Hershey is a thriving resort town of approximately 20,000. It provides residents and visitors with the employment, cultural, and recreational opportunities that is attractive to people of all ages and walks of life.
What today is known as Hershey once was a small settlement called Derry Church. After Milton Snavely Hershey founded his chocolate factory and began building the community, the town was renamed Hershey. The saga of Milton Hershey is one of failure, success and philanthropy. He grew up a poor farm boy, became a millionaire from his caramel business and subsequent chocolate empire, and devoted his personal fortune to the welfare of needy children. His legacy includes two corporations, a model community, and a school that cares for more than 1,100 disadvantaged children.
Hershey is a suburban community in a metropolitan area of 400,000 in one of the fastest growing regions in the state. It is approximately twelve miles from Harrisburg, the state capital and largest employer in the Commonwealth.
Central Pennsylvania's second largest industry, Hershey Foods Corporation, is headquartered in Hershey. The fourth largest is Penn State's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, which provides jobs for more than 6,950 area residents.
Tourism is another major industry, and Hershey Entertainment and Resort Company (HERCO) provides recreational and employment opportunities at Hersheypark and ZooAmerica. Hersheypark is one of the country's top theme parks featuring rides such as the Wildcat, Splashdown, Tidal Force, and much more. ZooAmerica, North American Wildlife Park, is home to over 200 animals that represent more then 75 species. The Giant Center is the home of the Hershey Bears hockey team and is host to the Ice Capades and many top-name entertainers.
The Hershey Educational and Cultural Center conducts various adult and children's classes, concerts, and other programs. The Hershey Community Theatre with an interior design that is a direct reflection of Milton Hershey's love of Venice, was cleverly designed to simulate a Byzantine castle, complete with balconies on windowed towers. This grand theater is the host of some of the best Broadway plays and musical shows ever performed, such as, A Chorus Line, Cats, Carousel, and Les Miserables.
Residents of Hershey have the opportunity to enjoy the numerous daily attractions that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to Hersheypark and Arena, Hershey Museum and Theater, Hershey Gardens and Arboretum, and ZooAmerica for a wide variety of professional athletic, cultural, and entertainment exhibitions.
In addition to the many attractions in the Hershey community, the surrounding area is a wealth of historical and family entertainment. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's state capital, located twelve miles away, is the location of the State Museum of Pennsylvania; Senators baseball team at Riverside Stadium, City Island; State Library of Pennsylvania; The Museum of Scientific Discovery; Pennsylvania State Archives, and City Island, which host's year round attractions and extensive special events for all ages.
Lancaster County has tours of authentic Amish farm life, The Heritage Center of Lancaster County with unique artifacts from the 18th and 19th century depicting the culture of the area, and the historic walking tour with guides dressed in colonial attire.
Gettysburg, 49 miles from Hershey, is the home of The Gettysburg National Military Park with monuments and cannons along miles of winding roadway silently marking the site of this decisive Civil War battle. The Eisenhower National Historic Site located near the battlefield was once the presidential retreat and retirement farm of our 34th president.