Local Celebrities: Tell Me About Your Town

Every month, my good blogger friend Amanda from Amanda Moments, hosts a fun link up called “Tell Me About Your Town” and this month I’m co-hosting with her!

Amanda Moments

When she first introduced this link up last Fall I knew that I wanted to co-host one month. I’m connected to so many bloggers across the country (and the world!) and this is a fun way to hear personal regional stories and learn interesting quirks about towns from all over.

This month we are talking about local celebrities or claims to fame.

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I live in Lancaster, PA and our region’s biggest “claim to fame” is the Amish community that is settled here. I can’t tell you how many times during college or when I lived elsewhere in the US that I had to utter the words, “No, I’m not Amish” after telling people where I was born and raised. 

Every year Lancaster attracts about 8.3 million tourists. They come in droves to gape at the thousands of Amish living a plain lifestyle. 

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No electricity, no cars, no modern farm equipment, no phones, and dark, heavy plain clothes are the norm and fascinate many tourists. There are countless horse and buggy tours, ways to explore working farms, and of course lots of shopping for Amish made crafts, woodwork items, and food. Now that it is summer, tourist season is officially upon us. They are so easy to spot, just watch for the cars driving 15 MPH on 55 MPH county roads!

Other than the Amish culture, Lancaster isn’t known for too many “celebrities”. But here are a few historical and pop culture celebrities from my neck of the woods:

Historical:

James Buchanan: (1791-1868) 15th President of the United States

Charles Demuth: (1883 – 1935) Painter

Robert Fulton: (1765 – 1815) Engineer and inventor of the steamboat

Milton S. Hershey: (1857-1945) Chocolatier and founder of the Hershey Company

Thaddeus Stevens: (1792 – 1868) U.S. Representative ardent abolitionist whom assisted Abe Lincoln

Pop Stars:     

GLEE: Jonathan Groff guest-stars as Jesse St. James in all-new episodes of GLEE premiering Tuesday, April 13 following a special expanded episode of AMERICAN IDOL on FOX. ©2010 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick Ecclesine/FOX

Jonathan Groff:

Actor and singer, got his start originating the role of “Melchior” in Broadway’s Spring Awakening (which I saw when both he and Lea Michelle were both starring). Went on to star in Looking, The Normal Heart, and Glee. Also known for voice work on a Disney movie you may have heard of, Frozen. 

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Taylor Kinney:

Most famous for being Lady Gaga’s fiance. She’s been spotted all over town grocery shopping and dining at local restaurants. Maybe she’ll have her wedding on some farm here? No, probably not. 

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Andy Baldwin:

Known as the bachelor on season 10 of The Bachelor. I don’t know, never watched any season of the Bachelor. 

Taylor Swift:

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And this is a bit of a stretch but since she is technically from Wyomissing, about 30 miles north of Lancaster..but CLOSE ENOUGH and because she’s my ultimate favorite I have to include her. I just saw her on Saturday night in Philly for her 1989 tour. As always she put on an amazing show and thanked her “hometown” audience endlessly for getting her to where she is. Videos from Saturday night! 

Taylor Swift Concert in Philly June 13, 2015 from KatieMacDonald on Vimeo.

The movie, Witness 

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So the one time our town had a big brush with fame was when the 1985 Harrison Ford movie Witness was filmed here. People rushed into town to stalk him and Kelly McGillis and it was a big deal. 

Even my brother got to brush shoulders with a star during the filming of Witness. Our neighbors and family friends owned a restaurant downtown at the time. Lukas Haas’s parents, the cute little Amish boy from the film, liked to hang out at their restaurant/bar.

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Our friend invited his parents to bring Lukas over to play with his daughter and my brother. So my brother ended up playing in his sandbox in our backyard with Lukas. The same Lukas Hass that would grow up and be part of Leonardo DiCaprio’s modern day “brat pack” (they actually called themselves the Pussy Posse) of celebrity bad boys. Eric doesn’t remember the incident. 

This is what he looks like now:

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I’d love to hear about celebrities from you town! Please join in on the link up (it will be active for the whole week) by copying the below image and adding your link below!

Amanda Moments

Not a blogger? Simply leave a comment and tell me about some claims to fame from where you live!

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  • Aww, Andy Baldwin! I liked his season. OMG I think I’ve seen Lukas Haas in some movies! Too cool! And I’m so glad you talked about the Amish culture there. So…I bet it’s TOTALLY like Amish Mafia, right?;)

    • kwalshmac

      Haha Amish Mafia! It’s funny when the “stars” of that show are on the news getting arrested for theft and DUI’s…so authentic! 🙂

  • ivegotbigbulls

    I love the part about cars going 15 MPH in a 55 zone. I live in a tourist town; so I get that a lot but it must be really different there! I would love to visit that area of PA some time and see for myself! And so cool that Taylor Swift lived so close!

    • kwalshmac

      Ah yes, tourists are a pain anywhere, except when you are one yourself, right?! I used to not appreciate where I grew up, but now I can see it for all it’s simplicity and beautiful rolling farmlands.

  • Back in the day I dated a guy from Hempfield, so a lot of this stuff is so familiar to me. His house backed up to an Amish farm so it was always cool seeing people in their horse and buggys. I had no idea Taylor Kinney was from Lancaser… Helllllloooo there sir! There’s not really any famous people from the area of South Jersey where I’m from except the emo band The Early November. If I remember correctly one of the guys works at Verizon wireless in the mall now!