1864, set for July 15-16, portrays the powerful history of Chambersburg Pennsylvania, ransomed and burned on July 30, 1864 by Confederate troops during the Civil War. The centerpiece of the 1864 weekend is the light show in downtown Chambersburg on Saturday, July 16, 6 PM to 10 PM. The light show–so real the center of town appears to be ablaze just as it was more than 150 years ago–culminates with the rebirth of Chambersburg, when beautiful light flushes Memorial Square to symbolize the emergence from the ashes to prosperity.
The 1864 Weekend kicks off on Friday, 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM, at Allison-Antrim Museum in Greencastle, another Franklin County community occupied by Confederate troops during the Civil War, with the 1864 Civil War Ball in the 19th century, German bank barn. Participants will be guided by the Victorian Dance Ensemble, the performing troupe of the Civil War Dance Foundation, and are invited to dress in Civil War era attire, contemporary formal attire, or contemporary business attire. The Civil War Ball offers a glimpse of Victorian culture and a respite from the reality of America’s strife. Tickets–$15/person or $25/couple–are available on Eventbrite.
Saturday’s emphasis moves to Chambersburg on July 16 for Old Market Day—an old-fashioned, daylong street festival with hundreds of vendors and live entertainment, sponsored by the Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg.
Saturday evening, 1864 takes center stage with historic walking tours, living history, exhibits, prizes, giveaways, old-fashioned photo booth, pets from the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter, book signings, glow-in-the-dark face painting, and fun for kids. The highlight of the events preceding the 1864 Light Show is the final round of A Cappella & Unplugged, performed on the steps of the 1865. Spectators can vote for their favorite act and have their in-person vote tabulated with online voting to select the winner, who receives $500 and bragging rights to the 2nd annual talent search contest. As dark approaches, the town transforms to 1864 and the story of the town’s ransoming, burning and rebirth comes to life with incredible light and atmospheric effects. Throughout the event, Confederate soldiers will be attempting to gather ransom money from the crowd. All “ransom money” will be donated to Franklin County Habitat for Humanity.
Be sure to take part in a transformative art installation at the Capitol Theatre on South Main Street in Chambersburg. The installation symbolizes the rebirth and rebuilding of Chambersburg, and the public is invited to make a creative contribution Tuesday, July 12, through Saturday, July 16. The installation will be added to each year as part of the 1864 celebration. Be sure to attend the free-admittance Illuminate Party after the light show on Saturday, July 16, to view the art installation, add to it, hear more music from contestants of A Cappella & Unplugged, and have some fun with black light and karaoke.
Leading up to 1864 is a week-long event called ChambersFest, sponsored by the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. Among these events are Scoop-A-Palooza on July 9, an ice cream fundraiser for education, Tim & Susan Cook Memorial 5K on July 9, and Restaurant Week from July 9 to July 16.
1864 is just one way to explore Franklin County PA. The Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to explore history, arts and architecture, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods and the warm hospitality of communities like Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro. Franklin County PA is located just north of the Mason Dixon Line and is an easy drive to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Discover more….plan a visit soon at ExploreFranklinCountyPA.com or by contacting 866.646.8060FREE.