South Central Pennsylvania
South Central Pennsylvania is a region of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania that includes the fourteen counties of Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Northumberland (southwestern parts), Perry, Schuylkill (extreme western parts only), Snyder, and York. Lancaster is the largest city in the region. Harrisburg with 49,528 people is the second largest city in the region, but with a metropolitan area of 643,820 people, and is the capital of all of Pennsylvania. Lancaster and York are the other two significant cities in the region. The Harrisburg-Lancaster-York television market (which formally includes Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, and York Counties) is the 39th largest market in the United States.
South Central Pennsylvania is notable for its large Amish and Mennonite population, being the home of the Pennsylvania state capital, being the site of the bloodiest battlefield of the Civil War, and being the home of Hershey's chocolate and the York Peppermint Pattie. South Central Pennsylvania has also hosted two former capitals of the United States during the American Revolution: Lancaster and York. The region is drained primarily by the Susquehanna River, flowing southwards to Chesapeake Bay and further to the Atlantic Ocean.
- The South Central Pennsylvania region is the site of the first paved highway in the United States, the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike, connecting the cities of Philadelphia and Lancaster.
- Milton Hershey began his milk chocolate manufacturing in Lancaster, and later to the town of Hershey. South Central Pennsylvania is still the corporate headquarters of The Hershey Company and possesses many smaller chocolate manufacturers like Wilbur and Wolfgang. The York Peppermint Pattie was originally manufactured in the city of York, but purchased by Hershey's.
- The Hershey Bears, named for The Hershey Company, are the oldest team in the American Hockey League.
- South Central Pennsylvania is the home of the largest Amish population in the United States, mostly in Lancaster County. Many tourists visit the region to see and learn about the Amish.
- Gettysburg was the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, and is now Gettysburg National Military Park.
- York was the site of the signing of the Articles of Confederation and was the largest town in the North to be occupied by the Confederate Army during the Civil War
The inhabitants of South Central Pennsylvania speak with the Susquehanna dialect. The Susquehanna dialect is most commonly used in the Lancaster, York, and Harrisburg areas, and incorporates influences from the Philadelphia accent and that of Pennsylvania Dutch English. Here is a list of common words and phrases unique to the Susquehanna dialect:
- Redd up- to straighten up, (I redd up the house yesterday.)
- Macadam- asphalt, influenced by the original macadam roads in Pennsylvania, (Jason scraped his knee on the macadam.)
- Dippy eggs- fried eggs
- ..awhile- used at the end of a sentence, signifying 'in the meantime' (Can I take your drink orders awhile?)
- ..once (or wunst)- used at the end of a sentence, signifying 'quickly' or 'for just a moment' (Come here once.)
- Outen the lights- turning the lights off, (You need to outen the lights, John.)
- It's all- it is all gone, (The coffee is all.)
- Furhuddled- disheveled, (Patrick appeared furhuddled at his job interview.)
- Rutsching- wriggling, restless, (Timmy, quit your rutsching around...sit still!)
- Yous(e)/You'ins- plural of you, (Yous coming to dinner on Sunday?)
- Spritzing- lightly raining, (It ain't raining hard, it's only spritzing.)
The Central Pennsylvania accent is commonly spoken in the western counties of the South Central Pennsylvania region.
The most significant movie set in the region is the 1985 film Witness starring Harrison Ford, Danny Glover, Alexander Godunov, Kelly McGillis, and Viggo Mortensen. It was set in and filmed in the borough of Strasburg and the village of Intercourse, both in Lancaster County.
The movie Girl, Interrupted, starring Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder, was filmed in Mechanicsburg, as well as at the Harrisburg State Hospital in Harrisburg. Mechanicsburg was chosen for its old fashioned appearance and its old-fashioned drug store simply titled "Drugs," all of which gave the film its time-dated appearance.
The Strasburg Rail Road in Lancaster County simulated scenes of Springfield, Illinois for The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, by the Public Broadcasting Service, and for Stealing Lincoln's Body by The History Channel. The Woodward Hill Cemetery and the Landis Valley Museum were also used to simulate the Oak Ridge Cemetery and other scenes of 1870s Springfield.
Scotland, PA, a modern retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth, is set in Scotland, a small town in Franklin County (though it was not filmed there). Historically, Scotland, Pennsylvania was originally settled by Scotch-Irish Americans, and there are still people named McBeth living in the area.
Music in the South Central Pennsylvania region varies from the popular genres such as Rock and roll, Hip-hop, Jazz, Rhythm and blues, Country, etc. to the softer melodies of the Amish and Mennonites. A few mainstream acts got their start in South Central Pennsylvania, such as the alternative rock quartet Live from York. Another rock band called Fuel started off playing in local venues in Harrisburg. The most famous bands from the region are the 1980s glam metal band Poison from Mechanicsburg and rock band Halestorm from Red Lion.
The region's Amish population inspired "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1996 parody of Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise called "Amish Paradise." The accompanying music video featured Weird Al in typical Amish clothing, with traffic signs reading "Welcome to Lancaster County."
South Central Pennsylvania possesses a strong sporting tradition beginning at the youth level to the minor leagues. The Hershey Bears, a regional team, are the oldest team of the American Hockey League and have won many of its championships. Professional baseball has a strong presence in the South Central Pennsylvania region with three teams: the Harrisburg Senators, the AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals; and the Lancaster Barnstormers and York Revolution of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
The Barnstormers and the Revolution are geographical rivals, contending for the Community Cup, the trophy for the War of the Roses series. As the Pennsylvania cities of Lancaster and York are named for the English cities of the same name, their former baseball teams possessed the names of the Lancaster Red Roses and the York White Roses, after the rival sides of the Wars of the Roses.
- Susquehanna dialect
- Information on the filming of Girl, Interrupted at Harrisburg State Hospital, including a studio press release on the building and Dorothea Dix.
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