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Pre-Festival Events Begin Friday and the Festival Will Be In Full Swing Saturday, With Over 75 Events
During the 10-Day Celebration

GETTYSBURG, PA (June 6, 2013) – The cross roads of history and culture come together this weekend for the 6th Annual Gettysburg Festival, held June 7-16th throughout downtown Gettysburg.   Offering more than 75 events – all celebrating American arts, culture and cuisine – the majority are free and open to the public and showcase talents on a local and national level. The full listing of events, as well as descriptions and links to purchase tickets can be found online at

“No matter where you are in the world, when you say ‘Gettysburg’ people connect with the word and to the greatest battle in the Civil War,” explains Festival Executive Director, Randy Prasse. “We are a town proud of our rich history. We are also a town with a great well of talent. The Gettysburg Festival strives to celebrate both,  by  providing  access to  the  arts  and  presenting  family-appropriate and affordable entertainment and activities for every taste and budget.”

Gettysburg Festival’s Top 10 events for 2013 include:
1. The  Gettysburg Brass Band Festival combines the excellence of brass concerts with a picturesque location. The event takes place at the beautiful campus of the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary.

Musical performances spotlight some of the best brass groups from the mid-Atlantic region, including Rockfield Brass, Benfield Brass, Spires Brass, Federal City Brass, Chesapeake Brass, 11 Infantry Fife & Drum, Maryland Defense Force Band and closing out with a Taps tribute performed by renown bugler, Jari Villanueva.  Event Details: Saturday, June 8 the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Free, but ticket required. Bring your own chair.

2. Blues music and BBQ… an all-American combo! One of the Festival’s most popular events, Blues, Beer & BBQ will feature the U.S. Army Field Band Volunteers, legendary bluesman Big Jack Johnson’s backing band, the Cornlickers and PA’s First Lady of Blues, Octavia.  Event Details:  Saturday,  June  8 at 9:00pm @ Gettysburg College, Memorial Field. Tickets are $40 including the BBQ (4-7pm) and $10 for concert ticket only.

3. Striving to be an event for the entire family, Gettysburg Festival plays host to a great children’s program.  This year’s  Children’s  Art Fair  will  pay  tribute  to  the  agricultural  heritage  of  Adams  County  with  a program designed as a world market of creative ideas, with a focus on healthy living. Children will do various fun activities and leave with several unique take-home pieces of their very own, from lettuce plugs to plant to one of a kind craft items they’ve made themselves.  The afternoon will be rounded out by performances from the Gettysburg Community Theater and storyteller, Ann Griffith.

Event Details:
Sunday, June 9th
12:00-5:00pm @ Gettysburg College Penn Hall lawn.  Free and open to the public.

4. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Phil Dirt Presents: Surfs Up! A Tribute to the Beach Boys has been together for 20 years and gained a reputation as the nation’s hottest beach party band. Performing hits from The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, The Hondells, Ronny and The Daytonas, and others will have the crowd on its feet, dancing and singing along.  Bring the whole family and join the beach party on Memorial Field!  Come decked out in your finest beach party attire. The best dressed beach bum will win a Pendleton board shirt in Beach Boys plaid, donated by Pendleton Woolen Mills at the Gettysburg Outlets!

Event Details:
Sunday, June 9 for provided seats or $10 if you bring your own chair.
7:30pm @ Gettysburg College Memorial Field. Tickets are $15

5. The  Aureole Trio  is  sure  to  be  a treat for the Gettysburg Festival audience!  This unique blend of instruments – consolidating the entire orchestral palette into its three essential components – performs with an infinite array of colors and sounds. The variety and scope of Aureole’s repertoire appeals to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The trio has performed for the Saint Louis and Chicago Chamber Music Societies, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery in Washington, DC, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as on A&E Television Network’s “Holiday in New York”, on the Bravo Television Network, and has been interviewed and featured frequently on NPR’s “Performance Today.”

Event Details:
Tuesday,  June  11
Conservatory. Tickets are $20.

