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Pennsylvania ranks nineteenth overall in agricultural production, but first in Mushrooms, third in Christmas trees and layer chickens, fourth in nursery and sod, milk, corn for silage, and horse production. Many farms in the southeastern part of the Commonwealth have been sold to housing developers in the past years. This is largely due to rising taxes and land prices, reflecting high demand for land in the nation’s fifth largest metropolitan area.
The Commonwealth’s economy benefits from Accommodation and Food Services. Philadelphia draws tourists to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Franklin Institute and the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, while The Pocono mountains attract honeymooners, golfers and fishermen, and the Delaware Water Gap and Allegheny National Forest appeal to boaters, hikers, and nature lovers. Another attraction are the many covered bridges in the state, as Pennsylvania has more covered bridges than any other state. Fourteen slots casinos, the majority of which are either in the process of being awarded licenses from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board or are under construction, are expected to make up a good portion of tourism in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania launched an extensive tourism campaign in 2003 under the direction of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
The Pennsylvania Dutch region in south-central Pennsylvania is a favorite for tourists. The Pennsylvania Dutch, including the Old Order Amish, the Old Order Mennonites and at least thirty five other sects are common in the rural areas around the cities of Lancaster, York, and Harrisburg PA with smaller numbers extending northeast to the Lehigh Valley and up the Susquehanna River valley.
The term “Dutch”, when referring to the Pennsylvania Dutch, means “German” or “Teutonic” rather than “Netherlander”. Germans, in their own language, call themselves “Deutsch”, which in English became, misleadingly, “Dutch”. The Pennsylvania Dutch language is a descendant of German, in the West Central German dialect family.
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