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Franklin County Visitors Bureau Highlights 1864 Weekend

July 19, 2019 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to 1864 Weekend in Franklin County, July 19 & 20, 2019. Celebrate community and human spirit–its resiliency, faith, and courage–with a historical re-enactment of the ransoming, burning and Rebirth of Chambersburg on July 20 at 9 PM. Leading up to the light show–so realistic the town looks ablaze–is the 1864 Civil War Ball at Allison-Antrim Museum on July 19, 7 PM to 9 PM; Market Day Festival in downtown Chambersburg, 9 AM to 4 PM; and 2019 A Cappella & Unplugged Finals on July 20 at 7 PM.

The history behind the event is the July 30,1864 Confederate ransoming of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The demand was $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in Union currency. When the town could not pay the ransom, Chambersburg was burned. More than 2000 residents were without homes. The total loss of real estate and personal property exceeded $1.5 million in the dollars of the day. In stark contrast, today’s Chambersburg thrives.

The 1864 Civil War Ball, on July 19, takes place in the German bank barn at Allison Antrim Museum in Greencastle. Everyone is welcome to attend, even those with limited dance experience. The Victorian Dance Ensemble will demonstrate the dance, place guests in the proper formation, and help them execute the dance. Tickets are $15 individually and $25 per couple. Civil War attire is welcome but not required. Register here.

More than 100 vendors fill the streets of downtown Chambersburg on Saturday, July 20, 9 AM to 4 PM. The day is filled with arts, handiworks, food, and music. At 5:30 PM, downtown Chambersburg steps back to 1864, offering Civil War walking tours, displays, and book signings. At 7 PM, the 1864 celebration continues with the final round of A Cappella & Unplugged, performed on the steps of the 11/30 Visitors Center. Bring a lawn chair and join selecting this year’s champion and winner of $500.

At 9 PM, history comes to life as Jacob Hoke, an actual merchant on the square of Chambersburg in 1864, meets Confederate General “Tiger” John McCausland, who executed the order of his superior General Jubal Early to ransom Chambersburg and burn the town, if the ransom was not paid. As the story unfolds, the downtown buildings are the backdrop of the ransoming, burning, and ultimately the rebirth of the town, which courageously rose from the ashes of war.

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 from Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Plan a visit at, contact 866.646.8060, or stop at the new Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center in downtown Chambersburg.

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