Delicious food, family activities, ice cream, history and so much more is planned for the 36th Annual ChambersFest from July 9 to 16 in the greater Chambersburg area.

The weeklong festival is family friendly and will include a variety of fun community events including Restaurant Week, Scoop-a-Palooza & Ice Cream Trail, Tim & Susan Cook Memorial Race, Old Market Day, 1864: The Burning, history exhibits, musicals and more. Each activity is coordinated by various organizations with the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce promoting the festival throughout the region.

“This community-wide event is a highlight of the year and we are excited to see so many local organizations contributing to the festival,” said Steve Christian, president of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. “Local nonprofits, restaurants, retail businesses and more are participating, and we encourage everyone to take time to enjoy the upcoming festivities.”

ChambersFest will start on Saturday, July 9 with the 6th Annual Restaurant Week sponsored by Signature Sponsor Penn National Insurance and Platinum Sponsors Ventura Foods, LLC and The Franklin Shopper. More than 30 restaurants will participate with special cuisines, meal deals and daily prizes through Saturday, July 16. Restaurants involved include Avocado Café, Big Oak Café, Bistro 71, Fireside Pub, GearHouse Brewing Co., Johnnie’s Family Restaurant, Kenny’s Grill & Ice Cream, Ledo Pizza, Meadows Frozen Custard of Chambersburg, Roy Pitz Brewing Company, South Mountain Creamery Ice Cream & Café,  Subway, The Orchards Restaurant & RELAX Lounge, Veroni Café and others. For a full list of restaurants and contest information, visit Chambersburg.org/ChambersFestRW.

Saturday events will also include the 18th Annual Tim & Susan Cook Memorial 1-Mile Race/Walk beginning at 7 a.m. at Chambersburg Area Senior High School (CASHS) Upper Concession Stand. Scoop-a-Palooza, the popular all-you-can-eat ice cream festival, will also be at CASHS that day from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Other ChambersFest activites throughout the week include North Square Farmers Market, Totem Pole Playhouse: Beehive, Scoop-a-Palooza Ice Cream Trail, Franklin County Historical Society’s “The Patriots of WWII” exhibit, train rides at Norlo Park and Council for the Arts’ “Architecturally Designed” exhibit.

Finally, the festival will culminate Saturday, July 16, with the largest events including Old Market Day and 1864: The Burning.

Old Market Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will fill the streets of downtown with music, food, arts and crafts. The day features more than 150 craft and food vendors, on-stage entertainment and other activities throughout the day. Later that evening will be the final round of the A Capella & Unplugged music competition as well as the popular military re-enactment light show: 1864: The Burning.

ChambersFest began in 1986 when local organizations came together to create a festival commemorating the town’s rebirth after its burning on July 30, 1864. On that fateful day, Chambersburg became the only town north of the Mason-Dixon line to be burned by Confederates during the Civil War. More than 500 structures were destroyed and 2,000 people left homeless. The townspeople were resilient, however, and rebuilt the town, which enabled Chambersburg to grow and prosper.

Today, ChambersFest celebrates the spirit of the townspeople with fun, family-friendly events. View the entire schedule of events at Chambersburg.org/ChambersFest. For questions about ChambersFest, please call the Chamber at 717-264-7101.

ChambersFest events are coordinated by a variety of organizations, including the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Council, Franklin County Visitors Bureau, Downtown Chambersburg Inc., North Square Farmers Market, Chambersburg Chamber Foundation and others.

Special thanks to the ChambersFest Corporate Sponsors: Everence Financial, The Franklin Shopper, TB Wood’s, VerStandig Media and WellSpan Health.

We would also like to thank our Premier Sponsors: Chambersburg Area Development Corp., The Shook Home, Penn National Insurance and Valley Agency as well as Benefactor Sponsor Community State Bank and Contributor Sponsors The Chambersburg Club and R. Perry Fence Co., LLC.

CHAMBERSFEST 2022 – Schedule of Events

Sturday, July 9 – Saturday, July 16

Restaurant Week

More than 30 local restaurants showcasing special cuisines, meal deals and prizes for patrons.


Sponsored by Penn National Insurance, Ventura Foods, LLC and The Franklin Shopper.

Scoop-a-Palooza & Ice Cream Trail

Scoop-a-Palooza, the Greater Chambersburg Chamber Foundation’s yearly ice cream festival, returns on July 9 at Chambersburg Area Senior High School Cafeteria. The festivities will also include a month-long Scoop-a-Palooza Ice Cream Trail happening July 1-31. Join the fun by following a downloadable trail map to local ice cream shops and taking pictures of your treats to enter to win $1,200 in prizes. Details: ScoopAPalooza.org. Presented by ACNB Bank.

Saturday, July 9

18th Annual Tim & Susan Cook Memorial 1-Mile Race

7 – 9:30 a.m. – CASHS Upper Concession Stand. Proceeds provide scholarships to students at CASHS. Day-of registration is $25. 7 a.m. Registration at CASHS Upper Concessions Stand; 8 a.m. Women’s/Girls’ Race/Walk; 8:30 a.m. Men’s/Boys’ Race/Walk; 9:30 a.m. Results Ceremony.

