Pa. politicos take annual trip to NYC for glitz, networking, and cocktails

The Pennsylvania Society gala is a longstanding tradition. Here, onetime Society president Edward Gerrity Jr. presents the organization's medal to Pittsburgh Steelers founder and president Arthur Rooney Jr. in 1975, during the Society's 77th annual dinner at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Dec. 13, 1975. At right is William F. Buckley Jr., editor of the National Review, who was guest speaker. (Ray Stubblebine/AP Photo)

The Pennsylvania Society gala is a longstanding tradition. Here, onetime Society president Edward Gerrity Jr. presents the organization's medal to Pittsburgh Steelers founder and president Arthur Rooney Jr. in 1975, during the Society's 77th annual dinner at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Dec. 13, 1975. At right is William F. Buckley Jr., editor of the National Review, who was guest speaker. (Ray Stubblebine/AP Photo)

This weekend, the commonwealth’s politicos are headed out-of-state for the annual Pennsylvania Society gala.

The expensive gathering is a longstanding tradition — and so is criticizing it.

The very first Pennsylvania Society gathering was in 1899, and was arranged as a chance for Pennsylvanians living in New York City to get together.

It’s been held in the Big Apple ever since — though there have been pushes over the years to relocate so all the spending actually benefits Pennsylvania.

This year, lawmakers, lobbyists and many others are gathering at the New York Hilton Midtown for the marquee dinner.

Dozens of other parties and cocktail hours and lunches are also scheduled. They’re hosted by individual political leaders, as well as everyone from the state Broadband Association to the Consulate General of Ireland.

Governor Tom Wolf won’t be there.

He attended for the first time last year ahead of his reelection campaign — but announced on Twitter that this year, he’s renewing his boycott.

Instead, he said, he and his wife are donating to a food bank. He urged Pennsylvanians to “think about the needs of our fellow citizens and contribute what we can.”

Democratic US Senator Bob Casey — who recently opened speculation about whether he’d run for president — is going, as is Wolf’s second-in-command John Fetterman.

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