Christmas in July Excitement

It’s hot.  It’s humid.  It’s July in southcentral Pennsylvania and we are bringing you an imaginary dose of colder temperatures for a Christmas in July preview of The Gettysburg Heritage Center “A Gettysburg Christmas Festival” presented by Main Street Gettysburg with support from the Gettysburg Nature Alliance, New Leaf Paper and FutureStake Inc.

The community-wide festival, scheduled for December 6 – 8, 2019 is shaping up nicely, thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers, partners, and sponsors. Just imagine that we are a group of Santa’s elves toiling away in a workshop in the North Pole, creating a magical experience for all the good boys and girls to unveil on Christmas morning.  The reality is, we are all average-sized people working in a municipal building and there is no plan to screen the past behavior of any of eventgoers – but the former is a pleasant visual. 

We have identified three geographical areas we are calling zones and have given them adorably festive names.  Lincoln Square and several blocks out in each direction is part of Reindeer Games – complete with fun activities, contests, games, and music at The Reindeer Rendezvous stage!   Santa’s Central Depot encompasses Baltimore Street from Wade Avenue down to the southern end of the Borough and will include VIP parking at the school, food vendors, a DJ, and a MSG fundraising initiative called Santa’s Jolly Drinks.  Lastly, Steinwehr Avenue will be the home of Winter Wonderland, which will feature Christmas trees, lots of lights, outdoor winter activities and entertainment. 

Many community partners have jumped on and expanded the weekend offerings for the eventgoers.  GARMA will have their monthly First Friday event, the Gettysburg Parade Committee will hold the Christmas Parade, Trinity UCC is hosting their annual holiday bazaar, HGAC will have a Holiday Open House, the Greens & Gourmet Gifts Sale is being hosted by the Garden Club, a Holiday Film Fest is planned at the Majestic, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will be held at Prince of Peace, and a Spirits Tasting is being planned at the Seminary Ridge Museum.  Other likely partners include Gettysburg Community Theatre, Adams County Arts Council, St. Francis, Adams Rescue Mission, Adams County Library and every week someone comes up with another creative activity to add to the fun. 

Merchants have great opportunities during the festival weekend – Sunday will be free of festival attractions, or distractions, and packaged as a shopping day.  The shopping day concept, among many other details, will be part of the discussion that is planned for a pair of merchant meetings on Thursday, July 18 at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Gettysburg Heritage Center.  If you are a merchant in downtown or on Steinwehr Avenue, please plan to attend one of these sessions to get caught up on all of the festival plans.  For any merchant questions, please contact Timbrel at    

It’s still early – only Christmas in July – but by all accounts, we are expecting a great crowd in December.  If we all come together, we can offer a truly special community-wide event that we can all look forward to each year.  If you are interested in joining as a: Sponsor - contact Deb at,  Partner - contact Annie at, Volunteer - contact Nancy at  Lastly, if you do nothing else, just simply go on Facebook, Like A Gettysburg Christmas Festival page, invite your friends to the festival using the event page, and share it all on your timeline.  Thank you!