Details: Chambersburg.org/Events.


Saturdays July 9 & 16

North Square Farmers Market

8 a.m. – noon – Downtown Chambersburg at Chambers Fort Park.

Enjoy Chambersburg’s only open-air farmers market offering farm fresh, seasonal and 100 percent locally grown produce. More details at NorthSquareFarmersMarket.com.  

July 9, 10, 12, 13, 16

Totem Pole Playhouse: Beehive

arious times – 9555 Golf Course Road, Fayetteville. Beehive is the ultimate celebration of 1960s female empowerment told from the perspective of six young women. Get tickets: TotemPolePlayhouse.org. Coordinated by Totem Pole Playhouse.

Sunday, July 10

Summer Concert Series: Reunited Quartet

7 p.m. – Chambersburg Memorial Park, 1 Washabaugh Way, Chambersburg.

Gather at the Chambersburg Memorial Park Kiwanis Bandshell to enjoy this free southern gospel concert. This is a smoke-free environment; please bring lawn chairs, blankets, food and non-alcoholic beverages. Coordinated by Chambersburg Recreation Department.

Tuesday, July 12 – Saturday, July 16

Franklin County Historical Society “The Patriots of WWII” Exhibit

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 175 E. King St., Chambersburg. Learn more about the experience of the local service men and women from Franklin County who served in WWII. For large groups, call 717-264-1667 or visit FranklinHistorical.org. Coordinated by Franklin Co. Historical Society.

Wednesday, July 13 – Saturday, July 16

Council for the Arts’ “Architecturally Designed” Exhibit

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 103 N. Main St., Chambersburg. View the new exhibit: “Architecturally Designed: The Places We Live, Work and Play.” For more information, call 717-264-6883. Coordinated by Council for the Arts.

Thursday, July 14

Summer Concert Series: JCM Band

7 p.m. – Chambersburg Memorial Park, 1 Washabaugh Way, Chambersburg.

Gather at the Chambersburg Memorial Park Kiwanis Bandshell to enjoy this free oldies, 50s & 60s concert. This is a smoke-free environment; please bring lawn chairs, blankets, food and non-alcoholic beverages. Coordinated by Chambersburg Recreation Department.

Saturday, July 16

Old Market Day

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Downtown Chambersburg.

Free street festival featuring art, craft and food vendors, kids’ activities and on-stage entertainment. Thousands expected to attend! Facebook.com/OldMarketDay.

Coordinated by the Downtown Business Council.

Franklin County Historical Society – Book Signing

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 175 E. King St., Chambersburg. Virginia Stakes will sign the reprint of “John Brown in Chambersburg 1859” with additional chapters. Details: FranklinHistorical.org. Coordinated by Franklin Co. Historical Society.

Train Rides at Norlo Park

1 – 4 p.m. at 3050 Lincoln Way East, Fayetteville. Ride the miniature train complete with a cattle car and caboose. Last train boards at 3:50 p.m. Open to riders of all ages; donations accepted. Coordinated by Cumberland Valley Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

A Cappella & Unplugged Finals

7 p.m. – 11/30 Visitors Center.

Annual talent sarch contest featuring live entertainment on the steps of the 11/30 Visitors Center. Spectators can vote for their favorites! ExploreFranklinCountyPa.com. Coordinated by Franklin Co. Visitors Bureau.

1864: The Burning Reenactment

9 – 10 p.m. – Downtown Chambersburg.

As darkness approaches, the town will transform to 1864 and the story of the town’s ransoming, burning and rebirth will come to life with incredible light and atmospheric effects. Details: ExploreFranklinCountyPa.com. Coordinated by the Franklin Co. Visitors Bureau.

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Kicks Off A Cappella & Unplugged 2022 with Open Mic at 11/30 Visitors Center

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Kicks Off A Cappella & Unplugged 2022 with Open Mic at 11/30 Visitors Center

Outdoors was cold, but inside Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB) was keeping everyone warm and cozy with the first A Cappella & Unplugged Open Mic at the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center. The Open Mic began the eighth year of the musical competition. Held in the Great Room of the 11/30 Visitors Center, overlooking the square of Chambersburg, an audience of ninety-six enjoyed fifteen performances. All performers sang a cappella or carried instruments onstage and performed unplugged. Performers vie to win the grand prize of $500 and a chance to sing on the steps of the Franklin County Courthouse immediately before the 1864 Rebirth of Chambersburg event on July 16, 2022.

The first A Cappella & Unplugged Open Mic of 2022 passed through seven performers to Round 1. Round 1 is set for June 4 at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Chambersburg. The acts moving on in the competition are Willeby Hayes, Bekah Foster, K. Kamplain, Sullivan Shaffer, Whispering Creek Bluegrass, Mariam Mason, and Survive the Conspiracy.

