Category Archives: Features

The Sweetest Place on Earth is getting a face-lift.

Changes are coming to Hersheypark’s entrance and some are larger than others. The first thing guests will notice when they arrive at Hershey this summer is the construction equipment and the new temporary entrance. This construction is making way for the newest installment coming to Hersheypark in summer 2020.

Chocolatetown Constructionv View from 108 CW Way
Chocolatetown Construction View from 108 CW Way. This photo was originally published on the Hershey company’s press release website.

“We are incredibly excited to enter this next chapter in the rich history of Hersheypark. Hershey’s Chocolatetown will mark the true intersection where fun meets chocolate,” said John Lawn, president and CEO of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R). “Chocolatetown will be a place where chocolate-inspired attractions will transform the guest experience in new and engaging ways.”

Hershey's Chocolatetown Map
Map of the new Hershey’s Chocolatetown and the locations of the new establishments. This image was originally published on the Hershey company’s press release website.

Hershey’s Chocolatetown will add to the year-round fun that can be had while visiting the sweetest place on Earth. In this new expansion will be a new restaurant, bar and patio, ice cream parlor, confectionary kitchen and a Starbucks store. These establishments will be open all year and guests will not need a ticket to Hersheypark to enter them.

Chocolatetown Front Gate
Image of the new entrance coming to Hersheypark in summer 2020. This image was originally published on the Hershey company’s press release website.

There will also be a new Hersheypark merchandise store coming with Hershey’s Chocolatetown.

“The previous shops were smaller and specialized. This flagship 10,000-square-foot space will be open year-round and allow our guests to shop the largest collection of apparel, personalized souvenirs, toys, and more – exclusive to Hersheypark,” said Quinn Bryner, director of public relations strategy for Hersheypark and ZooAmerica.

Chocolatetown Retail
Image of the digital rendering of the new retail and restaurant establishment coming as part of Hershey’s Chocolatetown in summer 2020. This image was originally published on the Hershey company’s press release website.

With this investment of $150 million dollars also comes the addition of the largest kettle corn location at Hersheypark—and will be located outside the gate, so visitors can take home their favorite treat without needing to purchase a ticket.

Chocolatetown Kettle Corn Location
This is where the newest station for kettle corn will be in Hershey’s Chocolatetown. This image was originally published on the Hershey’s Chocolatetown website.

All of these new experiences are just what’s waiting for guests outside the gates! The entrance to Hersheypark, however, will not be in the place that it once was. It will be remodeled and moved closer to where Hershey’s Chocolate World stands today. This new entrance will feature lines for season pass holders and guests of the Official Resorts of Hersheypark to help smooth admission to the park.

Chocolatetown KISSES Fountain
Image of the digital rendering of what the Hershey’s KISSES fountain will look like. This image was originally published on the Hershey company’s press release website.

Once inside the park guests will see a new fountain in the iconic shape of a Hershey’s Kisses chocolate—this will also act as a new gathering place for the Hershey’s Characters. This fountain is not all that will be different about the new entrance. Hershey’s iconic Carrousel will be moved and become part of the Hershey’s Chocolatetown experience. This Carrousel—built in 1919 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and brought to Hersheypark in 1945—will be celebrating its 100th year in 2019.

Chocolatetown Carousel Location
Image of the digital rendering of where the Carousel will be, inside the park and near the new restaurant location. This image was originally published on the Hershey company’s press release website.

For thrill-seekers, there will also be a new coaster coming to Hersheypark in summer 2020. This will be the 15th coaster at the park and will be the “fastest, tallest, longest and sweetest” addition to the coaster collection.

15th Coaster at Hersheypark
Image of the digital rendering of the 15th coaster coming to Hersheypark summer 2020. This image is a still from the video published by the Hershey company.

“This will be a definitive project for Hersheypark, HE&R and our destination,” said Lawn. “Inspired by our visionary founder, we are so proud to be able to leverage our remarkable history and our shared iconic brand in creating a sense of place that you can only find in Hershey, Pa.”

Chocolatetown Aerial
Image of the digital rendering of an aerial view of Hershey’s Chocolatetown. This image was originally published on the Hershey company’s press release website.

