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Adams County Heritage Festival Celebrates Twenty Years

(9/5) When the Adams County Heritage Festival began in 1991, its organizers had no idea that the Festival would grow to become a beloved community event, bringing together people of all national and ethnic backgrounds annually to celebrate their respective cultures. Twenty years later, the Festival is still going strong, with many of the same people at the helm who staged the first festival in pouring rain without a dime of funding. The 2011 Twentieth Anniversary Festival will kick off at noon on Sunday, Sept. 18 at the Gettyburg Recreation Park on Long Lane in Gettysburg, PA.

Bagpiper Rodney Yeaple, who traditionally opens the Festival, will be followed by „From the Well,‰ a 4-person band performing Celtic and American folk music on a variety of instruments, including twin hammer dulcimers, violin, viola, cello, guitar, Irish whistles and percussion. Next up will be Shafaatullah Khan, out of the South Asian music tradition, playing sitar, surbahar and tabla. The Friends of the Jubilee Singers from Washington, DC will offer gospel music, spirituals and blues.

Mid-afternoon will find the 3-person Apollonia Greek Band performing on the bouzouki, along with guitar and vocals. Pasos CaribeZos Dance Group, with colorful Latin costumes, will take the stage next, followed at 4 PM by a special program for children, „Around the World,‰ presented by Ray Owen, singer, songwriter and storyteller. An array of international foods will be available for sale, and numerous non-profit organizations will be on hand to distribute information. Arts demonstrators will be clustered throughout the festival.

In addition to outstanding performers, a spectacular array of children‚s activities are planned, including kaleidoscopes and animal sculptures, building a City of Peace, hair braiding, and mask making. New this year is a partnership with PNC Bank‚s Grow Up Great Program. Their Mobile Learning unit at the Festival will feature children‚s interactive kiosks, a „When I Grow Up‰ photo station, crafts and giveaways. Young people will enjoy an alternative sports park demo featuring bikes and skateboards.

Adams County Transit Authority (ACTA) will provide special extended bus service to the Festival departing every hour on the half hour from the Transfer Center on Carlisle Street and arriving at the Gettysburg Recreation Park at 40 minutes after the hour. After leaving the Festival, Lincoln Line 1 will continue its regularly scheduled route through town to the National Park Visitor‚s Center and the Eisenhower Conference Center. On its trip back through town, the bus will stop at the Heritage Festival at 20 minutes after the hour and return to the Transfer Center. The last bus of the day will leave the Festival at 6:20 PM.

Limited seating will be available in the performance area, so festival-goers may want to bring folding chairs or blankets. The Festival site is flat and fully accessible. To learn more about the Adams County Heritage Festival and its sponsor, the Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice, visit

For more information, call 717-334-0752

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