6. Attendees will depart History Meets the Arts: Edible Art Tour satiated and inspired after visiting five galleries throughout Gettysburg’s historic district, meeting world class artists and local top-tier chefs and enjoying both artistic and culinary masterpieces. Guests will have the first chance to view the 2013 History Meets the Arts galleries, meet the artists and enjoy culinary masterpieces at every stop. Gallery locations are: Adams County Arts Council, Gettysburg  Frame  Shop,  King  James  Gallery,  Lord  Nelson’s Gallery and Lord Nelson’s Satellite Gallery at the Gettysburg Fire Hall.  Participating restaurants include: Blue Parrot Bistro, Garryowen Irish Pub, Gettysburg Hotel, Inn at Herr Ridge, Wyndam Gettysburg and Fairfield Inn 1757.

Event Details:
Thursday, June 13
Tickets are $35.

7. Atlantic Records recording artist, Hunter Hayes, has made quite an impact on the music scene since releasing his debut album in October of 2011.  He was named the Country Music Association’s best New Artist of 2012, received multiple Academy of Country Music award nominations, won a Teen Choice award for Male Country Artist, has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show and toured as the opening act for Taylor Swift, Rascal Flats and Carrie Underwood.  And, now, Hayes is bringing his lifetime of music experience and prowess to the Gettysburg Festival audience… An event that is sure to please young and
old alike!

Event details:
Friday,  June  14
Gettysburg College Memorial Field. Tickets are $25.

8. Widely regarded as America’s most popular and respected author  of military fiction, master storyteller Jeff Shaara captivates audiences by bringing America’s vivid past to life in stories that span from the American Revolution to World War II.  Son of Pulitzer prize-winning author, Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels), Jeff wrote a prequel (Gods and Generals, 1996) and a sequel (The Last Full Measure, 1998) to his father’s classic work, followed by the creation of ten additional historical novels, every one a New York Times Bestseller.  Shaara is a renown speaker and will be bringing his lecture, “History through Storytelling, Jeff Shaara’s Journey Through the Legacy of his Father” to the Gettysburg Festival audience.

Event details:
Saturday, June 15
11:30am @Adams County Ag & Natural Resource Center. Tickets for this lecture and luncheon are $40.

9. One of popular music’s most romantic singing groups, The Lettermen are bringing their close-harmony pop songs to the Majestic Theater stage for Gettysburg Festival 2013!  In a career spanning over 50 years, the talented trio has given us iconic songs like “When I Fall in Love,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Sealed with a Kiss” and “Unchained Melody,” and is sure to be a crowd-pleasing favorite feature of the Festival. Come fall in love… Again! Event details: Saturday, June 15 are $52.50, $42.50 & $32.50 and can be purchased through the theater at 717.337.8200 or online at

10. Gettysburg Festival, in conjunction with Boritt Films and the Majestic Theater, is pleased to host the world premiere of “The Gettysburg Story.” Dramatically telling the history of the greatest battle fought in the Western Hemisphere, “The Gettysburg Story” was written, produced and directed by Gettysburg native, Jake Boritt and is narrated by actor, Stephen Lang (Avatar, Gettysburg).  Using cutting edge technologies – including high definition radio control aerial drone cinematography, motion control timelapse footage, dynamic digital geo-location graphic maps – and being granted unprecedented access to the 6,000-acre battlefield, “The Gettysburg Story” captures the unique and timeless piece of American history, telling it in a new way. Event details:  Sunday,  June  16  at  3:00pm  at  the  Majestic  Theater.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through the theater at 717.337.8200 or online at

*All events, prices, personalities, venues, dates and times subject to change without notice.

Highlights For This Year’s Event Include “History of Taps” Seminar with Jari Villaneuva, Federal City Brass Band, PA Volunteer Infantry Fife and Drum, Maryland Defense Force, and More!

