EN ROUTE -- On the lookout for your local political insiders? You'll be hard-pressed to spot them in Pittsburgh or Harrisburg this weekend.
It's time again for the annual Pennsylvania Society festivities, when a large portion of the state's movers and shakers get together to talk Pennsylvania in ... New York City.
The weekend is anchored around the annual holiday dinner -- this is the 114th -- of the Pennsylvania Society, which describes its genesis thusly:
In 1899, an historian and native Pennsylvanian named James Barr Ferree, who was living in New York City, invited 55 fellow Pennsylvanians living in New York to join him for dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. While feasting on oysters and Delmonico steaks, they decided to form a group known initially as "The Pennsylvania Society of New York." Their goal was to establish a society "uniting all Pennsylvanians at home and away from home in bonds of friendship and devotion to their native or adopted state." They decided to meet for dinner every year, same time, same place.
But many of the folks filling the morning Amtrak from the capital are heading east for the myriad surrounding parties and receptions, whose high-profile guests lists include Gov.Tom Corbett, Karl Rove, U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey and many more.
The 2014 governor's race may provide the most fodder for the state-wide intrigue mill, but Western PA onlookers will have enough to keep them busy: There are competing receptions for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and his expected-but-unannounced 2013 challenger, Councilman Bill Peduto.
For a full listing of events, PoliticsPA is your source.
If this all sounds a bit smokey-back-rooms, well, New York has a law against that. In any case, your Harrisburg correspondents are on the story, party dresses and notebooks in tow.