Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Event Central: Harrisburg’s new community calendar offers one-stop event shopping.

Events like art exhibits, such as this one advertised outside of Historic Harrisburg Association, now can be listed on the city’s community calendar.

Do you need to tell the world about your group’s next fundraiser?

Or maybe you’re in charge of promoting a community concert, a neighborhood yard sale or a church bake sale?

If so, Harrisburg has a new resource to help spread the word about whatever community event you need to advertise. A few months ago, the city launched its new community calendar, hoping to turn it into a one-stop shop for events.

Located under the events tab on the city’s website, the calendar lets visitors browse by month and date. If an event is scheduled, a full description and location will pop up.

The calendar is user driven, meaning that it’s up to organizers to go to the website, fill out a form with the details of their function and then send the information to the city by hitting the “submit an event” button.

“We were having a communications meeting and discussing what we can do to get more information to people,” said calendar creator Janelle Walker, Harrisburg’s social media and website content manager. “Then came the calendar for local events and things that don’t always get out to everyone.”

Launched in late January, the calendar is still building an audience.

That’s where Leslie Avila enters the picture. Avila and other students of the Martin Luther King Leadership Development Institute decided to take on the community calendar as part of their final project.

“The problem was that people were finding out about events after they had already occurred or the day-of when they live in another city,” Avila said. “Or event coordinators saw a drop in their attendance because there were other events that same day.”

Avila and her group contacted Walker and other publications and organizations to promote the calendar.

“[The calendar] not only brings the community together to have a fun time, but it also helps the community itself,” Avila said. “It helps people become better community leaders and more involved with the community.”

Avila’s primary target is young people.

“When I was in high school, everyone talked down on their city,” she said. “It wasn’t their fault. They just didn’t know what awesome opportunities were going on. It’s about getting the people of Harrisburg to see the great opportunities Harrisburg has for them. So, we have to make that available for them.”

Avila plans to graduate from the leadership program later this month and continue her work with the city government as an independent project.

“Eventually, I want to see about a Facebook page, especially with social media becoming such a great thing,” Avila said. “We hope that this becomes the ‘go-to’ calendar and all the events in Harrisburg receive better attendance and better advertisements.”

Click here to access the Harrisburg community calendar.

Author: Yaasmeen Piper 

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