Hershey is Stars Hollow with a Sweet Twist
Lorelai and Rory would love it here.
If you are a fan of Gilmore Girls like I am, you are pretty excited right now. With Netflix releasing a revival of the show, Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life, on November 25 there is a lot buzz and nostalgia about the show.
Netflix is using the enthusiasm of the fan base in their marketing efforts, bringing the fictional town of Stars Hollow to life for fans in unique ways. Fans had a chance to drink coffee at Luke's Diner and can visit the town's website to see the agenda for the town meeting: TownofStarsHollow.org
One of the most unique parts of the show is the fictional town it is set in, Stars Hollow. The way the writers created this quirky small New England town really holds the show together not just as a backdrop but as a plot point.
Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino based the vision for Stars Hollow on a trip she took to Washington, CT when writing the show's pilot. But the actual show was shot in a Warner Brothers set in Burbank Ca.
So even though Stars Hollow is not a real place, here are some reasons Hershey, PA is a lot like it with some added Hershey's chocolate twists.
#HersheyPA is the real life combination of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls
and Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
Both Hershey and Stars Hollow are small towns in the North East with a larger city (Harrisburg for Hershey and Stanford for Stars Hollow) within a 40 minute commute. Fall is a big theme in the show, and Hershey like Stars Hollow has beautiful fall foliage. The town is in central Pennsylvania surrounded by farm land and there is an abundance of trees which makes autumn a very picturesque season.
Steeped in history.
The town of Hershey was built as a model town by the founder of the Hershey's chocolate company, Milton Hershey, in 1906. The idea was a lot like big tech campuses for companies in Silicon Valley today, but the whole town was the Hershey Company campus. So today if you work at the Google campus you might get sushi in the cafeteria for free but Hershey company workers in the early 1900s received housing, an inexpensive public transportation system, a quality public school system and lots of recreational and cultural opportunities including Hersheypark.
There are not Revolutionary War Reenactments per se, but history is still very much alive in Hershey. And there is a museum just off of the town square to commemorate the town's history called The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue. It is open year round unlike the failed museum in the Twickham house. Taylor Doose would be proud.
The Hershey Press building is 100 years old this year! Originally built to house a commercial printing co, it later served as home of the Hershey Department Store. Currently it serves as the corporate HQ of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co. Photo courtesy of Hershey Community Archives shows the department store c. 1937. #TBT #hersheystory #hersheypa #hersheyarchives sent via @latergramme
Quirky events in the town square.
In Hershey the town square is called Chocolate Town Square, and in summer and fall it is host to many town events including: farmers markets, fitness classes and concerts at night for locals and tourists alike.
And on New Year's Eve on the nearby corner of Chocolate and Cocoa avenues (yes they are real street names), a Hershey’s Kiss is raised to ring in the new year. Last year it was featured on CNN's coverage of small towns for New Year's Eve.
Other small town events include: an annual high school football game called the Cocoa Bean Bowl, in which Milton Hershey School and Hershey High School teams go head to head under the big lights of Hersheypark Stadium in the "Battle of the Bean".
A Founders Day Celebration in celebration of the town's founder, Milton S. Hershey, every September 13 there is a celebration in the town square with a band that plays music from his era and happy birthday is sung and cupcakes are handed out to towns folk. Rory and Lorelai would definitely be in attendance for this.
And like Stars Hollow, Hershey is host to many events throughout the year. In October one of the largest antique auto shows and flea markets in the country is held in Hershey which brings thousands of people from all over the country into the town of Hershey for a few days. It would make Luke as grumpy as the bike race they hosted in Stars Hollow.
Sweet food and a coffee shop loved by locals.
Lorelai and Rory eat an abnormal amount of food, especially sweets, and drink A LOT of coffee in the show. The Hershey equivalent of Luke's Diner is The Cocoa Beanery; a coffee shop that serves great food for breakfast and lunch and is a local favorite. Their coffee is delicious and they sell pastries and other Hershey chocolate novelties. Plus, this employee even has an apron and a hat on like Luke (kind of).
Small town charm with a unique cast of characters.
The town of Hershey is home to about 14,000 residents and small town charm is abundant. There are town meetings open to all to discuss town business and the "townies," as they are called by the Downtown Hershey partnership, take pride in their town and have strict restrictions on new building projects.
But in Hershey there is a unique cast of characters that REALLY run the town, the Hershey’s Characters. You can see Reese, Hershey and Kiss characters at about every public event in town and even serving coffee at Hersheypark Place.
Will you be watching the Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life Next week somewhere in Hershey? Share your thoughts with us using #HersheyPA.