PENNSYLVANIA, USA — We're nearly halfway through the summer, so it's a good time to check in on what Pennsylvanians are searching for heading into the back-to-school season.
FOX43 spoke with Google Search Trends Expert, Molly VandenBerg, about what was trending both nationally, and in the Commonwealth.
VandenBerg said that she and her team saw a number of different topics across entertainment, technology, and food nationally, but one thing remained supreme: "Stranger Things."
The Netflix original released their much-anticipated fourth season in two parts this summer—once on May 27, and again on July 1. The series was one of the many productions that had to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
It wasn't just the show that people were searching for: it was the music as well.
"The music from the show really became popular, especially with Kate Bush and her song "'Running Up That Hill,'" she said. The show features the song several times, as (warning: spoilers ahead) it is used to ward off this season's Big Bad: Vecna.
"Search interest in her reached an all-time high in July, which I think is really unique to show how 1980s culture is really resonating with a whole new generation," she said.
VandenBerg noted that people were also searching for the James Webb Telescope, which, after being launched into orbit seven months ago, captured what scientists believe is a galaxy from 13.5 billion years ago.
On the lighter side of things, many people were also searching for details about the 4th of July Nathan's Famous Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest, which Joey Chestnut won for the 15th time this year.
In Pennsylvania, people were particularly interested in National Ice Cream Day.
"We took a look at every state when it came to the most-searched ice cream chain on Google Maps," VandenBerg said. "In Pennsylvania, that was Rita's."
More generally, people across the nation were searching for all things summer, particularly ways to keep cool during these massive heatwaves we're seeing across the country.
"We're seeing a lot of search interest in things like face moisturizer with sunscreen and foundation with sunscreen," she said. "No matter who you are, it's important to protect yourself from the sun."
VandenBerg also said that she's prepared to call this summer the summer of the bucket hat. Apparently, many people across the country are looking into purchasing the 2000s classic.
"I personally haven't worn a bucket hat since 2001, but it seems that I might be a late adopter; they really are coming back," she said.
And in terms of this last week of the month, the Choco Taco captivated Google searchers. Klondike announced just this week that the company has discontinued the summer favorite, which had been around for nearly 40 years.
"People rallied around the favorite dessert, hoping that they would decide to keep it," VandenBerg said.
Heading into the month of August, VandenBerg says that she expects many of the Google trends to center around the back-to-school season. She says that many people are trying to be more mindful with their money as the nation continues to grapple with inflation.
"Additionally, technology continues to be top-of-mind as kids head back to that homework and trying to figure out what the best resources are online and how parents can help."