January 9, 2019, marked the groundbreaking for the newest expansion coming to Hersheypark, and construction will continue throughout 2019 and into 2020 to reach the deadline of opening for the 2020 Hersheypark season. Hersheypark will remain open during the construction and a temporary entrance will be constructed for guests to enter the park. In 2020 there will be an official grand opening for Hershey’s Chocolatetown.

Groundbreaking of Hershey's Chococlatetown Photo
Photo of the groundbreaking ceremony for the newest expansion coming to Hersheypark. This image was originally published on the Hershey company’s press release website.
In the photo (from left to right): Hershey’s Bar; Derry Township Supervisor Susan Cort; Derry Township Supervisor Matthew Weir; Derry Township Supervisor Richard Zmuda; Representative Tom Mehaffie; Milton Hershey School student Valerie Heydeman; Executive Director of The M.S. Hershey Foundation Don Papson; Hershey Entertainment & Resorts CEO John Lawn; Vice President, Hershey Experience, The Hershey Company Suzanne Jones; Milton Hershey School student Gavin Meyers; Senator John DiSanto; Derry Township Supervisor Justin Engle; Reese’s and Kiss.

“We are always focused on the future and offering more areas and attractions for our guests to enjoy. It’s essential for us to continue to reinvest in operations in order to stay competitive. And based on our guest feedback, we are thrilled to offer more attractions and chocolate-inspired experiences,” said Bryner.

Below is a virtual fly-through recreation of Hershey’s Chocolatetown. This video was originally published on the Hershey company’s YouTube account and can be found at the bottom of each press release pertaining to Hershey’s Chococlatetown.

All images and videos used in this publication were given permission for use and can be found on Hershey’s Latest Stories page, Hershey’s Chocolatetown website and within the press releases hyperlinked above.

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Arts & the Armistice

Elizabethtown College sponsored a memorial event the weekend of Veterans’ Day, featuring a poster exhibition and a live performance to commemorate veterans’ memories. The exhibition features images of women in World War One, as depicted by wartime posters.

The performance and the exhibition were created in conjunction to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the armistice that ended World War One, on November 11th, 1918.

The performance occurred on the night of the anniversary, Sunday, November 11th. It featured music and poetry written during World War One. Both students and faculty were involved in varying capacities.  Sophomore music major Sarah Peppe spoke to us about her involvement in the program.

“I’m playing a piece called “The Lark Ascending” by Ralph Von Williams,” she said, “And I’m playing it on violin. It has ties to World War One. He wrote it before being drafted into World War One, and completed it when he came back.”

Participants were deeply affected by their exposure to the work of veterans and their families, even without a personal connection to the war.

“It was a really amazing experience, just being able to read someone else’s words and kind of put my own emotions into them,” said Abigail Spessard, a junior who read two of Charlotte Mew’s poems for the program. “And I think that this opportunity, while I may not have a very close personal connection to it, I do know a lot of people that do, so it’s kind of like, my feelings mixed with theirs.”

In Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, Margaret Boccella, Wetown.org.

Humans of Etown: Sarah Hasenauer

Sarah enjoying the sunshine on campus.

Sarah Hasenauer, a first year student majoring in occupational therapy (OT), has settled in nicely at Elizabethtown College. Like most high school juniors and senior, Sarah was right there with them, stressing and struggling to find the right college to spend her next four years. After going through the painful application process and committing, Sarah couldn’t be happier.

Etown’s appeal

“I chose Etown because, as cheesy as it sounds, it felt like home the moment I stepped foot on campus” Sarah said.

After numerous emotionless tours of different colleges, Sarah was pleased to finally feel that thing that everyone talks about, the “home away from home appeal.” She was drawn to the personalities of the students; everyone was so welcoming and she could see that people actually cared about each other, not simply putting on the “welcome to our campus” façade that she felt at the other colleges she looked at. There was also a huge limiting factor for which schools she could look at: her major. There are only a few schools in Pennsylvania that offer OT, let alone a fifth year program that doesn’t require an application for the fifth year. The combination of personal touch and education made coming to Etown an easy decision for her.

