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Hundreds Gather to Celebrate Burning of the Columbia Wrightsville Bridge

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A big celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg is going on right now in Wrightsville.

The lighting of the Columbia Wrightsville Bridge commemorates the Union Army burning down the old bridge to stop the Confederates from entering Lancaster County.

Hundreds of people gathered to witness 25 piers with piles of wood on top lit to signify the importance of an event that had a significant impact on history.

History buffs…

“Did you know that when that bridge caught ablaze…” says a reenactor.

Have been waiting decades for tonight’s celebration.

The burning of the Columbia Wrightsville Bridge is what made the Confederate army turn around and head to Gettysburg.

People say had the Union not taken action, history might be written a little different.

“Had they done so…very possibly would’ve been into Lancaster and Harrisburg and on to Philadelphia,” says Union reenactor, Don Pentz.

Event organizer Albert Storm says tonight’s lighting is a reminder to people how big of an event took place 150 years ago.

“We like to emphasize our little piece in it here in fact this bridge was burned during the civil war…could’ve been a turning point,” says bridge burner, Albert Storm.

People have come to celebrate from across the U.S.

Terri Kelsey planned her trip from Illinois around tonight’s event.

“We came to town to visit my parents but we knew that this was happening so we made a point to come down and enjoy the festivities,” says Kelsey.

People who live here say it means a lot to see visitors learn about history int heir hometown.

“I think it’s important to see the people who came from far away, we’ve met people who didn’t even know what this place was so it was kind of cool to see that they came from far,” says JJ Schuman.

People were worried about how the weather might turn out.

Luckily the rain held off and people were able to celebrate and reminsce on what took place years ago.