The original Hanovarians, those who emigrated from the Rhineland and Palentine districts of Germany, played a big part in shaping the area's early economy, said Hanover Chamber of Commerce representative Katy King.

Their hard work was the catalyst that made Hanover one of the largest retail and manufacturing districts in Pennsylvania, she said.

As a tribute to those who built Hanover, Center Square will be filled with authentic German food vendors, musicians and entertainment on July 26 for the annual Hanover Dutch Festival celebration.

"It gives the town a sense of community pride," King said about the event, now in its 31st year. "It's a great way for Hanover to showcase its German heritage as well as its local businesses. People look forward to it all year."

During the festival, visitors will be able to stroll through more than 300 vendor tents, more than a quarter of which are from Adams and York counties. People can also enjoy a classic car show while munching on a bratwurst or apple strudel.

Entertainment from The Emil Schanta Band and Schuhplattler Dancers is also scheduled throughout the day.

The day before the festival, local businesses are offering open house tours to show off what Hanover has to offer, King said. Many of the stores and establishments still feature the dedication to craftsmanship that characterized the area in the 1700s, she added.

Businesses on tours


Amish Markets of Hanover


Apple Collision Center


Columbia Cottage

Eichelberger Performing Arts Center

Hanover Area YMCA

Hanover Fire Museum

Hanover Historical Society

Hanover Home & Garden

Hanover Hospital Medical Fitness Center

KLK Welding

Minuteman Press

PA Theatrical Arts

Residences at Hanover Shoe

Snyder's of Hanover Factory Store

St. Marks Evangelical Lutheran Church

Warehouse Gourmet Bistro and Brewpub

White Rose Credit Union

If you go

What: Hanover Dutch Festival

When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 26

Where: Center Square, Hanover