History repeats itself every year in Gettysburg when thousands of people gather to participate in and watch the re-enactment of a battle that changed America.
Friday through Sunday, anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 re-enactors will recreate the Civil War battle at Gettysburg on its 149th anniversary.
That number could be higher depending how many walk-ons show up, said Tony Strickland, a member of the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee.
"It's not often that you can re-create history and be educational and still make it this entertaining," Strickland said.
A farm field three miles north of the town in southern Adams County will be converted into an encampment for the re-enactment, said Strickland.
The event at 1085 Table Rock Road includes period speakers, Civil War weddings, live music, a shop with period wares, period worship services, medical demonstrations and live mortar fire demonstrations.
Strickland said the planning committee works hard to ensure the event caters to the re-enactors, visitors and the community. He sees a lot of the same visitors return for the event year after year and waiting outside the gate before the events begin at 8:30 a.m. each day.
"We use a licensed guide to narrate it during the actual show, and he doesn't overspeak the scenarios, but he does help people to understand what is being re-enacted," Strickland said.
Authenticity: Holding the re-enactment on private property allows for more authenticity, since the use of black powder, cannons and swords would not be permitted on government-owned land, said Strickland.
"It is just a real educational event," said Strickland. "It's such a unique event because it is on farm fields and not in a stadium. All of the re-enactors are in authentic gear."
The whole area looks like it dates back 149 years, he said.
For the 150th: For next year's re-enactment marking the 150th anniversary of the
battle, Strickland said that "all bets are off" for how many people will be participating.
"There is an awful lot of buzz about it," said Strickland. "We expect re-enactors to be coming in from worldwide, and it will be a mega event. Aside from that, we essentially do the same thing, only in this case it's going to be on a much bigger scale."
For this year's event, adult tickets purchased in advance from www.gettysburgreenactment.com are $24 for one day, $40 for two days and $54 for all three days.
Youth tickets start at $12.
Tickets purchased at the gate are higher. For more information, call 717-338-1525.
-- Reach Chelsea Shank at email@example.com.