October 17, 2005

Pennsylvania’s Civil War Trail: A Prelude to Gettysburg

The bridge will burn again! On Saturday, November 19, 2005. Judge Marjorie Rendell, First Lady of Pennsylvania, will announce the launch of the Pennsylvania Civil War Trail at a special historic event in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. Planned by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development  and the Lancaster-York Heritage Region (LYHR), with assistance from Rivertownes PA USA, the Saturday event will take place along the riverfront on North Front Street beginning at 4:00 PM. Highlights include: re-enactors, period music, food, and seven bridge burning commemorative fires, one for each of the “gateway sites.”

At the official ceremony that begins at 5:00PM a choral group will sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a representative from each “gateway Site” will make a few brief comments at which time a brazier will be set ablaze in recognition of that community. Judge Rendell will address the group and participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony. Following the formal ceremony all those dressed in period costume may have their pictures taken with the first lady. Fireworks will light the sky to signify the end of the festivities.

Pennsylvania’s Civil War Trail: A prelude to Gettysburg will be similar to the Civil War Trails in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina and will guide visitors to seven gateway communities: Wrightsville, Hanover, York, Chambersburg, Carlisle, Gettysburg and Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development  working with the Department of Transportation are developing interpretive panels, markers and arrows for each site. These signs will be installed in 2006.

Visitors traveling from outside the area are encouraged to visit the State’s web site to make reservations for lodging, dining, a welcome reception, and a variety of tours that will be given during the weekend.