The 152nd anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg is quickly approaching. Thrown into the mix with all the upcoming Independence Day festivities and celebrations, the borough of Gettysburg will be bursting with ongoing activities and events taking place this week.
Among all the slated activities and special programs occurring throughout town, the Gettysburg National Military Park has much planned around the anniversary starting on July 1, which marks day one of the Battle of Gettysburg. From Battlefield Walks to Hands-On History and Real-Time Programs, there is much to explore at the Gettysburg National Military Park this week.
Special Ranger-Guided Programs that cover the key moments during the Battle of Gettysburg will be taking place from July 1 to July 3. These programs focus on the major role in the battle and campaign, giving visitors a new perspective and appreciation. Daily programs to be offered during Anniversary Week include: Battlefield in a Box (30 minutes) at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Lincoln and the Soldiers’ National Cemetery (40 minutes) at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Care of the Wounded (one hour) at 3 p.m., and Civil War Soldier (one hour) at 2 p.m.
Additionally, during Anniversary week, each day will feature a different selection of available Real Time Programs. These 30- to 45-minute programs deliver an overview of the key moments of the Battle of Gettysburg at the time the actually occurred starting with The Battle Begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
Battlefield Walks are available year-round, but during Anniversary Week, things get a little more involved. If you’re up for the challenge, your Licensed Battlefield Guide will take you to various locations of the battlefield park, many of which are not normally featured on other walking tours. These special Walks often range from two to three hours and involve hiking in sometimes-rugged terrain. Water, headgear, sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable sturdy shoes for hiking are all strongly recommended. These Walks will be led at the following times: 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 6 p.m., on all three days. Each day and tour features a unique opportunity, so check the full listing on the website.
Family-friendly activities and Hands-On History Programs will also take place in the Group Lobby from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Children will enjoy such pursuits as hourly special guest appearances in the “Mystery History Guest” event, “Join the Army” programs, and Junior Ranger activities.
Also taking place nightly will be the Campfire at Pitzer Woods. These hour-long presentations by Park Rangers will offer unique perspectives on the events that unfolded during the battle 152 years ago. The campfires will be held at 8:30 p.m. at the Pitzer Woods Amphitheater.
There are so many other things to enjoy during this anniversary week/Independence Day week combo. For all information from the National Park Service, go to www.nps.gov/gett.