The Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to 1864 Ransoming, Burning & Rebirth on July 16, 2022. Celebrate community and human spirit–its resiliency, faith, and courage–with a historical re-enactment of the ransoming, burning and Rebirth of Chambersburg on July 16 at 9 PM. Leading up to the light show–so realistic the town looks ablaze–is Market Day Festival in downtown Chambersburg, 9 AM to 4 PM; and 2022 A Cappella & Unplugged Finals on July 16 at 7 PM.
The history behind the event is the July 30,1864 Confederate ransoming of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The demand was $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in Union currency. When the town could not pay the ransom, Chambersburg was burned. More than 2000 residents were without homes. The total loss of real estate and personal property exceeded $1.5 million in the dollars of the day. In stark contrast, today’s Chambersburg thrives.
More than 100 vendors fill the streets of downtown Chambersburg on Saturday, July 16, 9 AM to 4 PM. The day is filled with arts, handiworks, food, and music. At 6 PM, downtown Chambersburg steps back to 1864, offering Civil War walking tours, displays, book signings, kids games, corn hole competition, and t-shirt trivia. At 7 PM, the 1864 celebration continues with the final round of A Cappella & Unplugged, performed on the steps of the 11/30 Visitors Center. Bring a lawn chair and join selecting this year’s champion and winner of $500.
At 9 PM, history comes to life as Jacob Hoke, an actual merchant on the square of Chambersburg in 1864, meets Confederate General “Tiger” John McCausland, who executed the order of his superior General Jubal Early to ransom Chambersburg and burn the town, if the ransom was not paid. As the story unfolds, the downtown buildings are the backdrop of the ransoming, burning, and ultimately the rebirth of the town, which courageously rose from the ashes of war.
The Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to explore history, arts and architecture, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods and the warm hospitality of communities like Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro.