For years, factories and mills anchored PA communities large and small. The question of what to do with these beautiful, historic buildings is an essential one, and there is no single answer. In Johnstown, metalwork has returned to a shuttered steel facility, while in the Poconos, a new generation of residents are setting up laptops and sipping lattes in an old silk mill.
Communities across the state are using food production and food culture to connect people to their shared humanity. From an urban agriculture/arts mashup in Philadelphia, to a video series spotlighting traditional dishes in Central PA, to a bucolic theater venue on the Delaware River, Pennsylvanians are cooking up change.
A group of artists has transformed an organic farm in the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania into a community hub and performance space, welcoming visitors for workshops, live theater, and lessons about climate change.
In Easton, Erie and Lancaster, historic buildings have been reimagined as foodie destinations and culinary incubators. The goal is to lure hungry tourists and residents downtown while also showcasing the diversity of these vibrant communities.
The September 11th National Memorial Trail, which runs through 23 Pennsylvania counties, is close to earning National Historic Landmark designation. That honor will help increase opportunities for education, recreation, and commemoration along the route.
This year, it's more important than ever to support local small businesses. We've got something for everyone on this list: foodies, pet-lovers, parents, gardeners, and appreciators of beautiful things.