GETTYSBURG, PA (April 19, 2013) – Gettysburg Festival is pleased to present another stellar line-up for the Brass Band Festival during its annual 10-day celebration of the arts. Always a much-loved portion of the Festival, this year’s Brass Band event, held June 7 and 8 throughout downtown Gettysburg, will feature a seminar on the “History of Taps” with expert, Jari Villaneuva, Federal City Brass Band, 11th PA Volunteer Infantry Fife and Drum, Maryland Defense Force, the Wildcat Regiment Band, and more.
        While the Brass Band Festival is free, tickets are required to attend and can be obtained online at Donations will be welcomed at the event to help cover costs of this free event. All who donate will receive a special commemorative button.
     The two-day brass extravaganza will kick off Friday, June 7th at 3:00pm with the “HistoryImage of Taps” seminar at the train station pavilion with Jari Villaneuva. A retired Air Force Band bugler, Villaneuva is the country’s foremost expert on military bugle calls. As a ceremonial trumpeter, Villanueva participated in well over 5,000 ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and served as an assistant drum major leading The USAF Ceremonial Brass in funerals at Arlington. Villaneuva has been decorated with many accomplishments and awards, including induction into the Buglers Hall of Fame in 2007. In the program, Villanueva will discuss field music and it’s importance during the war and demonstrate
calls used in both camp and battle, with calls being played on an original Civil War bugle. The event will be bookended on Saturday, June 8th with a “Taps” performance at the Cupola of Schmucker Hall at Lutheran Seminary as the closing ceremony of the Brass Band Festival.
     Other performances throughout the weekend include Market Street Brass, Gettysburg Brass and the Federal City Brass Band on Friday evening at Lincoln Square and the Dobbin House patio and the Brass Band Festival on Saturday, featuring the Rockville Brass Band, Benfield Brass Band, Spires Brass Band and Chesapeake Brass Band. Saturday evening will bring performances from 11th PA Volunteer Infantry Fife and Drum and the Maryland Defense Force Band.
     “The Brass Band Festival is an important part of Gettysburg Festival as a whole for us,” explains Festival Executive Director, Randy Prasse. “This is a celebration of Gettysburg’s rich history and we are proud to welcome Jari Villaneuva, as well as all the bands and participants. We are also pleased to partner with Steinwehr Avenue Business Improvement District to provide Friday night’s performance at the Dobbin House and at the American Civil War Wax Museum on Saturday.” Additionally, many of Saturday’s performances will be held at the Hill-Unger Pavillion at the Lutheran Theological Seminary. For the full schedule of the two-day Brass Band Festival, including times and locations, please visit
     The celebration of Brass continues the following weekend with a performance from the Wildcat Regiment, in service as the Regiment Band of the 105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, on Saturday, June 15th at 2:00pm at the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center and at 6:00pm for an evening concert at the Pennsylvania Memorial on the Battlefield. This modern re-creation of the Civil War band utilizes original instruments and reproduction hand-made uniforms.

Celebrating its sixth year, the Gettysburg Festival (a 16-time IFEA Pinnacle Award winner) is a sought out event, which has grown to become a yearly tradition for the entire family with both area residents and tourists alike. With an average attendance of 23,000 people from 30 states and the District of Columbia, the Festival celebrates local talent within the community through its Fringe events in the areas of visual arts, culinary arts, theater, film, music and children’s events, as well as presenting world-renown experts in these categories. Past highlights include James Earl Jones narrating A Lincoln Portrait, comedy legend Bob Newhart, Kevin Eubanks of Tonight Show fame, former White House Chef Walter Scheib and the critically-acclaimed Boston Brass, to name a few. Ideally situated in historical central Pennsylvania and located within a day’s drive of 60% of the entire North American population, Gettysburg Festival 2013 will be held June 8-16th. The Gettysburg Festival is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Highlight performances and activities for the 2013 Gettysburg Festival include: CMA’s “New Artist of the Year,” Hunter Hayes; iconic romantic trio, The Lettermen; New York Times best-selling author, Jeff Shaara; Phil Dirt presents: Surfs Up! A Tribute to the Beach Boys; and perennial favorites, Blues, Beer & BBQ; History Meets the Arts Edible Art Tour; and the Children’s Festival.
For more information about the Gettysburg Festival, the 2013 line-up or tickets to various events, please visit our website at Up-to-the-minute details can be found on Twitter ( ) and Facebook ( ).
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In celebration of the kickoff of the fifth annual festival, the Gettysburg Festival is giving away FIVE (5) buy-one-get-one-free tickets to Broadway’s Next H!T Musical.

Friday, June 15
8:00 – 10:00 pm
Majestic Theater

Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised and it’s all funny. The New York Times calls Broadway’s Next H!T Musical “Hilarious!” Time Out NY says “At last! A Musical of, for, and by the people.” The hysterical Broadway’s Next H!T Musical is the only unscripted theatrical awards show. Master improvisers gather made up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor, and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full blown improvised musical – complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore.

The Details:

To enter to win a free ticket, write a comment here describing why you want to attend the Broadway’s Next H!T Musical performance before 12:00 pm on Monday, June 11, 2012. At that time, an online random number generator will be used to select five commenters as winners. Each winner will be entitled to a free ticket of the same value of a ticket purchased to the performance. This offer applies to all ticket levels.

