The American spirit is alive and strong in Gettysburg year-round, but it is especially strong this week. As we come to the 151st anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the national celebration of the 4th of July, the town of Gettysburg is an ideal place to come to in order to experience the true American spirit, core values and all out patriotic feelings.
A quiet, peaceful borough by today’s standards, the little town of Gettysburg was site to a bloody, three-day battle that took place on July 1, 2 and 3 in 1863. In acknowledgement of this American Civil War milestone, many commemorative events, programs and re-enactments take place every year around this week. Combined with the national, patriotic spirit celebrations that are a part of all proudly American towns, Gettysburg is an even more popular place to be this week.
On behalf of the National Park Service, numerous guided tours, programs and other specially scheduled events will be ongoing between July 1 and July 3. Ranger led programs over the three days include: The Battle of Gettysburg: An Overview, Lincoln and the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, Care of the Wounded and Civil War Soldier. During this time, there will also be a Family Activities Tent set up at the Gettysburg National Military Park and Visitor’s Center with hands-on history stations, hourly program guest appearances called “Guess Who’s Coming to 2014,” “Join the Army” programs, Junior Ranger programs and much more. The National Park Service will also be leading Battlefield Walks (each with varying themes), Real Time Programs and nightly Campfires at Pitzer Woods. For more information about these and others, go to www.nps.gov/gett.
In addition to the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum is acknowledging its one-year anniversary. Celebrations commenced over the weekend, starting on Saturday, June 28 with a host of family-friendly events including skirmishes, lectures, interactive programs and of course entertainment and food. These celebrations will continue through Tuesday, July 1.
Also, as part of the 151st anniversary commemoration, the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association in downtown Gettysburg will be introducing the site for its new headquarters at the Daniel Lady Farm with a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony on Thursday, July 3 at 1 p.m. This new headquarters site will consist of a miniature museum, retail shop and will play host to the operations and programs for Licensed Town Historians on its first level. The second floor will comprise of a meeting room for the board of trustees and the committees of the GBPA and the historic Daniel Lady Farm. Live music will be provided by the GBPA-sponsored Venture Crew 1861 which will provide fife and drum selections as the field musicians of the 1st Pennsylvania Reserves Volunteer Company. Dressed Re-enactors representing the North and South will also be present in addition to elected officials and representatives of community business and tourism groups.
The Majestic Theatre will also be airing The Gettysburg Story throughout the entire month of July. A one-hour HD tour of America’s bloodiest battlefield, this film uses cutting edge technologies including radio control aerial drone cinematography, motion control time-lapse footage, dynamic digital geo-location graphic maps and much more to capture a unique, timeless American place in a captivating new way. The Gettysburg Story is a film by Jake Boritt and is narrated by Stephen Lang. Tickets are $7 per person and available through the Majestic Box Office. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling 717-337-8200. For more information on show times, go to www.gettysburgmajestic.org.
Every year, one of the mot highly anticipated annual events sought out is the ever-popular Civil War Battle Re-enactment. The re-enactment schedule will take place between Friday, July 4 and Sunday, July 6 and includes an extensive events schedule. Gates open as early as 8:30 a.m., so be sure to arrive early. For a full listing of events in conjunction to the 151st anniversary this July 4th weekend, go to www.gettysburgreenactment.com.
No Fourth of July Celebration would be complete without fireworks. So as the night commences, head over to Gettysburg College, enjoy great music and then kick off your patriotic party with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.