Fresh cut grass, grilled hamburgers, and hot sun – summer is a season surrounded by sensory sensations. After such a long winter, the warmer weather is here to stay for the next few months. For many who live in Harrisburg, the summer brings annual traditions.
For Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse, summer means enjoying time with the family outdoors.
“It’s sitting on the steps of the river and looking up at the stars and watching the fireworks,” he said. “It’s visiting the festivals and getting kettle corn and root beer.”
Starting June 23, a marketing blitz will share those activities in hopes to attract tourists to stop by the capital city.
Harrisburg partnered with the Hershey-Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, Top Flight Media, and Capital Area Transit to create billboards that will be displayed around the city and on buses.
Lenwood Sloan, City Director of Arts, Culture, and Tourism, said the campaign should build up anticipation for this year’s Fourth of July celebration. Unlike previous years, the annual festival will not feature a three-day party along Front Street.
“Come out and enjoy all the three days as we promenade around Harrisburg,” said Sloan.
The ‘Harrisburg Independence Weekend Walk Around’ will boast three days of events at various locations throughout the city. On July 4, a karate tournament on City Island will kick things off. There will be free music the same day at Reservoir Park. On July 5, most of the festivities will take place on City Island. Sunday July 6, Kunkel Plaza and Italian Lake will expand fun to Uptown.
Most of the details can be found at the city’s new ‘EVENTS’ page on its website. More information regarding the summer concert series and children programs can be found by clicking here: http://stayandplayhbg.com/
“We’re trying to encourage people to see the city in all of its glory, not just the central downtown,” said Papenfuse.
The mayor said the project costs just under $100,000 and is mostly paid for by the hotel tax fund. Tourism officials believe the revenue generated from the campaign would outweigh the costs. Papenfuse also believes the campaign could turns visitors into citizens, expand the tax base.
“You see this, I think you will feel compelled to want to come in and be a part and hopefully stay,” he said.