Return Tuesday to learn if you’re a winner!

By Karen Hendricks, PR/Marketing Director

In 1963, the all-girl band The Angels charted a number one hit that you probably recognize–“My Boyfriend’s Back.”  One of their follow-up 45s included the B-side “Thank You and Goodnight” which turned out to be a surprise hit.  Classic American 50s and 60s music is full of colorful and fascinating trivia!

But “Thank You and Goodnight” is exactly what we said to about 150 guests who attended the Festival’s recent Sock Hop at the Wyndham Gettysburg.  Chef Claude Rodier knocked the socks off our Sock Hop attendees with a fabulous menu, in cooperation with our beloved former White House Chef Walter Scheib, Artistic Director for the Festival’s Culinary Arts Events.

An All-American Classic: Cheeseburger Sliders by Chef Claude Rodier

The doo-wop group Chromed Classics also charmed guests and set the musical tone for the evening:

We also thank Battlefield Harley-Davidson for their generous gift of a shiny 2012 Harley-Davidson Dyna Bob, as many guests purchased raffle tickets to try their luck at winning this fabulous motorcycle.  Stay tuned, as the winner will be pulled during the June 9 Blues, Beer & BBQ event.

But perhaps the real star of the evening was the fabulous Hagerstown-based dance group, the Hub City Lindy Hop.  Entertaining DJ Bob Mathers was spinning toe-tapping tunes, and they did not miss a beat.

Thanks also go out to:  Mr. Ed of Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum & Candy Emporium for his generous gift of nostalgic candy, including Mary Jane’s, and Mari Killian and friends from Just Shoot Us Now for bringing their unique photo booth.

We are especially thankful to guests who took time to write or call expressing their appreciation for the themed evening.  The following message is just one example:

“…a quick note to let you know how much we enjoyed the Sock Hop last Saturday night. From beginning to end, this was the best dance of its type that we have attended. The venue, the dance floor, the music, the food and the entertainment as a whole made for a perfect night of fun and dance. We hope that this event was a successful fund raiser for your organization and we look forward to your future events this summer.”

Again, “Thank You and Goodnight”—but only until our next Festival event, around the corner!  Save the date of May 18 for our next themed fundraiser event, a Sunset Garden Party, and of course save the dates of June 8-17 with plenty of fun programming made possible by generous contributions from Friends of the Festival and fundraising events, with the emphasis on FUN, such as the Sock Hop!

To enjoy a photo album from the Sock Hop click here.

By Karen Hendricks, PR/Marketing Director

If you don’t know the term “sock hop,” chances are you’re relatively young.  We’ve been asked the question, “What is a sock hop?” at the Festival office quite a bit recently due to our upcoming “Festival Sock Hop: Kick off your Shoes & Kick the Winter Blues” on March 3.

In the 50s and 60s, high school dances were traditionally held in a school gymnasium or cafeteria where floors sparkled with a smooth, varnished finish.  So teens were asked to take off their shoes, so as not to damage the surface, and dance in their socks.  Keep in mind, this was a time when teens wore what we now call “dress shoes” every day.  As sneakers and saddle shoes became popular, the rubber soles were not damaging to the floors, teens could dance in their shoes, and the term “sock hop” fell out of use.

Remember this dance scene from "Grease?"


But we thought it would be fun to bring back this theme and plan a sock hop based upon the great oldies music of the 50s and 60s.  The Festival’s premier culinary partner, The Wyndham Gettysburg including 1863 Restaurant, has designed a playful menu brimming with popular 50s and 60s themed food.  Root beer floats, anyone?  Click here to see the full menu.

Bob Mathers

But the main ingredient on our Sock Hop menu is fun.  One of the area’s leading DJ’s specializing in oldies music– Bob Mathers–will be spinning tunes to set your toes tapping.  Bob has worked with such legendary icons as Buddy Deane, host of Baltimore’s Buddy Deane Show.  This teenage dance show was the inspiration and basis for the movie/musical Hairspray.  Bob will also entertain you with fun 50s/60s trivia and a few contests along the way.  (Hint:  you may want to watch the following YouTube clip which shows you the nifty steps to “Dancin’ the Madison.”)



What a fun era to revisit, including classic and nostalgic tunes such as “In the Still of the Night” (The Five Satins), “The Way You Do the Things You Do (The Temptations), “The Wanderer” (Dion), “Earth Angel” (The Penguins; also recorded by The Crew Cuts and many others), Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry), and many more.  

