evening.
Located on City Island, Metro Bank Park is ideal for sports fans and serves as a large baseball park and the homefield of the city's Senators team, who regularly play games here during the summer months, to crowds of up to 6,000 spectators. For theater-goers, the Gamut Classic Theater at Strawberry Square often has something of interest being performed, as does the Open Stage of Harrisburg on Walnut Street.
Harrisburg Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015
- Pennsylvania Farm Show - an eight-day event covering the first full week of the month. This indoor agricultural show includes animal contests, horticultural competitions, cooking demonstrations, a famous butter sculpture and plenty of attractions to entertain children.
- 3rd in the Burg - held on the third Friday of every month, art galleries and businesses hold open houses to promote art and entertainment attractions in the region.
- Chocolatefest - mid-January, at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, Hershey. Visitors are able to enjoy endless chocolate samples along with live entertainment, a silent auction and a cake competition.
- Pennsylvania Garden Expo - held over the last full weekend of February, at the PA Farm Show Complex, with landscaped gardens, presentations, design experts, exhibits, and a sale of garden equipment and plants.
- Pennsylvania Horse World Expo - a four-day event in late February / early March at the PA Farm Show Complex, with horse-based shopping, education and entertainment.
- Pennsylvania Home Show - a nine-day event at the State Farm Show Complex, featuring home-related demonstrations, displays and presentations.
- MAPACA Alpaca Jubilee - held at the PA Farm Show Complex over the last week of April, with animal and fleece exhibitions, and free admission to the general public.
- Shakespeare in the Park - late May to early June, at the Levitt Pavilion, Reservoir Park. Open-air performances are staged by the Gamut Theater Group's Harrisburg Shakespeare Company, being watched by audiences on picnic blankets and lawn chairs.
- Patriot News ArtsFest of Greater Harrisburg - at the Riverfront Park, on the last weekend of May. The ArtsFest is a juried art event held over three days, with live music, food and an annual film festival.
- Annual Juneteenth Celebration - closest Saturday to the 19th of the month, hosted by the Neighborhood Center of the United Methodist Church. This free outdoor celebration remembers the end of all slavery, with information booths on community services, food and activities for children.
- Celtic Fling and Highland Games - late June, held in Manheim, roughly 34 miles / 55 km to the southeast of Harrisburg. Two days of Celtic rock bands, bagpipes, haggis and traditional Highland Games are amongst the main highlights.
- Annual Museum Car Show and Flea Market - late June, at the Antique Auto Museum of Hershey, some 25 minutes east of Harrisburg. Various classic cars, trucks, motorcycles and buses are on display at the show.
- Brewers Fest - third Saturday of the month, based around downtown's Locust Street. Attendees must be 21 years old and over for a chance to try products from around 50 breweries. There is also live musical entertainment.
- Fourth of July Celebration - held over the Independence Day weekend, formerly called the 'American Music Fest' and the 'Harrisburg Jazz and Multicultural Festival'. This free event incorporates Harrisburg's Got Talent (for children aged six to 18 years old), a basketball tournament, a 'wine village', a lighted boat parade, the Festival of India, live music performances and of course, a fireworks spectacular.
- Pride Festival of Central Pennsylvania - held along Front Street, Riverfront Park, on the last weekend of the month. The parade also includes speakers, musical performances, a colorful drag show and a wonderful party atmosphere.
- Italian Lake Concert Series - free annual outdoor concerts at the Italian Lake, where audiences can picnic whilst listening to the performances.
- Kipona Wine, Arts and Blues Festival - held at the Riverfront Park, over the Labour Day weekend in late August / early September. Highlights include a Native American Pow-Wow, the Keystone Regional Chili Cook-Off and lots of local wines.
- Central PA Jazz Festival - four days of performances are staged throughout Harrisburg. The popular Jazz Fest includes the Jazzwalk, a festival picnic, a jazz brunch, various related lectures and an enjoyable jam session.
- Fort Hunter Day - third Sunday of September, at Fort Hunter Park. Highlights include pony, carriage and hay rides, demonstrations (such as cider pressing), an arts and crafts show, folk music and more.
- Capital City Invitational Beer Fest - mid-September, at the Appalachian Brewing Company, with beer, Bavarian music and scrumptious German cuisine.
- Slavic Food Fest - first weekend in October, at the Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church. Pierogi (dumplings), halupki (stuffed cabbage), halushki (noodles) and kielbasa (sausage) are all available to purchase at this free annual gathering.
- Taste of Central Pennsylvania - late October, at Strawberry Square. Speciality drinks and dishes are available from local breweries, restaurants and wineries at this fundraiser for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
- Harrisburg Festival of Trees - late November to early December, at Tavern House, Fort Hunter Park. Handmade wreaths and ornaments are sold in large numbers, with vendors being surrounded by holiday decorated trees.
- Stocking Stuffer (Antiques, Art and Fine Craft Sale) - Friday and Saturday, incorporating the first Saturday of December, at the Center Furnace Mansion, offering the chance to start looking for that perfect holiday gift.
- Pennsylvania Christmas and Gift Show - first Wednesday to Sunday of December, at the PA Farm Show Complex. Speciality shops sell an array of Christmas gifts, crafts and food.