Harley-Davidson lead into Bike Night with an open house starting on Thursday. Here’s what some people love about bike nights and rallies. Ty Lohr, email@example.com
Looking for something different to put in the Christmas stockings this year?
Something with a little Pennsylvania flair, perhaps?
In addition to the thousands of craft items and craft beers found throughout the Keystone State, there are dozens of items popular on the national and international stage.
Some are easily recognizable as being from Pennsylvania. Others, not so much.
Some of these items would require large stockings. And it’s unlikely they could be “hung by the chimney with care.”
Here is a look at some of the most popular Pennsylvania items that would be perfect for your Christmas stocking, large or small.
Hershey: Let’s get the big one out of the way. From Kisses to green and red Hershey-ets, decorative miniatures and Reese’s bells, Hershey makes a variety of chocolate products familiar to folks around the globe. If you want something that carries a bit more romance, how about chocolate-scented bath bomb?
Just Born: Chance are you have seen their candy, but you might not know it comes from Bethlehem. Peeps in the shape of gingerbread men, Christmas trees and snowmen are made in the most of Pennsylvania towns. The company also makes Mike and Ike candy. It’s possible to get the candies without the sugar in the form of plush toys and ornaments.
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate: The Lititz company has an alternative to Kisses with their Wilbur Buds. The pieces come in milk chocolate and semisweet and without foil wrappers.
York Peppermint Pattie: The name gives away where this one was created by Henry Kessler in 1940. Peter Paul bought Kessler’s company in 1972 and took the candy nationwide in 1975. By 1988, the company was part of Hershey. Although it has the same name and same taste, the candy is now made in Mexico.
Imagine the stocking you can create with Pennsylvania snack foods. Tastykakes from Philadelphia and chips and pretzels from Hanover. And it can all be washed down with a tasty brew from Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery.
Tastykake: The creators of the popular individually-wrapped snack cakes were actually from Pittsburgh. But as part of a sales agreement for the family bakery, they weren’t allowed to open a bakery within 100 miles of the town. So they found a spot they liked on the other side of the state. The packaging makes it easy to throw a couple in each of your Christmas stockings.
Utz: It all started in 1921 with potato chips made in the summer kitchen of William and Salie Utz. Those chips were sold in small local grocers and markets. Utz products are available nationwide in all size packages and flavors. The company produces more than 3 million pounds of snacks per week and is the “largest independent, privately held snack brand in the U.S.” according to its website.
Snyder’s of Hanover: The pretzel giant got its start in 1909 when Harry Warehime began producing Olde Tyme Pretzels. The company sold their snacks door to door, at fairs and farmers markets. They switched to foil bags in the 1940 to extend the freshness of their products as the distribution area increased to neighboring states. Bechtel Pretzel Company was purchased in 1963, and that brought sourdough hard pretzels to Hanover.
Yuengling: America’s oldest brewery paired with America’s chocolate giant to produce Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter on a limited run. This is the best of both holiday worlds of chocolate and beer … if you can find it. Yuengling started in 1829 as Eagle Brewery by David G. Yuengling after he landed in Pottsville from Wuerttemberg, Germany.
Other adult beverages: Pennsylvania raft beer producers, wineries and distilleries are too plentiful to list. Many are available at distributors, liquor stores and some grocery stores. State-owned liquor stores have special sections for products made in Pennsylvania. You might have to ask for other beverages in the rest of the locations.
Salad dressings: A pair of popular salad dressings are made in central Pa. Gazebo Room got its start as a dressing for sandwiches in Harrisburg. The Greek vinaigrette is now produced in Mechanicsburg. Chef Tim’s Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette originated in Newberry Township and is available in more than 180 retailers along the East Coast. The dressing was so popular in the restaurant where Chef Tim worked, he and his wife decided to mass produce it.
And the rest
Zippo: George Blaisdell liked the sound of the word zipper, so he used it when he named his company in 1932. The Bradford-based company produced its 500 millionth lighter on June 5, 2012. The lighters, which make a distinct sound when lit, come in designs for sports teams, superheroes, cartoon characters, bands, iconic sayings, automobiles and motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson: Speaking of motorcycles, Softails, touring, CVO and trike models are assembled in the York plant, which opened in 1973. It also makes parts such as frames, fuel tanks and fenders at the plant. If your stocking isn’t quite big enough for a cycle or parts, there are plenty of clothing, garage gear and collectibles in the factory store that will suit your needs.
Pyrex: Glass storage containers might be difficult to stuff in a stocking, but it would be worth finding a big one to fit some of these. The glassware brand came to Charleroi in the mid-1930s when parent company Corning Glass bought a factory. The facility produces between 40-50 million pieces annually of glassware that goes from fridge and freezer to oven and microwave and is dishwasher safe.
Holgate Toys: Remember that wooden toy where you used a mallet to pound colorful pegs through holes? That’s pure Holgate. Owned by Pepperell Braiding Company, the iconic wooden toys are made in Bradford. Toys are trains, planes and automobiles without sharp edges. Cornelius Holgate opened his woodworking shop in 1789 outside of Philadelphia. First line of educational preschool wooden toys came in 1929. Holgate’s early toy designer was Jarvis Rockwell, brother of Norman Rockwell.
Crayola: The first box of Crayola crayons came off the assembly line in 1903. Cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith took over the family’s pigment business and realized there was a need for safe, high quality, affordable wax crayons. The first box was eight colors and cost 5 cents. Crayola became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hallmark Cards in 1984. The company’s home is in Easton.
Martin guitars: C.F. Martin & Company produces approximately 270 guitars per day from its primary factory in Nazareth and additional facility in Mexico. If you can’t find a stocking large enough to accommodate a guitar that is played by singers such as Colbie Caillat, David Crosby, Dierks Bentley, Ed Sheeran, Thomas Rhett, Willie Nelson and others, you could always get strings, picks or straps to stuff in a stocking.
York Barbell: OK, you will need a pretty sturdy stocking for this one. For more than 40 years, all the muscle in the U.S. Olympic program was built with York barbells. Bob Hoffman created the barbell company more than 80 years ago, and has added nutritional supplements and other types of exercise equipment. In addition to plates, York Barbell has dumbbells, kettlebells plyo boxes, gym apparel and aerobic weight sets.
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