There are a limited number of Sock Hop tickets available – click here to learn more about the event & reserve your tickets today.

It doesn’t matter if you lived through the 50s/60s or not – come as you are or jump into your saddle shoes and poodle skirt, or your black leather jacket and rolled-up jeans and “Let’s Go to the Hop!”


Feel free to leave a post here on our blog, and tell us about your favorite 50s/60s tunes–cool beans!

By Mary Beth Brath, Co-Coordinator, Artist Colony and Plein Air Paint Out

From a painter’s perspective, Gettysburg literally offers endless vistas.  Coupled with the history and beauty of the region, there is limitless inspiration as well.  It’s no wonder that artists participating in Gettysburg Festival events have become passionate about plein air (open air) painting.  As one of those artists, I’m grateful to be a part of the Festival’s planning for 2012 events, which has stirred up a multitude of fantastic memories for me personally.

In 2008, I remember painting at Spangler’s Spring during the first Festival Paint Out.  There was a re-enactment taking place in the distance but all was peaceful at the spring, located within the boundaries of the Gettysburg National Military Park.  As I painted, I could hear the distant sounds of the artillery fire.  It was a very emotional experience that completely “hooked me” regarding painting along the Battlefield Auto Tour and I have participated ever since. To see that life-changing painting, click here.

Artists from Maryland (south of the Mason-Dixon Line) and Pennsylvania (north of the Mason- Dixon Line) came together in 2009 to paint Gettysburg’s hallowed battlefield scenes.  Many strong friendships were forged and still exist today. The Plein Air Paint Out event, as part of the Gettysburg Festival lineup, had firm roots at this point.

2009 Plein Air Artists at Gettysburg Festival

In 2010 and 2011, the Artist Colony was held as a juried and residential experience at Gettysburg Festival.   Amazing Master Artists, Lisa Egeli (2010) and Bill Schmidt (2011) led workshops and helped me learn techniques I have now integrated into my daily painting.  Click here to see a YouTube video of the 2010 Artist Colony experience.  The Paint Out also continued, due to strong relationships among the artists and the popularity with the public.  We especially loved having interactions with the public, at our exhibit located at the Gettysburg Railroad Station, especially when they led to sales of our artwork (click here for a few photos!).  I was fully immersed and enriched by both experiences.

Master Artist Lisa Egeli paints on Lincoln Square, 2010 Artist Colony

Some of my fellow artists have also summarized what it’s like to paint in Gettysburg:

“The artists have inspired me, challenged me and nurtured me as an artist.  Last year (2010), this event was one of the best of my life.  It lived up to that lofty height again this year (2011).”

-Cindy Downs

“I was honored and privileged to have been one of the artists selected to participate in the inaugural Artist Colony at Gettysburg in 2010.  It was a wonderful experience that had a profound impact on my direction as an artist… I was so excited to have been selected again to participate in 2011; it was as though I won the lotto twice!… This year’s Colony experience was a very worthwhile experience which I will treasure.  I am very grateful to have been a part of this exceptional opportunity again for a second year and I wish for its continued success.”

-Ann Crostic

Click here to apply to Gettysburg Festival’s 2012 Artist Colony, Plein Air Paint Out or (new for 2012!) the Quick Draw.  I know artists who apply in 2012 will be embraced by the warm artist community that’s developed over the past four years.  Prepare yourself for an incredible experience!

By Karen Hendricks, PR/Marketing Director

The Festival’s new Executive Director, Beth Kirby, has spent the majority of her career working in the non-profit sector, primarily because “it’s a joy to work with people, especially people who are passionate about what they are doing.”

However, she still wasn’t quite prepared for the incredible buzz and electricity she felt running through the town of Gettysburg and created by the non-profit Gettysburg Festival during June of 2010.  Brand new to the community, she was thrilled to meet people involved in various Festival events, and was caught up in their excitement so much so that, as she began settling into the community, she also began anticipating the 2011 Gettysburg Festival.

“Last June, 2011, I took it all in, and I enjoyed the art scene, live music and outdoor venues,” said Kirby.  “All of the events, and all of the people involved in the events, were overwhelmingly positive with great things to say about the Festival.  Everyone was unified in their dedication to the organization’s mission.”

