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Thousands flock to Gettysburg for 150th; Huge boost for economy, security

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Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to flood the Gettysburg region over the next ten days to remember the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.  From reenactments to readings, history will come alive starting today.

The numbers are really pretty staggering.  Gettysburg is a town of about 7,600 people and this town is expected to host several hundred thousand visitors over the next ten days.  Besides the obvious foot and car traffic, this will mean a huge boost for the local economy and huge measures are being taken to make everyone is safe and sound.

Let the ten days of remembrances and activities begin as hundreds of thousands of people prepare to remember the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

“This is an Olympic for the community,” said reenactor Randy Phil.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists are expected to fill the battlefields and streets of Gettysburg during this two week period, starting today.  During a normal year in Adams County, the region draws about three million tourists.  That number is expected to swell to four million in 2013, with the 150th being the biggest driver.

“We’re encouraging people to park on the outskirts of town, there’s a free shuttle that will take them into town and then they can get around,” said Carl Whitehill with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Added tourists means added tourism dollars. In 2013, the Adams County region is expected to get a $750 million infusion into the economy.  But the buildup to and the aftermath of the remembrance is just as important, equating to $2 billion in revenue over the five years surrounding this date.

“I think they will do a great job,” said tourist Kelly Vahradnik.

Much of the area is on lockdown or under tight security.  If you are heading to the Gettysburg region, be prepared to encounter long lines and security.  All of the extra measures are in place with the goal of trying to keep people safe.

“Knowing what the issues are and to know if there is any threat level associated with Gettysburg,” said Katie Lawhon from Gettysburg Military Park.

Events start today with several different reenactments including the attack on Culp’s Hill.  All of this leads up to the parade on July 3rd and of course the full reenactment at Redding Farm on July 4.

For a complete list of activities and parking surrounding the 150th anniversary, click on http://gettysburgcivilwar150.com/default.aspx

1 Comment

  • Onery

    As a resident of Adams County I will be SOOOOOOO glad when all the "celebration" of a battle that marks a dark spot on our nation's history reaches it conclusion. I, for one, will be darned glad when is over and done with. Can't even go to a store or a favorite restaurant without running into long lines and traffic. Bites to be here. As a resident I also see more and more Adams County acres being annexed by the Feds because a soldier may have walked across that little spit of ground. If I understand correctly, this little spit of land is no longer in the County tax base, and costs me more for my share of County tax. No fair, not fair at all.

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