FCVB invites performers to join upcoming  A Cappella & Unplugged Open Mics on February 23, 7 PM-9 PM, at 633 Brewing Co. on Walnut Street in Waynesboro and March 24, 6 PM-8 PM, at TBC Brewing on 3rd Street in Chambersburg. Two more open mics will be set in April and May.


1864 Chambersburg Comes To Life

1864 Chambersburg Comes To Life

Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites the public to 1864—a living history portrayal and celebration of the Rebirth of Chambersburg—on July 17, 2021. Nearly 157 years ago, on July 30, 1864, General John McCausland and 2,800 Confederate cavalrymen ransomed Chambersburg for $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in Yankee currency. Chambersburg could not pay the ransom and the town was fired, leaving more than 500 structures in ashes and 2,000 people without homes. Yet, Chambersburg grew out of the ashes of destruction and is once again a thriving community in southcentral Pennsylvania.

“Since the first 1864 event, a common question is: why celebrate a town’s burning?” said Janet Pollard, Executive Director of Franklin County Visitors Bureau, the organization responsible for the annual event. Pollard explained, “1864 celebrates the rebirth of the town and the spirit of the people, who brought Chambersburg to life.”

1864 began as a kick-off event for Civil War 150 in 2011. Partnering with nearby Gettysburg PA, Franklin County highlighted its significant Civil War history. Over the past ten years, the event continued to grow as a celebration of the spirit of people and community.

Join in celebrating the Rebirth of Chambersburg on July 17 with a full day.

  • Old Market Day Street Festival, 9AM – 4 P M, throughout downtown Chambersburg with more than 125 craft, food, and art vendors plus music.
  • Puppet fun and fan-making for kids at 11/30 Visitors Center, 9 AM – 4 PM
  • Civil War Walking Tours, 11 AM – 5 PM, at the 11/30 Visitors Center – FREE
  • “Tourist in My Town” Exhibit at Chambersburg Council for the Arts, 103 N. Main, 9 AM-4PM
  • A Conversation with Grandmother Edna: Fabric Art & Storytelling, 1 PM at the 11/30 Visitors Center, followed by a chance to make a little fabric art – FREE.
  • Pre-Burning Activities – 6 PM – 7 PM- FREE glow-in-the-dark temporary tattoos, face painting, photos with cast of 1864 Ransoming, Burning & Rebirth, children’s activities.
  • PA Army Reserve Rock Climbing Wall, next to 11/30 Visitors Center, 5:30 PM-8 PM.
  • Jim Rada, author & historian, 11/30 Visitors Center, 5:30 PM-8PM
  • A Cappella & Unplugged Finals, 7 PM – Final round of the A Cappella & Unplugged competition with winner announced just after 8 PM
  • 1864 Ransoming, Burning & Rebirth Light Show- 8:45 PM – The re-enactment and light show done completely with atmospheric effects, lights, and actors! Join the thousands that gather to watch as the town is transported back to 1864 and history comes to life.
Music Spotlight: Talent of A Cappella & Unplugged Semi-Finalists

Music Spotlight: Talent of A Cappella & Unplugged Semi-Finalists

This week’s  Music Spotlight focuses on the Semi-finalists of 2020 A Cappella & Unplugged–Ace Johnson, Blaine Phebus, Gabriele Stone, Holly Gouse, Jason Sheffield, Dominik Wiesniewski, Paul Saliga, Pyxus, Robert Twine, and The Mimic. Listen here, and like your favorite. Then, share with others. At noon, on Tuesday, August 4, most-liked performances will move onto the Finals of 2020 A Cappella & Unplugged, held on the August First Friday in downtown Chambersburg, August 7, outside the 11/30 Visitors Center at 7 PM. The winner will be selected that evening by online likes of performances and in-person votes.

A Cappella & Unplugged 2020  is the sixth annual event. It started in 2015 as part of the 1864 Commemoration to showcase the energy and spirit of people. With the impact of COVID-19,  the online aspects of A Cappella & Unplugged has allowed the event to continue in 2020. Though structured differently because of COVID, A Cappella is a little different, but still has lots of talent.

Music Spotlight: Elly Cooke

Music Spotlight: Elly Cooke

It’s another week of quarantine and another post for the local music spotlight! This week is giving focus to an incredibly talented musician and vocalist. Her name is Elly Cooke.

This young musician can make a room silent solely with her voice. Not to mention, her accompaniment ability on guitar is also fantastic. You can hear her performing country covers, gospel and Christian tunes and even pop hits from the decades as well. Better yet, she sometimes surprises the crowds with her well written, catchy, and heartfelt originals.

She often performs around York and Hanover, but she can be found in neighboring counties playing at select venues as well as charities. Elly has also been featured on television via the Good Day PA program!

Plus, Elly was the winner of A Cappella & Unplugged 2017, the annual talent competition of the Franlin County Visitors Bureau..

To listen to more of Elly Cooke’s music and to follow her to her next live-stream or gig, follow her on Instagram and FaceBook at Elly Cooke Music. Here is a video of her covering Lauren Dagle’s “Rescue


Music Post by Evan Crider