Postponing the 152nd Gettysburg reenactment could boost economy in long run

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GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- People visiting Gettysburg won't experience the sounds of canons firing during the annual reenactment this weekend but tourism organizers say there is still plenty to do.

Gettysburg Anniversary Committee (GAC) organizers cite heavy amounts of rainfall and flooding over the past month as the reason the event is being postponed until August 7-9.

"The reenactment is held entirely on farm fields and requires a reasonable level of vehicle and pedestrian ingress/egress to responsibly provide for safety and necessary resources," GAC organizers said in a statement posted on their event website.

"We won't be able to get our water tankers in, port-a-Johns, artillery pieces, and cavalry trailers in. It'll be difficult," GAC spokesperson, Andrea DiMartino said.

She said the decision, which was was made Sunday night to postpone the event came down to safety. "It's a big responsibility, horses could break their legs, reenactors could be injured on the fields, the grandstands could sink in to the ground with the weight of the folks there," DiMartino said.

But the postponement shouldn't keep visitors away, Carl Whitehill, communications director at Destination Gettysburg said. "We have a reenactment of the Shrivers House, fireworks on the Fourth, living history encampment with reenactors at the Lady Farm, Heritage Center, it's going to be a busy town."

Whitehill says the 152nd anniversary of the battle has the potential to bring in up to $20 million for Adams County.

Max Felty is the president at Gettysburg Tours and is hopeful the move will boost the economy even more. "With the postponement having the season extended longer and another event to help bring people in in August, when it's slower could help out the community."

Felty said so far his business has not been impacted by the postponement of the GAC event.

Event organizers said spectators that held visitor tickets for the July 3-5 event will be honored during the August 7-9 reenactment.