one by one®: Harrisburg Area Riverboat Society
If you were to visit the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on a warm summer day, you would see a timeless red-and-white striped riverboat floating down the idyllic river.
The Pride of the Susquehanna is one of six riverboats in the United States with an authentic paddlewheel used for propulsion and steering. Built in 1988 as a living replica of the iconic riverboats from the late 1800s, the Pride of the Susquehanna was built on City Island in the middle of the Susquehanna River and has only left once due to extreme flooding in 1996.
The interior boasts polished brass work, a bar area with a copper interior, a stained-glass ceiling, and interior doors from the RMS Queen Mary, a retired 1934 ocean liner.
“She’s one-of-a-kind,” said operations manager Melissa Snyder. “She’s turning 35 this year and is still chugging along.”
From floating classrooms to unique community events
The Harrisburg Area Riverboat Society uses the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat to help facilitate educational opportunities and increase tourism and economic development in the area. One way is through the Susquehanna River School, a no-cost learning opportunity for local students. Participants enjoy a 75-minute lesson about topics ranging from the history of the river and the local indigenous populations to conservation of the Chesapeake watershed.
During its five-month season, which runs Memorial Day through November, the Society offers regular, 45-minute cruises from noon to around four or five o’clock, seven days a week. In addition, specialty-themed nighttime events are offered, such as princess and superhero-themed cruises for children, murder mystery dinner cruises, music cruises called “Rock the Boat,” Bourbon on the Boat rides, and Monday evening cruises for adults aged 60 and older.
The Pride of the Susquehanna is also available for private events, including weddings, baby showers, surprise parties and more. “There really isn’t anything we can’t do,” Snyder said.
Providing a special experience for veterans with community giveaways
To kick off its season each year, the Society hosts a special Memorial Day cruise designed to honor veterans. Active, retired or reserved veterans and a guest can enjoy a dinner cruise at no cost. The Society invites a guest to give a welcome and invocation—and also lay a flower wreath in the river while “Taps” plays.
Last year’s event was so popular that in addition to hosting 100 people on the boat, there were 100 more on a waiting list.
“We’re doing two cruises this year to help accommodate everyone,” Snyder explained. “We want to do something special for them.”
Snyder is excited to offer community giveaways, including branded pens and baseball caps, to attending veterans. And moving forward in the season, veterans will be able to ride the riverboat at no cost, plus enjoy a discounted rate on admission for family and friends who join them.
“We had such an overwhelming response last year,” Snyder said. “We wanted to offer something small to say thank you.”
A note from Cheryl
It is delightful to see the Harrisburg Area Riverboat Society hosting events for the community, including special Memorial Day cruises for veterans. 4imprint is pleased to play a small role in its mission by providing branded community giveaways. To learn more about a 4imprint one by one® grant, visit onebyone.4imprint.com.