Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO), the progressive rock orchestra has been delighting audiences for 20 years with their blend of Christmas storytelling and hard rock music. My husband Paul, and I went to see them for the first time 10 years ago in Hershey, PA. We loved their music and the story of the little angel seeking to find good on earth.
We returned to Hershey, PA on Friday, Dec. 16th to once again see the TSO. This time the lines to get into the Hershey Center were very long. Because of the concerns in our world today, we all had to pass through metal detectors before entering the building and I’m assuming this was the cause for the lines and delay. We arrived at Hershey Center at 2:40 for a concert that was scheduled to start at 3:30, and by the time we parked and made it through the long lines to get into the building it was 4:00 before we actually took our seats.
(Please forgive the quality of my videos!)
This year, “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve”, tells the story of a runaway little girl. Seeking shelter from the cold, she finds her way into an old rundown theater. There she encounters an old caretaker who guides her through a journey that ends with her decision to return to the family that loves her.
The first half of the concert finds the narrator, Bryan Hicks, telling the story of the little girl with his captivating voice. He is a delight to listen to and I thoroughly enjoyed this portion of the concert.Trans Siberian Orchestra in concert in Hershey, PA; the sweetest place on earth!… Click To Tweet
The second half of the concert I didn’t find as enjoyable. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I actually didn’t like it, I did enjoy many of the songs, especially this blues sounding rendition.
What I didn’t really enjoy were many of the videos playing in the background. They didn’t fit what is anticipated to be an upbeat Christmas theme concert. There were dragons, red eyed gargoyles and a rather poorly done white tiger prowling about.
Getting out of the concert was a nightmare. The center holds 10,500 people and it was packed. But when it was over we were all herded, very slowly, out a narrow exitway. After finally getting out of the building, the majority of the parking can only be reached by way of a bridge crossing the busy road below; or by risking life and limb in an attempt to cross that busy road on foot. I kept thinking how unsafe it felt to be trapped toe to toe on that bridge with at least a 1000 other people. If you pay $20 for parking rather than the standard $9, you can park in an area that doesn’t require tackling the bridge. I would highly recommend to anyone making a trip to the Hershey Center on a busy concert night to pay the $20!
Overall, even with the negatives, I did enjoy the concert and I’m glad we went. The town of Hershey is a delight in itself with everything Hershey. The main road has these cute Hershey kiss streetlights; I don’t think these can be found anywhere else!
We took some time to stop in at Hershey World, which is a huge store filled with…. yep, Hershey products! There is also a ride within the building that takes you through an animated version of how they make their famous chocolate.
Hershey also has a large theme park filled with rides to satisfy thrill seekers of every age and a zoo featuring animals from North America. It was way too cold for us to venture into these areas, but I’m planning a trip back in the summer with the grandchildren.
As far as accommodations, Hershey World boasts a large beautiful hotel sitting atop a hill overlooking the park and a camping world for those who prefer roughing it. In addition, the town of Hershey has several hotels to choose from.
In closing, if you haven’t seen the Trans Siberian Orchestra in concert, I recommend that you plan now to take in one of their concerts next year (they only tour during the holiday season). And if you’re planning a trip to Pennsylvania, especially if you have children, include Hershey in your agenda. The sweetest place on earth!