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Farmers Market celebrates inaugural Civics Engagement Day

The Adams County Farmers Market held its first Civics Engagement Day on Saturday, hosting community organizations including Gettysburg Borough, the Gettysburg Fire and Police Departments, and the Adams County Council of Governments.

A number of new voters registered at the voter registration booth.

Market Manager Reza Djalal said the goal of the event was to help community members learn more about the many agencies that help support Gettysburg Borough and Adams County. “It was a good chance for people to reach their local elected officials,” he said. “We have the buy-in of many local elected representatives.”

“We talked to people about the Baltimore St. Project and we hosted games for kids,” said Gettysburg Planning, Zoning, and Code Enforcement Director Carly Marshall. Marshall said a popular children’s activity was a budgeting game in which they had to decide how to budget for a project when there was not enough money available. “There were trivia questions, and a map of the Baltimore St. Project. The kids colored in where they thought we should place charging stations and street trees.”

Gettysburg Mayor Rita Frealing attended the event, saying at least 50 people had come by the booth, many of whom expressed their pride in Gettysburg and asked her about the use of block grants and the police force.

“It went wonderfully. I met and interacted with a lot of the community. I got a lot of suggestions,” she said.

Frealing said Borough Police Officer Bryan Holden and Code Compliance Officer Peter Griffioen also attended the event.

Djalal said he saw the inaugural event as a “good foundation to do it greater and better next year. I was glad the police and fire departments had a presence,” he said.

Djalal said he hoped to expand the event next year to bring in more local government offices from around the county.

“If any local elected officials would be interested in helping make this event more successful next year, I would be glad to hear from them,” he said.

Frealing said she knew the event had made a difference when a little girl told her, “When I grow up I want to be a police.”

Djalal said National Farmers Market Week was beginning this weekend and that the market would be celebrating on Saturday Aug. 13 with events including a “large silent auction with a lot of things for sale.”

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

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