Major choices

As a high schooler, Sarah struggled to find what she wanted to major in. She felt the pressure building as college became closer, but couldn’t find what she wanted to commit to. Physical therapy seemed to have some of the aspects Sarah enjoyed, like helping people heal and improving their lives, but she cringed at the thought of having to inflict pain on patients. In order to stay in rehabilitation services, Sarah looked into OT. With college application deadlines approaching, she warily declared OT as her major. Looking into it more, she organized an internship with the occupational therapist in her school district.

“I’d spend two hours every morning with her and would help with some of the planning and grading. This is when I fell in love with OT and I knew I chose the right major” Sarah said.

Life at Etown

When taking a break from studying for biology or her other OT courses, Sarah is usually off at dance practice. In her first semester, Sarah performed in a variety of dances at the Emotion Showcase. This semester, she has taken on the lead as a choreographer of her own dance to “Praying” by Kesha. She is excited to perform next Thursday and Friday at the showcase.

She is also a member of the dance team and just elected treasurer for next year.

“I love dance! It is a great way to destress and forget about all my obligations for a while.”

An average day for Sarah consists of her going to class in the morning, working at the college bookstore, then going to dance. Free from her weekly obligations, Sarah tends to go home on the weekends. She knows that her family are always up to something, and doesn’t want to miss out.

Sarah is excited for her coming years at Etown, but coming to the close of her second semester, she is realizing it is going by much faster than she would like.

Humans of Etown: Stepf Diaz

Stepf Diaz [center] surrounded by her student workers at the Mosaic House. [photo taken December 2017]
Every friend group has the mom friend and every girl scout troop has its den mother. A large group of students here at Etown have a campus mom. Stepf Diaz, the coordinator of multicultural programming and residential communities, is in charge of the Mosaic House on campus. The Mosaic House is a safe space, being the home away from home for people of different races, sexualities, and whatever else. Stepf, in charge of it all, became like the mom away from mom for many students here.

Continue reading Humans of Etown: Stepf Diaz

Humans of Etown – Grace Gibson

Grace Gibson in her dorm room.

Grace Gibson, a first-year biology and English double major, knew she wanted to come to Elizabethtown College after attending an accepted students day at Villanova.

“It was between Villanova and here, and I didn’t want to go to Villanova,” she said.

She followed up with her first memory of the College: November 2016, at an open house event. After driving the two hours from her home in central New Jersey, her parents were convinced that they were going the wrong way because they claimed that there were too many farms.

But upon seeing Leffler Chapel, they knew they were in the right place; that did not stop them from exclaiming, “We’re in the middle of nowhere!”

After her first week here, Gibson was in the mindset of wanting to impress everyone and showing them that she was cool. She interjected that she was still obsessed with the Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 and was upset that it was closing. Her love of the musical was also shown by a poster for the musical hanging above her bed along with a beautifully detailed drawing of one of the actors, Grace McLean.

“I wanted to be the most impressive person my professors had ever seen, and I was excited about meeting new people, but I still wanted to focus on my schoolwork,” Gibson said, looking at the homework splayed across her desk.

She also said that while college is overwhelming, slightly terrifying at all times, and full of repressing all of her issues, it is mostly fun and she has many memories of good times, even in her first year.

“The most memorable moment so far has been Schlossmas, especially when we stole trays from the Marketplace and tried to go sledding before winter break,” Gibson said.

The name “Schlossmas” comes from a combination of the dorm she and her friends live in, Schlosser, and Christmas, since it was a celebration of winter break. She also recounted the movie night following snow-filled activities, like singing “Frosty, the Snowman” around a “sad and dirty” snowman wearing one of her friend’s hats and one stick arm.

“One day, my friend drove me and another friend to a pet store and one of my friends impulse-bought two small Fiddler crabs,” she said, followed by a few chuckles, when talking about funny moments at Etown.

Gibson also told the story of the not one, but two times her and three other friends stood in one of the very small service closets near the stairwell in Schlosser. They just hung out in the closet for at least 20 minutes, scaring half of the people walking by and receiving worried and confused looks from the other half.

“The second time we did it, we played music and one of my friends who was able to see into the stairwell kept making eye contact with the people walking down the stairs. I think we played the trap remix of the yodeling Walmart kid for most of the second time in the closet,” she said.

As I walked out of Gibson’s room, she turned back to her homework with a small sigh, resuming the never-ending studying for organic chemistry.