Chambersburg celebrates rebirth

Chambersburg celebrates

Chambersburg celebrates it’s rebirth after the downtown area was burned to the ground during the Civil War with a rebirth ceremony, the annual ChambersFest. This year’s week-long festival takes on a different form.

The Coronavirus pandemic has cancelled the traditional summertime festival focusing on the town’s rebuilding following the 1864 devastation.

Chambersburg celebrates
Franklin County’s courthouse was one of the buildings burned by Confederates in 1864.

Events such as Old Market Day and the Civil War ball were completely canceled this year.

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Other events such as Scoop-A-Palooza ice cream celebration took a new look. In prior years the event was a one-day affair where ice cream vendors brought their wares to the local high school cafeteria for “tastings” by participants. This year participants were asked to visit local ice cream shops during July. They then post their purchases on the Scoop-A-Palooza Facebook page to enter drawings for prizes.

Civil War reenactment takes new form

But the reenactment of the 1864 ransoming, burning and rebirth takes a new, virtual form this weekend.

Chambersburg celebrates
Prior year’s re-enactment of the 1864 burning of Chambersburg by Confederate troops.

It won’t include a light show as in previous, non-pandemic years. Instead, the history will be brought to life in a radio show.

Ironically, this year marks radio’s 100th anniversary, making the change of venue for the celebration especially poignant.

A radio broadcast by NewsTalk 103.7 FM Radio starts at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, featuring 1864: Ransoming, Burning & Rebirth of Chambersburg. It will be broadcast from outside the 11/30 Visitors Center on the Square.

A limited number of seats are available inside the lobby of the visitors center for those needing to sit for the performance.

A video highlighting past performances will be shared Saturday during the radio broadcast andon the visitors center website, It can also be viewed at the visitors center social media page,

WRGG 93.7 of Greencastle will re-air the historical presentation on July 23, from 7-7:30 p.m.

A Cappella & unplugged

The traditional A Cappella & Unplugged musical competition follows the radio broadcast at 1:30 p.m. It features a variety of regional, musical talent.

Contestants of Round 1 will perform at the 11/30 Visitors Center, hoping to move onto Round 2, a step closer to the top prize of $500.

Downtown businesses will have sidewalk sales Saturday and a variety of food trucks will be on the square, offering their culinary treats for sale.

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