Gettysburg Festival


The Gettysburg Festival is an eclectic brew, but a very selective eclectic brew.  Spanning an impressive ten days, this festival celebrates American art, culture, and cuisine by making accessible these things to more than 35,000 guests.  Accessible though it may be, much of the events charge tickets in which sometimes space is limited.  All the same, the effort and dedication of the festival to bring a taste of the very best is immediately noticeable.  With a wide array of visual arts, great performances, and delectable foods, the Gettysburg Festival is an indulgence well worth the effort.

In terms of live entertainment, the whole town seems to play host.  Local churches, wineries, businesses and art galleries host their own events such as art auctions, book signings, storytelling, theatre production, and even go so far as to bring in chefs for art and food pairings.  While some of the events are free, others charge a ticket price which in turn usually includes a culinary pairing which more than justifies the price.  Top tier chefs from regional restaurants – and even those with eclectic credentials such as former White House chef – converge on the festival to play culinary host to various events and parties. The selection is everything from regional theatre with dinner, to movies with champagne receptions, to blues music and beer.  Weekends usually bring free live music to the main stage or other areas in town and usually include folk, acoustic, and brass music.

Visual art is a big focus at the Gettysburg Festival, and unlike the entertainment, it is almost always free and readily accessible.  Throughout the festival special exhibits are ongoing, like the Community Mural, photo exhibits, and the opportunity to do figure drawing – paint supplies included. To the festival’s credit there is a very impressive emphasis on children’s activities, such as folk stories, music, magic shows, interactive art, and board games.  Kids get hands on time with make-your-own-crafts such as whirligigs and paper dolls, or even try walking on stilts. Gettysburg is know for it’s tours through town, and over the festival there are special tours of churches, wineries, and the Gettysburg National Battlefield.

Admission to the festival is free.  Admission to events varies.  Parking is downtown.

If you plan to go:

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