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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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View Poll Results: Is Harrisburg more like Philly or more like Pittsburgh?
More like Philadelphia 1 11.11%
More like Pittsburgh 3 33.33%
Neither; H-burg has a unique culture all to itself 5 55.56%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-14-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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This is something I've wondered for a long time. Culturally, do Harrisburgers identify more with Philadelphia or with Pittsburgh? Harrisburg is closer to Philadelphia but then has a physical backdrop more analagous to Western PA. Also Harrisburg is an old steel mill town in addition to being the state capital.

Cultural similarities could be speech patterns, demographics, ethnic heritage, rooting interests for sports teams, preferred foods, musical tastes, styles of dress or anything you can think of that pertains specifically to the cultures of Philly or Pittsburgh.

Also, if you think the culture of Harrisburg doesn't lean either way, what do you think makes the culture of Harrisburg unique and distinct from any other city?
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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I think Harrisburg is most strongly influenced by the Pennsylvania German cultural heritage even though most of those have left the City limits for the suburbs. That influence would be stronger in Philly than in Pgh so I would say more akin to Philly. Relative proximity to not only Philadelphia but also the rest of the NE Corridor cities also tilts Harrisburg in that direction. Eastern European ethnics are much less in Hbg than in Pgh for sure and maybe even Philly - don't forget Eastern PA had its own steel towns like Bethlehem, lower Bucks County, Phoenixville, and (still) Coatesville.

That said, the Pittsburgh diaspora is fairly strong and noticeable in the Harrisburg area and you assume that someone in Hbg is an Eagles fan at your peril (Ravens and even Redskins have some following but it's possible Steelers are even a plurality though certainly not a majority). Yinz still talk funny here though.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:25 PM
 
Location: NE PA
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I think its probably a mix of Philly, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Although then again, the Harrisburg area does have some Pittsburghese in their dialect, especially when they say "the car needs washed" instead of the proper "the car needs TO BE washed."

Here's the real test....do Harrisburg area natives call it SODA or POP?
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Louisiana and Pennsylvania
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I've always thought of Harrisburg as having similarities to both, yet still maintaining it's own unique identity. A combo of the two cities, yet with a smaller town feel.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,521 posts, read 8,477,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Yuk View Post
I think its probably a mix of Philly, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Although then again, the Harrisburg area does have some Pittsburghese in their dialect, especially when they say "the car needs washed" instead of the proper "the car needs TO BE washed."

Here's the real test....do Harrisburg area natives call it SODA or POP?
Harrisburg is clearly in soda territory.

Harrisburg is more like Philadelphia than Pittsburgh IMO (actually in some ways it may be more like Baltimore than either city), but most of all Harrisburg (or more accurately, south central PA) is its own area.
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