Gettysburg, PA

A Gettysburg Christmas Festival: 2021 Activity Guide

Hannah Hottenstein

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Locals enjoy hot drinks together on benches under strands of lights during the festival.A Gettysburg Christmas Festival

A Gettysburg Festival welcomes people of all ages and walks of life to create new family traditions by joining in the magic of small-town #HolidayJoy this Christmas season!

Christmas preparation and celebrations have already begun in small towns across Pennsylvania, and local Gettysburg residents are enthusiastic to celebrate the season as well!

Thanks to the coordinated efforts of Main Street Gettysburg and local business owners, the Gettysburg Festival has been the center of Adams County holiday festivities since the festival's inception and launch in 2018.

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Belgian horses taking a carriage of local residents for a ride around Lincoln Square.A Gettysburg Christmas Festival

This year, the fest returns with even more activities for everyone to enjoy, including craft fairs, live entertainment, chestnut roasting, life-sized games, food vendors, carriage rides, caroling, an ice sculpture contest, historical Civil War-era costumed actors, Santa's Shanty on the Lincoln Square, a town-wide scavenger hunt, and more!

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A fireworks display and light show display during a previous year's festival.A Gettysburg Christmas Festival

Don't miss out on these lively, free celebrations held all this month in historic downtown Gettysburg. Check out the children's festival guide here for kid-friendly activities and a full calendar of events in the 2021 A Gettysburg Festival event schedule.

Scroll below for an accessible list of the festival highlights mentioned in the infographic.

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A festive infographic flyer outlining a few of 2021's A Gettysburg Christmas Festival events.Hannah Hottenstein

  • Festival of Lights: Load up your car, grab your loved ones, check the "A Gettysburg Festival of Lights" Google map to enjoy a beautiful holiday drive-thru of over 55+ Christmas light displays in the area.
  • Visit Santa's Shanty: Coordinated by the Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association, Santa will be greeting children of all ages & spreading holiday cheer from Nov. 26th to Dec. 19th, on Fridays 5 pm-8 pm, Saturdays 10 am-2 pm & 3 pm-6 pm, and Sundays 12 pm-4 pm, at his Shanty on the Lincoln Square.
  • Letters to Santa: Drop off letters to Santa at the Gettysburg Heritage Center (located at 297 Steinwehr Avenue) or at Artworks (on 30 York Street) before Dec. 12th. Provide a return address & your letter will be answered by Santa!
  • Christmas Scavenger Hunt: Visit the Civil War Tails Diorama Museum on Dec. 3rd, located at 785 Baltimore Street between 10 am-8 pm for a Christmas Scavenger Hunt with a "12 Days of Christmas" theme and Christmas prizes!
  • Christmas Craft Show: Head to the Gettysburg Recreation Park every weekend of the Festival (Dec 3-5 & 10-12) between 10 am - 4 pm for local craft vendors, seasonal food, desserts & holiday fun. Free parking at the park on a first-come, first-serve basis (545 Long Lane).
  • A Gettysburg Brass Christmas: On Dec. 11th, between 10 am-1pm, enjoy festive music by the Ben Jones-led Gettysburg Brass Band against the backdrop of the beautifully lit Christmas tree in historic Gettysburg's decorated Lincoln Square or at the Heritage Center on 297 Steinwehr Avenue.

For More Information

To learn more about all the holiday activities happening, directions, or visitor information, check out the Festival's 2021 children's activities guide here or the 2021 A Gettysburg Festival event schedule for further details.

Tell us in the comments: How are you spreading small-town #HolidayJoy this season?

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Hannah Hottenstein is a subject matter expert writer for The Balance covering topics such as marketing, finance, startups, business education, entrepreneurship, and business psychology. She is also a freelance writer published in top Medium publications and active on social media. When she's not writing, Hannah enjoys tending to her jungle of houseplants, watching documentaries, testing recipes, and bouncing ideas off of scientists on Twitter.

Harrisburg, PA
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