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Planned reenactment rescheduled in Gettysburg due to COVID-19 crisis

Organizers say reenactors are 'chomping at the bit' to participate in an event

Daniel Lady Farm is keeping its promise.

The reenactment will go on in Gettysburg. 

It's just being rescheduled.

"We had several hundred re-enactors signed up and just since this latest announcement more are," said Michael Cassidy, President of the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association.

The reenactment was scheduled for July 4th weekend but was moved to August 22-23 due to the COVID-19 crisis. Cassidy acknowledges COVID-19 will also likely impact how the event is held with the organization discussing safety guidelines for both the reenactors and the public. Tours of the buildings will also abide by social distancing guidelines in order to follow CDC recommendations.

Read how to take part in the reenactment here. 

Cassidy said the site has already enacted changes for people who are camping on the site and those changes will likely stay in effect for the reenactment. He added, "the public is going to be encouraged to wear masks as per the state guidelines. Social distancing will be heavily encouraged."

"We were begged online and in emails and in social media to postpone rather than to cancel the event. Reenactors are chomping at the bit to do some sort of event," said Cassidy.

Back in January, a different reenactment was canceled at Gettysburg after it was announced that a 'Restoring the Covenant' event was also headed to town July 4th weekend featuring conservative political commentator Glenn Beck. Beck's visit was expected to draw 20,000 people. But now, because of COVID-19 that Beck event has also been canceled. Destination Gettysburg said that Beck event was expected to bring in $15 million dollars.

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Destination Gettysburg said the region was setting records from January-February 2020 for hotel demand with numbers climbing from 2018 by 15%, marking an all-time high for those two months in 2020.

But then, COVID-19 hit. Destination Gettysburg told FOX43 in April 2020 alone, Adams County saw $959,000 in gross hotel sales. That marks a steep decline from April 2019 when it said Adams County saw $4.3 million in gross hotel sales

"The financial impact of the COVID-19 and the closures have been devastating," said Cassidy, who acknowledges Daniel Lady Farm also relies heavily on Gettysburg events that bring visitors to the property. 

Cassidy said the organization has cut expenses, applied for small business loans, and has shifted funds from restoration projects in order to continue maintaining operations at Daniel Lady Farm.

"It's been very difficult and it will continue to be difficult through next year," said Cassidy.

If you would like to support Daniel Lady Farm, you can join as a member of The Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association or you can find a list of events here.

FOX43 AT 4 AND 5

The reenactment isn't canceled, it's just postponed! WPMT FOX43 at 4 and 5, how Daniel Lady Farm plans to see the annual Gettysburg tradition through even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. And, the changes you could see if you go. Read more here: https://www.fox43.com/article/news/local/daniel-lady-farm-reenactment-postponed-due-to-covid19-crisis/521-ab8838ee-c091-48c1-a341-0b398354389d

Posted by Jamie Bittner on Monday, June 8, 2020

Daniel Lady Farm is located on Hanover Road bordering the Gettysburg National Military Park at Benner Hill.  Per its website, it describes the history of the farm like this, "The Lady farm was briefly occupied by Union troops of the 12th Corps on the first day of the battle only to be ordered to positions on Culp’s Hill. Confederate forces of Edward Johnson’s Division set up its artillery on the farm and organized its infantry for the assault on Culp’s Hill.  The house and barn became a field hospital for the wounded and dying.  Later the Confederate 2nd Corps troops retreated through the farm."

Read more about Daniel Lady Farm events:

"NEW DATES SET FOR 2020 EVENTS AT THE DANIEL LADY FARM!

The Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association has set new dates for the 2020 Battle of Gettysburg Reenactment and other events. The historic house and barn, which served as a field hospital during the battle for Culp’s Hill, will be open for tours with appropriate social distancing on event weekends. Campsites on the Daniel Lady Farm for scout groups and reenactors have reopened as permitted under PA orders and guidelines. All events and activities remain contingent on Adams County’s reopening status and any orders and guidelines issued by the Governor, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control. Events, reenactment scenarios and living history planning are being adjusted to accommodate reenactors and visitors under applicable COVID 19 rules and guidelines.

• 2020 Battle of Gettysburg has been scheduled for August 22-23, 2020 to be held at the Historic Daniel Lady Farm on Hanover Street (Rt. 116).
• Fall Skirmish, Battle of Antietam/Sharpsburg remains scheduled for September 12-13 on the Daniel Lady Farm.
• The Annual Civil War Artifact Show, the nation’s premier Civil War relic and collectors show, normally held at the end of June, has been rescheduled for September 26 - 27 at the Eisenhower All Star Complex. Brendan Synnamon, GBPA Vice President of Administration and the event’s coordinator, is working closely with the Eisenhower Complex to ensure the event follows PA Guidelines for COVID 19 control.
• Additional events are being planned for Fall 2020.

GBPA President Michael Cassidy said, “We are aware of the multiple cancellations of Civil War events around the country and are doing everything possible to provide reenactors and the public with Civil War events as we begin to recover from the COVID 19 crisis.” Kirk Davis, GBPA Vice President of Operations, offers that “The fact that these events are being held outdoors on the Lady Farm’s 148 acre site, gives us confidence that we can offer enough room to adhere to social distancing regulations and hold these events as safely as possible.” Mr. Davis is in contact with reenactment units scheduled to participate in the battle reenactments in order to develop procedures “to once again allow history to come alive in Gettysburg.”

Reenactors, ticket holders, and the public should visit www.gbpa.org/events for more detailed information. The GBPA is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to preservation of the battlefield and education."