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Gettysburg Celebrates Independence Day 2022

The Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority (GARA) hosted its 2022 A Gettysburg Fourth! community Independence Day celebration yesterday. The weather was warm but not hot, the humidity was lower than might have been expected, and thousands of people filled not only the rec park itself but also the neighborhoods surrounding it. 

Hundreds of cars parked on W. Confederate Ave. to take in some of the best available views as a crescent moon appeared in a deep blue sky.

The event brought community and businesses together to celebrate America’s freedom from the British Colonies, the signing of The Declaration of Independence, and the common bond Americans have shared ever since.

The event started at 3:00 p.m. and included Bingo in the Charlie Sterner Building as well a field full of food trucks including Steinour Kettle Corn, Rita’s Concessions, Ferrera Foods, Schopf Brothers, Food Adventures, Kona Ice, Dairymen’s Milkshakes, Ziggy Donuts, and Sentzable Catering, to name a few.  

Owners and employees alike worked tirelessly to feed the hungry crowds funnel cakes, hot dogs, fried Oreos, deviled fried eggs, milkshakes, Kona Ice, lemonade, kettle corn, sandwiches, and more.

Participants were entertained by two local bands, The Jalopy Deluxe and Schizophonic, who set the mood for the events of the day and evening. 

Ciders, wines, and beers were available from Fourscore Beer Company, Ploughman Cider, and the Adams County Winery.

Gettysburg Police Department Officers Douglas Fishel and Terry Dewitt were in attendance, keeping a careful watch to ensure safety, while greeting families and handing out official police department stickers.

The officers were happy to take a few moments from their busy day to answer questions from inquisitive children.  When 7-year old Josie Weaver of Gettysburg asked, “ Do you have to catch the bad guys?” Fishel earnestly responded, saying “sometimes, when I have to, but I would much rather spend my time out here talking to nice people like you and your family, and all the other nice families out here today.”

A bit after 9:00 a single firework lit up the sky, and excitement, pride, anticipation, and admiration filled the air.  Those in line to get food or drink quickly got back to their chairs and blankets to enjoy the moment with friends and family. 

Squeals of glee young children alerted all those nearby that it was almost time.

At 9:20, the first high pitched whistle of fireworks went up.  Bursts of red, white, blue, green, and purples soon filled the sky, followed by the smoky trails left behind. With each concussion, explosion of color, scream of excitement, and crackle or boom of the fireworks, you could feel the pride in our country and the pride in our community grow deeper.

The event was everything promised, including an extra-long fireworks finale.

A Gettysburg Fourth was made possible by GARA, Destination Gettysburg, and dozens of volunteers.

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Holly Weaver, Reporter, was raised by two United States Marine Corps sergeants in West Chester Pennsylvania. She is a wife and a mother to four children. She tries to live by and teach my children that while every day may not be good, there is something good to be found in every day.

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