State Capitol of Pennsylvania
Harrisburg is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States, and the county seat of Dauphin County. With a population of 49,192, it is the 15th largest city in the Commonwealth. It lies on the east bank of the Susquehanna River, 107 miles (172 km) west of Philadelphia. Harrisburg is the anchor of the Susquehanna Valley metropolitan area, which had a 2017 estimated population of 571,903, making it the third most populous in Pennsylvania and 96th most populous in the United States.
Harrisburg played a notable role in American history during the Westward Migration, the American Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution. During part of the 19th century, the building of the Pennsylvania Canal and later the Pennsylvania Railroad allowed Harrisburg to become one of the most industrialized cities in the Northeastern United States. The U.S. Navy ship USS Harrisburg, which served from 1918 to 1919 at the end of World War I, was named in honor of the city. In the mid-to-late 20th century, the city’s economic fortunes fluctuated with its major industries consisting of government, heavy manufacturing, agriculture, and food services (nearby Hershey is home of the chocolate maker, located just 10 miles (16 km) east).
The Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest free indoor agriculture exposition in the United States, was first held in Harrisburg in 1917 and has been held there every early-to-mid January since then. Harrisburg also hosts an annual outdoor sports show, the largest of its kind in North America, an auto show, which features a large static display of new as well as classic cars and is renowned nationwide, and Motorama, a two-day event consisting of a car show, motocross racing, remote control car racing, and more.
Downtown Harrisburg has two major performance centers. The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, which was completed in 1999, is the first center of its type in the United States where education, science and the performing arts take place under one roof. The Forum, a 1,763-seat concert and lecture hall built in 1930-31, is a state-owned and operated facility located within the State Capitol Complex. Since 1931, The Forum has been home to the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.
Beginning in 2001, downtown Harrisburg saw a surge of commercial nightlife development. This has been credited with reversing the city’s financial decline, and has made downtown Harrisburg a destination for events from jazz festivals to Top-40 nightclubs.
Harrisburg is also the home of the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest agricultural exhibition of its kind in the nation. Farmers from all over Pennsylvania come to show their animals and participate in competitions. Livestock are on display for people to interact with and view. In 2004, Harrisburg hosted Cow Parade, an international public art exhibit that has been featured in major cities all over the world. Fiberglass sculptures of cows are decorated by local artists, and distributed over the city center, in public places such as train stations and parks. They often feature artwork and designs specific to local culture, as well as city life and other relevant themes.
Harrisburg City Island
Fun for the Whole Family
This 63-acre recreational jewel of the Susquehanna River is a wonderful place to relax and play while visiting Pennsylvania’s state capital, Harrisburg. Catch a baseball game with the Harrisburg Senators at Metro Bank Park. Cruise the water on the Pride of Susquehanna Riverboat. Take a ride on a steam train or horse-drawn carriage. Enjoy miniature golf, arcade games, batting cages, or the beach and beach house. City Island visitors can check out the historic replica of the John Harris Trading Post near the marina and take their children to Harbortown Playground. Also featured are Sand Volleyball Courts, an Outdoor Fitness Area and Skyline Picnic Pavilion. Observation areas and pavilions north of RiverSide Village Park offer a panoramic view of the River and Harrisburg’s skyline.
Retail in the Heart of the City
Strawberry Square is a pleasant surprise. A distinctive retail complex located in a one million square foot mixed use facility in the heart of Harrisburg.
Its distinction lies not only in its unique mix of award-winning contemporary design and authentic city block restorations, but in its blend of apartments, atrium shops, eateries and offices. Strawberry Square is truly one of a kind ~ a superbly-located intercity development that has become an energetic hub for the city’s affluent professionals. Strawberry Square. Vital, unique, accessible.