The Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB) invites the public to the November 24th grand opening of the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center, named for its location at the intersection of the two historic Routes 11 and 30 in downtown Chambersburg. The grand opening coincides with Small Business Saturday 2018 and is a day-long event from 10 AM to 7 PM. It includes walking tours, book signings, speakers, musical entertainment, and tours of the facility. At 5 PM and 6 PM, FCVB will host a live performance of 300 Years of American History, including 1864 Ransoming, Burning & Rebirth of Chambersburg. Visitors can enjoy the performance from inside the 11/30 Visitors Center with an indoor light show or enjoy a radio-style broadcast outdoors where an exterior light show will accompany the story.
The 11/30 Visitors Center is strategically located at these two main travel arteries of Chambersburg, the county seat of Franklin County, and establishes a gateway to explore Franklin County PA. It will feature five different exhibits, changing themes every eight weeks. The grand opening exhibits are Remembering World War 1, Artisans of Franklin County, Stone Arch and Covered Bridges of Franklin County, On The Move in Franklin County, and Fresh Foods of Franklin County. Along with the exhibits, FCVB will associate an itinerary to each theme for visitors to explore the five main communities of Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro plus areas in between or “around the bend” such as Fort Loudon, Mont Alto, Fayetteville, or Rouzerville.
FCVB coincided the Grand Opening of the 11/30 Visitors Center with Small Business Saturday because small town flavor is one of the draws for the half-million visitors to the county annually. FCVB is supporting several shopping giveaways and activities in Chambersburg, Greencaste, and Waynesboro. The retail and hospitality sector of Franklin County supports more than 15,000 jobs and is the core of more than $300 million of visitor spending annually.
FCVB purchased the 10,000-sq.ft. brick and marble building at 15 South Main Street in December 2016. The property, constructed in 1865, served as a bank throughout its existence. Historically known as the First National Bank of Chambersburg and in later years, Unitas Bank and Sovereign Bank, it last functioned in May 2015 as Santander Bank. With $1.6 million in renovations, FCVB transformed the property to the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center to tell stories of history and humanity and share the county’s healthy fresh foods, inspiring art, architecture, and entertainment. The two main vaults of the bank remain intact. One will host videos of the county and the other will hold the itineraries to help launch visitors throughout Franklin County.
Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center Grand Opening Schedule: November 24 – 10 AM to 7 PM
10 AM to 10:45 AM – Brussel Café – Coffee & Waffle Cake
10:15 AM– 10:50 AM – Walking Tour departs for Downtown Walk of History
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – Mike Marotte presents: “World War I Touches Franklin County”
12:15 PM – 12:50 PM – Walking Tour departs for Downtown Walk of History
1 PM – 2:30 PM – Ted Alexander presents: “The American Civil War in Franklin County”
2:15 PM – 2:50 PM – Walking Tour departs for Downtown Walk of History
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM– Ghost Pit Presents “Spirits of 15 South Main”
5 PM – Franklin County: 300 Years of American History, including 1864 Ransoming, Burning & Rebirth of Chambersburg
6 PM – Franklin County: 300 Years of American History, including 1864 Ransoming, Burning & Rebirth of Chambersburg
Exhibit viewing, video presentations, and building tours from 10:30 AM to 4 PM. Musical entertainment will be provided by semi-finalists and finalists of Franklin County’s musical contest A Cappella & Unplugged.
Franklin County: 300 Years of American History, including 1864 Ransoming, Burning & Rebirth of Chambersburg is a variation of the annual light show. Visitors can enjoy the presentation from inside or outdoors. Two show are provided for visitors to enjoy both experiences.