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Apple tree mural at Gettysburg rec park damaged; July 4 fireworks a big success

The ceramic tile mural on the back wall of the amphitheater at the Gettysburg rec park, which has been in place for about 25 years, has been damaged. 

Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority (GARA) staff said tiles on the mural had been loosened by a moisture leak in the structure. A few have fallen off, but the park staff has recovered them.

GARA Board President Steve Niebler said the mural, of an apple tree with sprawling branches, was created in 1993 as a project in which senior citizens worked together to create the tiles and affix them to the wall.

Niebler said local ceramicist Lyn King led the project.

GARA is checking with the Optimist Club, which sponsors the amphitheater, hoping for a quick fix.

“It’s held up really well for probably 25 years,” said Niebler. “But there’s no point repairing the mural until the wall behind it is fixed.”

Peddigree said the July 4 fireworks event had been a success, drawing an estimated 5,000 attendees. Peddigree said the fields were filled and there were also many people watching from the nearby Colt Park subdivision and on W. Confederate Ave. in the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Peddigree said among the raffle, parking fees, and food truck rentals, the event had brought in about $20,000, and that half of that would go to GARA.

Responding to comments from the public, GARA is planning next year to have more kid’s activities and potentially more food trucks.

“We didn’t have any major issues,” said Peddigree.

GARA is looking for maintenance staff to replace several workers who are retiring.  Niebler said having a full time 10-12 months annual position would be best, and that the compensation should include benefits.

GARA said it would likely raise the compensation of existing employees as well as the new hires.

Peddigree said GARA is coming to an agreement with the Adams County Farmers Market to move into the area around the Sterner building, probably in 2023.

The park is receiving a lot of use this summer, including sports, special events, an upcoming show at the skate park, and regular visits of the bloodmobile.

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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