Gettysburg residents and visitors alike will no doubt remember that Remembrance Day celebrations will be ongoing throughout the community this weekend. Every year, this commemorative weekend event is held in accordance to the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address which was given by President Abraham Lincoln on Nov. 19, 1863.
Community-wide happenings will starts Friday evening with the Remembrance Day Military Ball. The ball, which is sponsored by Civil War Lady, will begin at 8 p.m. and last through midnight. Period attire is requested for those planning to attend this evening of vintage dance and music. Entertainment for this year’s ball will be provided by dance caller Jeff Trace and the Victorian Dance Ensemble. Tickets for this event are limited and must be purchased in advance. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday is the official “Remembrance Day” in the community. To be sure that visitors and residents alike “remember” the day there will be a host of activities. Some of these events include sales, demonstrations, bake sales, book signings, special tours, music, encampments and many other activities that will continue into Sunday. But Saturday is the day for two of the community’s most anticipated events—the Remembrance Day Parade and the Remembrance Day Illumination.
This year’s Remembrance Day Parade will begin at 1 p.m., but you’re going to want to get a seat early as roads will be blocked off. At noon, a parade of various Civil War Living History Groups will assemble on Lefever Street and move down East Confederate Ave., turning west onto East Middle Street. Once at Baltimore Street, the parade will turn south and southwest onto Steinwehr Ave. and end at the National Park. The event will conclude with ceremonies.
The parade, which is sponsored by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, has been an ongoing event in the community for many years. The Remembrance Day Illumination is a newer annual tradition that has become immensely popular in conjunction with the day of the parade. For the tenth year, more than 3,5000 luminary candles will be lighted (one on the grave of each Civil War Soldier) in tribute by volunteers with Friends of Gettysburg. The lights will be lit at 5:30 p.m. (when the sun sets) and stay burning until 9:30 p.m. There will be a reading of the soldiers’ names as each light is lit, in solemn commemoration.
The National Civil War Ball will top off the evening beginning at 9 p.m. and lasting through 1 a.m. This event, which is sponsored by the Sons of Veterans Reserve welcomes all members of Civil War hereditary groups, both Union and Confederate, and all military and civilian re-enactors and all supporters of Civil War preservation to come. Though recommended, period attire is not required, though proper attire is mandatory. Civil War music will be provided by the Philadelphia Brigade Band. Tickets are $20 per person if purchased in advance, $25 at the door. All proceeds will be donated to the Gettysburg National Military Park for preservation and repairing.
Activities will continue to last throughout Sunday, but Monday will mark the official 149th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Events scheduled for Nov. 19 will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Soldier’s National Cemetery where there will be wreath laying ceremony at the Soldier’s National Monument. Director Steven Spielberg will begin the Dedication Day ceremony at 10 a.m. at the rostrum. After delivering the keynote address, President Lincoln (portrayed by James Getty) will deliver a recitation of the Gettysburg Address. Then the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will hold a ceremony for sixteen citizenship candidates. The dedication will conclude with a U.S. Colored Troops Graveside Salute at the grave of Charles H. Parker who was one of the only two African American Civil War soldiers to be buried at the National Cemetery. All Dedication Day events are sponsored by The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, the Gettysburg College, the Gettysburg National Military Park, and the Gettysburg Foundation.
So make a memorable weekend with Remembrance Day celebrations.