Build it and they are coming: A Gettysburg Christmas Festival

The Main Street Gettysburg (MSG) Board would like to welcome Roger Lund, business owner of The Christmas Haus on Baltimore Street and in New Oxford, onto the Main Street Gettysburg Board. Roger’s enthusiasm and leadership skills have already made a very positive impact on our community. Roger has taken the lead in developing a community-wide Christmas event. Please see Roger’s official announcement of what is happening Dec 1.

A Gettysburg Christmas Festival

An exciting new event is coming to Gettysburg on Dec. 1 of this year, A Gettysburg Christmas Festival.

The festival is a blend of traditional activities in the borough and new ideas to help support and build a sense of community for local residents and grow the tourism industry at a time of the year when tourists are not normally flocking to Gettysburg.

The idea for the festival started with the successful Victorian Christmas event on Steinwehr Avenue. Our team took this concept and expanded on it as there will now be six regions of fun and activities for the entire family.

Those regions and themes are:

* South Baltimore Street, A Civil War Christmas

* North Baltimore Street, Our Christmas Heritage (International)

* York Street, A Colonial Christmas

* Chambersburg Street, Roaring 20s

* Carlisle Street with Christmas in Film, Theater and the Arts

These five regions will join Steinwehr’s Victorian Christmas to round out A Gettysburg Christmas Festival.

Each of the regions will have their own themed activities and the merchants in those regions will sponsor their own decorations, costumes and entertainment.

Traditional activities are being incorporated in this event such as Breakfast With Santa hosted by the Gettysburg Hotel to benefit the United Way. The Adams County Arts Council is moving its Gingerbread Celebration to the Grant Building with the generous support of Open Minds. Another tradition that is incorporated in the festival is the Christmas Parade sponsored by the Gettysburg Eagles and coordinated through the Gettysburg Times at 1 p.m.

Carolers are scheduled to roam various streets in the shopping district and other entertainment is also scheduled. “It’s a Wonderful Life” will be offered free at the Majestic Theater after the parade. Horse drawn carriages, sponsored by PNC Bank, will take visitors from Steinwehr to the Majestic Theater. In addition, Destination Gettysburg is sponsoring a shuttle bus to ferry people back and forth between Steinwehr and Carlisle Street the entire day (10 a.m. - 9 p.m.).

The organizing committee is looking for people to help volunteer that day in many different capacities. You may volunteer by contacting Annie Frazee Letendre at Main Street Gettysburg (info@mainstreetgettysburg.org).

In addition we will be looking for sponsors for everything from signage to portable toilets. If you are able to help financially, contact Roger Lund (rogerlund17350@gmail.com). Checks should be made payable to Main Street Gettysburg (59 E. High Street Gettysburg, PA 17325) and in the memo line, please write A Gettysburg Christmas Festival.

In less than one month, more than 89,000 people have shown interest in the event on our Facebook page. In addition, 4,600 people sent online invitations to friends to come to the event. Many hotels and B&Bs are already sold out.

More information can be obtained via the festival’s website at www.AGettysburgChristmasFestival.com. Come join us!

Roger Lund is the chair of A Gettysburg Christmas Festival.