Franklin County Visitors Bureau Looks Ahead to 2015

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The Franklin County Visitors Bureau is looking ahead to an exciting year filled with opportunities to explore learn and discover.

Franklin County PA is the site of the inspiration for the 1939 film -- "Allegheny Uprising" -- starring John Wayne.

Colonial rebellion at Fort Loudoun preceded colonial rebellion at Lexington and Concord by ten years when James Smith and the Black Boys fired on the provincial fort.

The historic nature of Franklin County will be highlighted in 2015 with the 250th commemoration of The Black Boys Rebellion at Fort Loudoun on September 25th through 27th.

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau is looking ahead at an exciting new year filled with opportunities for all members of the family to explore, learn and discover the county.

It was a big year for Waynesboro and Washington Township, who worked to become an Appalachian Trail Community and was officially designated in April at Renfrew Institute’s Earth Celebration Day. In anticipation of the larger amount of visitors and those passing through, Cobblestone Hotel & Suites opened in Waynesboro.

The 9/11 Tribute was officially dedicated on September 11, 2012 at Red Run Park after years of planning and work by local officials and dignitaries. The artifacts include a 1,088 pound steel I-beam from the World Trade Center, a piece of limestone from the Pentagon and a rock from Shanksville, Pa., where Flight 93 crashed.

Another new addition to Washington Township includes the completion of the Monterey Pass Battlefield Museum, which displays artifacts related to the battle of Monterey Pass and the Pennsylvania Campaign of 1863, and talks about the Civil War in Franklin County.

2014 also marked the 150th anniversary of the Confederate burning of Chambersburg, and the crowds came in the thousands to experience the live re-enactment and light show in the town square. In 2015, the emphasis shifts to the rebirth of Chambersburg with more music, food, and family entertainment leading up to the history commemoration and light show, scheduled for July 18, 2015.

The historic nature of Franklin County will again be highlighted this year as the 250th commemoration of The Black Boys Rebellion will take place at Fort Loudon on September 25, 26, and 27, hosted by the Fort Loudoun Historical Society.

The rebellion began in 1765 when James Smith, led a group of white settlers, against British troops. The men opposed renewed trade relations with Indians due to recent attacks and disrupted British supply shipments to western forts. The men got their name after they were seen dressing as Indians and “blackening” their faces with tar.

The free weekend event will include skirmishes and the firing on the fort by the Black Boys, a confrontation at the Widow Barr’s House and a showing of Allegheny Uprising—the movie inspired by the events at Fort Loudoun.

To celebrate the event, visitors can go on the Conocoheague Uprising Bus Tour guided by Dan Guzy and local historian Calvin Bricker. This one-time guided tour will cover 63 miles in two counties, four townships and the Mercersburg borough with a 20 minute lecture at Fort Loudon State Historic Park. More information and tickets are available at Welsh Barrens Visitor Center.

Chambersburg’s annual IceFest will take center stage this January 29 through February 1 with fun for the whole family. Ice carvings, a double wide slide, chili cook-off and snowfall ball will make downtown Chambersburg the place to be during the winter days.

In April, explore your own path during Spring into History, where visitors can trek back to early settlements, frontier forts, secret hiding places of the Underground Railroad, Civil War sites and hallowed grounds. Explore fire museums and the history of industry in the county during a self-guided tour.

The new year will also be a celebration for many local businesses and places as they celebrate 15, 25, 50, and even 150 years in the county!

The Benjamin Franklin statue, now at home at the Heritage Center, is turning 150 years old this year. Originally made out of wood in 1843 and placed on top of the courthouse. After being destroyed in the 1864 burning, another statue was carved out of pine by Frederick Mayer in 1865 and placed atop the courthouse. In 1991, the statute was repaired, primed and repainted and placed under glass in the courthouse until 2004, when he was moved to the Heritage Center where he is today.

Chambersburg Ballet Company is celebrating its 15th year of performances this year at the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg. It began the season with performances of the “Nutcracker” from Dec. 5 through Dec. 6, and will continue to offer performances for festival-goers at IceFest on Jan. 31. Other ballets this year will include “The Firebird,” “Sanctum” and “Sleeping Beauty” and other dances on June 13 on 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Cumberland Valley School of Music will be celebrating 25 years as a performing arts school that teaches all ages. To celebrate, they will be holding A Silver Celebration to celebrate the achievement on Feb 28 at The Orchards.

The Pennsylvania Opry at the Star Theatre in Mercersburg, is celebrating 25 years this year as a place for family entertainment. The event hosts comedy events and musical revues such as country, gospel, patriotic, oldies, cowboy ballads and tribute shows honoring performers like Elvis, Patsy Cline, George Jones and Hank Williams.

Celebrating 50 years of business this year also includes Patriot Federal Credit Union, a tourism supporter that has been active in the community.

These celebrations and much more will be happening in the upcoming year in Franklin County. Your great moments are waiting.

Visit http://www.dodinestayfranklincountypa.com or call 1-866-646-8060 for more information.

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Janet Pollard

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