That experience laid a great groundwork for what was to follow this fall – the naming of Kirby as the Festival’s new Executive Director.

“I see the Festival as a product of great value, offering something of unique value—the arts—to the community as well as our visitors.  The challenge with any non-profit is to retain and even gain support while in a down economy.  Without state and federal funding, the Gettysburg Festival is not unlike other arts organizations who now are laying the groundwork of sponsorship and support in order to continue offering artistic events of quality. Personally, I feel that our Friends of the Festival membership is a vital and exciting form of support, offering people the chance to be a part of something they love and believe in.  The Festival also gives volunteers the amazing opportunity to be a part of the Festival and energize the town through the arts.”

As the Festival gears up for its banner 5th Annual Gettysburg Festival, June 8-17, 2012, Kirby looks forward to forging new friendships and partnerships.  “I’m not going to be behind my desk every day,” she explained.  “I’m going to be out in the community, meeting people and getting involved.”  Welcome, Beth Kirby.

By Karen Hendricks, Festival PR/Marketing Director

By now, statistics sadly show that many Americans have made New Year’s Resolutions that have already been broken or abandoned.  So I would like to propose making a new, New Year’s Resolution:  Make the arts a priority in your life in 2012.

I’m inspired to say this by two wonderful and generous women I met recently.  Both women made and contributed amazing, beautiful gingerbread houses to our Gingerbread House Celebration last December.  But perhaps even more stunning… the motivation that inspired them both.

Melissa Thomas, Koney Island Konfections

Melissa Thomas and Sarah Dutton are both mothers who have enjoyed bringing their children to our annual Children’s Arts Fair at the Gettysburg Festival.  They both mentioned how extremely thankful they felt, as their children created unique art projects, danced to musical performances, listened and participated in interactive story-telling and enjoyed countless other hands-on activities at several of our free Children’s Arts Fairs.  That thankfulness drove them both to create gingerbread houses and “give back” to our non-profit organization with gifts of gingerbread.

Sometimes those thankful, magical holiday moments are gone with the turn of the calendar to January.  But the Festival staff remains incredibly touched by these two women and their stories, especially since their spark of inspiration came from their children’s joy.  You see, the mission behind our Children’s Arts Fair is to “inspire a life-long appreciation and love of the arts.”  Apparently we’re reaching parents with this message too!

I encourage you to rediscover a connection to the arts in 2012, whether it’s actually playing music or creating artwork, or whether it’s listening to new types of music, visiting an art exhibit, or even becoming a “foodie”—all of which you can do at the upcoming Gettysburg Festival, by the way!  Finding the time to incorporate the arts into your life will enrich your life in a multitude of ways.  We can attest to that, first-hand, at Gettysburg Festival.

Inside View: Sarah Dutton's gingerbread greenhouse


By Karen Hendricks

It’s just like the classic line, “Catch me if you can,” from the children’s story The Gingerbread Man…

As the holiday season draws nearer, there are a number of opportunities to still enjoy the incredible gingerbread houses created for the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Celebration.  A number of houses have found “prime real estate” within Gettysburg’s public places, so be sure to stop by and enjoy these fabulous creations during your holiday travels.

Your first stop might be Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater, where the largest 2011 gingerbread entry has taken up residence.  Built by Team Robinson of Hanover, this massive three-foot-high structure is on display in the main lobby, also able to be viewed through the theater’s front windows on Carlisle Street.  Two of the creators, Tony and Jennifer Robinson, explained they were inspired to create a New York City-style gingerbread entry.  So if you look closely, you will see a New York City brownstone (a perfect match for gingerbread dough), a city cathedral, Rockefeller Center, and even a rotating Christmas tree in the center to represent the big apple’s famous tree at Rockefeller Center.

This amazing gingerbread creation is only on display for a few more days, as this gingerbread gift changes hands once more.  The Majestic Theater will be drawing a name from a hat this Saturday, December 17 during the free holiday movie “The Polar Express” and one lucky movie patron will be the proud new owner.

Not only did this house win 2nd prize as determined by the Festival’s independent panel of judges, but it also won the popular vote of “People’s Choice” during the entire December 1-3 Gingerbread House Celebration.  While on display, it garnered a number of generous, silent bids from attendees.  When the dust cleared, the high bidder was Festival Trustee Edie Jardine of Fairfield.  Thanks to her generous nature, she then donated the house to the Majestic Theater so that the public could enjoy it a while longer.  Bravo!

