News

Re-enactment postponement helps some Gettysburg businesses

Written by Davin Jurgensen, The Evening Sun | Aug 10, 2015 1:00 PM
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Photo by Clare Becker, Evening Sun

Visitors peruse the shops and eateries on Gettysburg's popular Steinwehr Avenue on Aug. 9.

(Gettysburg) -- The postponement of July's Battle of Gettysburg re-enactments helped some borough shops this weekend by giving them another chance to serve tourists, business owners said.

"The postponement basically gave us two Fourth of July's," said Erik Crist from his family-owned business, Flex & Flannigan's, on Steinwehr Avenue on Sunday. "It benefited us; it gave us two shots out of it."

The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee rescheduled the re-enactments, which usually take place in July during the battle anniversary, for Aug. 7-9 because of rainy weather and soggy fields. The annual event is one of the largest to take place during Gettysburg's summer tourist season.

The change of date for the re-enactments did not hinder sales, but actually boosted them, Crist said.

Hunt's Battlefield Fries and Café also benefitted from the rescheduling. People still came out in July because they already reservations booked at hotels, owner Scott Hunt said. As for this weekend, his business was still good.

"There weren't as many people, but the numbers were still there for us," Hunt said.

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Photo by Clare Becker, Evening Sun

Michael Ohm, 6, of Millville, N.J., examines some history-related toys for sale at Steinwehr Avenue shop The Regimental Quartermaster, Inc. on Aug. 9.

Some hotels were close to fully booked, especially the Inn at Cemetery Hill on Baltimore Street. Although many customers called to reschedule their stays when the Anniversary Committee announced the postponement, both this weekend and the actual anniversary weekend in July were still hectic, said Lucero Ramirez, who works at the inn's front desk.

Out of 45 available rooms, 42 were full during the battle anniversary in July, and 40 were full in August during the rescheduled event, Ramirez said.

"The re-enactment times are definitely challenging, but I love it." Ramirez said. Christopher Ackerman, manager of The Regimental Quartermaster, Inc., was less enthusiastic about the postponement. Sales were good this weekend, Ackerman said, but he felt bad for visitors who missed out because they already planned their vacation days around the original July date.

"The tourists still came in July, and they still came in August," Ackerman said. "The disappointment of some customers is what's bad, those who have their heart, mind and soul on the re-enactments."

Re-enactor Kevin Peterson, from South Plainfield, New Jersey, was also disappointed. He has been to re-enactments all over the country and was expecting Gettysburg to be the biggest.

The area was still occupied and the people still put in the same effort, Peterson said, but it was small.

"It was nice to be able to go to, but I do think the postponement had an effect," Peterson said.

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Photo by Clare Becker, Evening Sun

Kevin and Sherry Varian, of Westfield, N.J., pack up their car at the end of the weekend in front of the Gettysburg Square Hotel on Aug. 9. The Varians said they were in town for a battlefield wedding which included re-enactors.

Also of interest

Gettysburg 152: Kids brace for battle at Youth Activities Tent

Re-enactors bring tradition, knowledge to Gettysburg


This article comes to us through a partnership between The Evening Sun and WITF. 

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