CARLISLE, PA (September 1, 2010) - The Cumberland County Civil War 150 Steering Committee, led by the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center (AHEC) and the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau (CVVB) will be kicking off their commemoration at this year's Harvest of the Arts festival with the Lincoln-Douglas Debate reenactment matinee on the Courthouse steps and live evening performance at the Carlisle Theatre. The Lincoln-Douglas debate is presented by Historic Carlisle Inc. and co-sponsored by the Cumberland County Historical Society and Army Heritage Center Foundation so attendees can qualify for Act 48 credits. More information at www.historiccarlisle.com
The Lincoln-Douglas debate was selected by Historic Carlisle Inc. to begin Cumberland County's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. "These famous debates culminated more than 20 years of conflict between Lincoln and Douglas leading into their historic 1858 campaign," said Dickinson College professor and Civil War 150 Steering Education Committee Co-Chair, Matthew Pinsker. The matinee will begin at the Carlisle Theatre and proceed to the steps of the Cumberland County Courthouse at Noon. A full Lincoln-Douglas Debate show will be at 7 p.m. in the Carlisle Theatre. The show is free, however donations are encouraged.
Harvest of the Arts festival is produced by the Downtown Carlisle Association and downtown merchants. This year it has expanded to include several other partners and events to make the 29th year of the festival the best yet. Additions include the Welcome Jam with the U.S. Army War College, a special Farmer's on the Square market and the Cumberland County Civil War 150 kick-off Lincoln-Douglas Debate reenactment.
The festivities will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 25th. Artists will line West High Street from Hanover to West Street. "We are implementing a lot of improvements that our artists and merchants have noticed from past shows," said Glenn White of the Downtown Carlisle Association. Changes this year include artists in the centre of the street facing storefronts, downtown merchants setting up merchandise on sidewalks, "islands" of 4 to 6 artists with wide walkways will make browsing and shopping easier, strategically placed entertainment to better showcase the talent and more community partnership.
There will be a Cumberland County Civil War 150 exhibit with educational materials at the festival. The Cumberland County Civil War 150 Steering Committee will coordinate county activities over the 2011-2015 period as part of the Pennsylvania Civil War 150, a statewide partnership of major history organizations to serve as the Commonwealth's official planning committee for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War. Under the leadership of the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau and the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center; citizens, history organizations, business and professional organizations, municipalities, and educational institutions are committed to developing or expanding educational programs and events that commemorates the role of Cumberland County in the Civil War.
Cumberland County Civil War 150 Steering Committee partners include: Army Heritage Center Foundation, U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, Big Spring Heritage, Camp Curtin Historical Society, Cumberland County Historical Society, Dickinson College, Friends of Historic Churchtown, Historic Carlisle, March to Destiny Committee, Mechanicsburg Historical Society, Newville Historical Society, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg Historical Society, Union Fire Company, Cumberland County boroughs and townships, school districts, lodging, retail and dining establishments. Individuals or organizations wishing to participate should contact the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau at 240-7190.