This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Local culture tours will add Pennsylvania flavor

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Registrants will be able to choose from 47 tours while attending the Mennonite World Conference assembly.

Ten full-day tours will take place July 20. Registrants may choose among visits to Washington, Philadelphia, New York City and several Anabaptist communities in eastern Pennsylvania.

One of these is a full day in Lancaster County, where participants will meet with Old Order Amish and Mennonites, have dinner in an Amish home and join in an evening singing with four Old Order groups.

Areas of focus for half-day tours offered during the assembly include local historic sites of Mennonite-related groups, activities and locations of current Anabaptists, U.S. history and general interest.

The 37 half-day tours include non-farming Amish businesses, Native American village sites, Underground Railroad locations and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, designed to assimilate Native American children.

Other tours will visit an Old Order Mennonite meetinghouse and a buggy and carriage shop; the Ephrata Cloister, where the Martyrs Mirror was first published in German; and a greenhouse employing guest workers from Mexico, the Spanish-speaking Brethren in Christ congregation where many of them worship and stories from the immigrant workers.

Other tours include a Pennsylvania Dutch Food Tour, walking tours of historic downtown Lancaster and the nearby town of Strasburg, a visit to three York County farms that are intentionally small-scale and sustainable; kayaking on the Susquehanna River and hiking the Appalachian Trail.

“We want registrants to be able to visit nearby landmarks and join in local activities while they’re here for the assembly,” said assembly national coordinator Howard Good. “We’ve lined up the hosts and the transportation so our guests can fully absorb the experience.”

Details about all tours are available on the registration form at

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