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Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) is a geographic region of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania that includes the Pocono Mountains, the Endless Mountains, and the industrial cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Hazleton, Nanticoke, and Carbondale. A significant portion of this region constitutes a part of the New York City metropolitan area. Unlike some other parts of the Rust Belt, some of these communities are experiencing a modest population increase. Some parts of the region, specifically Monroe and Pike counties, rank among the fastest growing areas of the state.
The counties that comprise northeastern Pennsylvania are:
- Bradford County
- Carbon County
- Lackawanna County
- Luzerne County
- Monroe County
- Pike County
- Schuylkill County
- Sullivan County
- Susquehanna County
- Wayne County
- Wyoming County
Attractions and entertainment
Northeastern Pennsylvania is home to several attractions. PNC Field in Moosic hosts the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the AAA affiliate to Major League Baseball's New York Yankees. Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre hosts the American Hockey League's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and previously hosted the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers of Af2 arena football. Pocono Raceway in Long Pond holds two NASCAR races annually. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Plains was Pennsylvania's first casino. Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono also offers gambling. Skiers can find several slopes in the area, including Blue Mountain Ski Resort, east of Palmerton, Montage Mountain Ski Resort in Scranton and Camelback Ski Area in Tannersville. Camelbeach Waterpark, an outdoor water park, is located in Tannersville. There are also several attractions that explore the region's industrial history. Eckley Miners' Village near Hazleton and the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour in Scranton highlight coal mining history, while Steamtown National Historic Site and the Electric City Trolley Museum, both in Scranton, focus on transportation history. The Houdini Museum in Scranton follows Houdini's exploits in the area, as well as the rest of the world, and is the only building in the world dedicated to the legendary escape artist. The Scranton Ghost Walk attraction tells of Scranton's paranormal history. 1433 N. Main Avenue home of the longest running seance event in the United States, called "Haunted! Mysteries of THE Beyond!" was picked by the Pennsylvania Department of tourism as one of the most haunted places in the state.
Northeastern Pennsylvania is also home to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and is the only arts and education organization in Northeastern Pennsylvania to successfully develop a multi-county base of support. Each year the Philharmonic introduces classical music to thousands of children and other new audiences through innovative programming like their Young People’s Concerts, which offers a coordinated multi-disciplinary educational program. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic also offer open rehearsals with an educational component, a piano competition and special events for families.
The Philharmonic presents two performances of each of their concerts- one in Scranton and one in Wilkes-Barre. Their concert series include classical and pop-themed performance programs, Independence Day concerts are offered free of charge to the community, and holiday performances incorporating local choral and dance groups.
Many well-known universities are located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Penn State operates campuses in the Wilkes-Barre area, near Scranton and in Hazleton. Colleges in the Scranton area include Marywood University in Dunmore and Scranton, Lackawanna College in Scranton and the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university, in downtown Scranton. The Commonwealth Medical College is the region's only medical school and specifically recruits students from NEPA and surrounding counties.
Wilkes-Barre area colleges include Wilkes University in downtown Wilkes-Barre, King's College also in downtown Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke and Misericordia University in Dallas.
Keystone College in La Plume, St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan Township, Summit University (formerly Baptist Bible College & Seminary) in Clarks Summit and East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg are among the other colleges in the area.
Three college preparatory schools are located in northeastern Pennsylvania as well. These include the campus of Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Scranton Preparatory School in Scranton, and MMI Preparatory School in Freeland.
Three Catholic Schools (as well as college preparatory schools) located in northeastern Pennsylvania is Holy Cross High School in Dunmore which primarily serves Lackawanna County, Luzerne County, Wayne County, Pike County, Susquehanna County, Wyoming County, and Monroe County. The second school is Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre which serves primarily Luzerne County and Wyoming County. The third school is Notre Dame High School located in Stroudsburg which serves primarily Monroe County.
The only major airport to serve the region is Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Avoca. Several smaller airports operate in the area, including Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport in Forty Fort (only for "smaller, private planes"), Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport in Tobyhanna, Hazleton Municipal Airport in Hazleton, and Skyhaven Airport in Tunkhannock. The region is also served by Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown and by numerous airports in New York City, Philadelphia, and Syracuse.
- David Pierce (2010-06-25). "Population pops in Pike, Monroe counties". PoconoRecord.com. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- JOSH MROZINSKI (Staff Writer) (2011-10-31). "Scranton's Houdini group replaces statuary bust of Harry Houdini at gravesite - News". The Times-Tribune. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- System Administrator (2010-07-26). "Talk of the Times: Scranton Ghost Walks - Lifestyles". The Times-Tribune. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- Christen Gruebel (2008). Pursuits Magazine, Top 10 most Haunted Places. Pennsylvania Tourism Office, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. pp. 56, 57, 58, 59, 60.