Another award-winning house from 2011 can be found on Lincoln Square.  The 3rd place entry, created by Gettysburg Radiology Oncology staff, is on display at The Historic Gettysburg Hotel.  Modeled after a French chateau, don’t miss the intricate construction accented by adjacent colorful gardens.  Much like the aforementioned gingerbread gift, Festival Trustee Monica Oss was the high bidder on this impressive house and decided to donate it to one of Gettysburg’s most popular public buildings for continued community enjoyment.  Many families and children especially enjoyed seeing the house during the hotel’s recent “Breakfast with Santa” event.

Creating a gingerbread model of an actual structure is no small accomplishment.  But two women from Gettysburg, Donna and Teresa, set out to do just that when they created a gingerbread replica of the new Adams County Arts Council facility.  Coincidentally, the new Arts Education Center is where the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Celebration took place.  All elements of each gingerbread house are to be edible, according to the Festival’s rules, and this entry even includes the Adams County Arts Council signage done via edible pen work.  Many thanks to Peggy Talbot of the Arts Council staff, for her high bid on this architectural gem.  Stop by the new facility, located at 125 South Washington Street, Gettysburg, where it remains on display.

If you’re still in need of Christmas stocking stuffers, i.e. “candy,” you may want to visit Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium, a few miles west of Gettysburg on Route 30.  His corporate sponsorship of the gingerbread event allowed him to choose a storybook-style entry created by a mother-daughter team, “The Hamraps” of Fairfield, PA.  Mr. Ed is proudly displaying this candy-laden house in his unique shop.

A townhouse-style gingerbread house was appropriately adopted via corporate sponsorship by Property Management Inc (PMI) of Lemoyne, PA.  This colorful “Gingerbread Bakery” was created dollhouse-style by Chelsea Walton of Hanover, who coincidentally works as a pastry chef at a major Lancaster restaurant.  PMI is spreading holiday cheer by putting the house on public display at one of its townhouse apartment complexes, Breckenridge Village, Gettysburg, with the office located on Village Drive in the area of Gettysburg Hospital.

Finally, one additional gingerbread house–a church, actually–is on public display.  This precisely-built church, created by Rebecca Colpo of Red Lion, PA was secured via high bid by a generous donor who contributed it to a Gettysburg area community, The Preserves at Cumberland Village, located off Herr’s Ridge Road.  The spire-topped gingerbread church is on display within the neighborhood’s community building.  But a group of neighborhood women also plan on taking the church “on the road” as they go caroling at area senior centers through the holidays.  We hope it travels well and spreads community cheer!

So just like “the gingerbread man,” catch these amazing creations while you can… but unlike his fellow storybook characters Hansel and Gretel, please don’t munch on these houses while leaving your breadcrumb trails through town.  Happy holidays!

P.S. You can enjoy more gingerbread photos on the Festival’s Facebook page by clicking here.

By Karen Hendricks, PR/Marketing Director

The Festival’s volunteers are quite simply “rock stars” in our book.

More than 100  generous people provided their talents, smiles and manpower to the Festival’s events this year and we couldn’t be more grateful.

Julie and Richard McGeary

I heard one of the most amazing volunteer stories during the Old-Fashioned Sunday Supper, in Beech Springs Farm’s 1860’s era barn, while surrounded by heirloom quilts and strains of bluegrass music.  Julie and Richard McGeary, a husband-and-wife volunteering duo, relayed to me how they learned of the Festival during its first year in 2008 and traveled from their suburban Philadelphia home to attend some of the events.  They enjoyed themselves so much that they returned for the 2nd Annual Gettysburg Festival in 2009, and the 3rd Annual Gettysburg Festival in 2010.

Volunteers Richard & Julie McGeary with Judy Leslie - on the June 16 Edible Art Tour

By this time, an idea had taken hold:  Since they enjoyed the Festival and the Gettysburg area so much, why not move here?  That’s exactly what the McGearys did, and six months later, they decided that rather than simply attending lots of 4th Annual Gettysburg Festival events, they would attend a select few but volunteer at many more.  We are so thankful to convert these Festival “veterans” into “volunteers.”

And we look forward to many more enjoyable events with what has become our “Festival family”—a fantastic network of generous, warm and friendly volunteers.  Kudos!

Volunteers at the June 11 Cajun-Creole Cookout / Mardi Gras Music