Franklin County Visitors Bureau Thanks Supporters of 3rd Annual Festival of Trees—A Fundraiser to Support Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance.

Franklin County Visitors Bureau thanks supporters for making the 3rd Annual Festival of Trees a success. Hosted at the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center in downtown Chambersburg, Festival of Trees  raised $2700 for the Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance. It attracted more than 2500 visitors during the two-week period. Visitors from Michigan, New York, Florida, DC, and the tri-state area of Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania enjoyed 33 beautifully decorated trees and wreaths.

The beauty and success of Festival of Trees would not be possible without the decorators of the 2021 event. FCVB extends special appreciation to these decorators:  the shop, Cumberland Valley School of Music, Mr. Phab Photos, Renfrew Museum & Park, Yoga with Melissa, Martin’s Potato Rolls, Conococheague Institute, Chambersburg Frontier Girls #576, Penn State Mont Alto Student Government Association, Coyle Free Library, Council for the Arts, Rotary Club of Chambersburg, OSI, Totem Pole Playhouse, Middletown Valley Bank, Carly Patla – Iron Valley Real Estate, ReMax Prestige Shippensburg and Carlisle, Franklin County Certified Tourism Ambassadors, Chambersburg Hearing, Shafer Equipment Co., Chambersburg Quilt Guild, Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club of Chambersburg and Shippensburg, Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance, Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, Willian F. Sellers Funeral Home, The Pet Store, YMCA of Chambersburg, Conococheague Audubon, F&M Trust, Dile Family, Marco, and Twin Bridge Campground.

The 4th Annual Festival of Trees is set to open on Saturday, November 19, 2022, and run through the First Friday of December—December 2, 2022. The event will be hosted in the lobby and Great Room of the 11/30 Visitors Center, formerly a bank from 1865 to 2015. FCVB hopes to increase the display to 50 trees and wreaths and again raise funds to support the Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance.

Free Star Gazing Party At Conococheague Institute

Join Tri-State Astronomers  Saturday, November 13, from 7pm to 10pm, and explore the night sky with CI’s gorgeous view. With little light pollution, the stars, constellations and the moon can be seen incredibly clear. The Tri-State Astronomers bring their telescopes and provide educational programs. All levels are welcome to learn and enjoy. The event is free.

Learn more about Conocococheague Institute here.

Children’s Colonial Program

Join Conococheague Institute on Thursday, August 26, for a one-time event with your child, ages 6-14. The event requires preregistration and a waiver.

Step back in time to 1777, when The War against England requires a fresh fighting force. The Militia is called up at Old Welsh Run to face this threat. This program will provide an immersive experience for the participants as they are transported back in time to the Frontier during the American Revolution. Participants will follow several of the actions undertaken by Militia in the Revolution, including:

  • Enlistment and Oath of Allegiance – Sign with a quill and pledge loyalty to the new American Establishment
  • Musketry and Drill – March in step with Sergeant Davis and learn all of the maneuvers to outflank the British
  • Firelock Competition – The new child recruits can bet and rate our 2 best marksman in competitions of Speed shooting!
  • Soldiers Lunch – March on your stomach! An authentic Soldiers stew will be served (with an alternative of a cold collation)
  • Fleet of Foot – End the Muster with some healthy rivalry. The officers will put out prizes for those who can prove themselves in various games and competitions. Fleet of Foot, Wisest Wit, and more.

Contact us to Pre-register NOW. Space is limited to 25 participants! To receive a registration form or inquire about the event, email Conococheague Institute at, call 717.328.2800, or see online for more information and upcoming events.

Conococheague Institute Celebrates The Birth Of America–Revolutionary Style

On July 3, join the militia of old Welsh Run as they gather at the Davis homestead in preparation for War. All are welcome to join the muster! Learn all the skills of a soldier: How to march, how to fight, what to eat and how to have fun amidst it all.

This program will allow visitors to experience a rural militia muster, civilians following the army, and aspects of a rural Pennsylvania community. Centered around the Tavern at the CI, but also making use of the full extent of the 30-acre property, such as the oven, woodland paths, homestead, and more. In addition to scheduled programs and vignettes, programming will be ongoing through the day such as cooking, local commerce, itinerant trades, signing oaths of allegiance, etc.

Scheduled Programming is as follows:

10 a.m. – Election of an Officer: Militias in Revolutionary America were a fickle thing. As a new idea of equality spreads it means a new way of leading. If every man is equal then why follow orders at all? As two local gentlemen vie for the position of the commanding officer, witness their merits and add your voice to the final vote.

11 a.m. – Inspection and Company Drill: The Militia of Old Welsh Run will have their arms and accoutrements inspected at the beginning of the muster. An important task when each man is bringing an individual firelock (of dubious quality). Following which the militia will begin to drill. With a mix of veteran soldiers, awkward rookies, and hopeless farmers, will they be able to march in a straight line, let alone stand against the British Redcoats discipline? The drill will end in a full company musket firing!

12 p.m. – Marching on their Stomachs: Learn what really kept soldiers going in hard times by looking at their rations and mealtime preparations. Help the war effort by baking some hard bread that will last for a long campaign.

1 p.m. – Volunteer Company Drill with Public: Having seen how the militia handles themselves, it’s time to try it yourself. Our sergeants will guide you through the paces of Marching, Facings, and Maneuvers that will make the difference between a militia and a mob. Do you have what it takes to outflank the British at the next great battle?

2 p.m. – A reading of the Declaration of Independence followed by a celebratory Artillery Firing: Join with pride at a reading of the Declaration of Independence. These important words that were held in every Patriot’s heart, would echo in every rustic field to the great halls of European Nobility and change the World! The Declaration will be celebrated with a firing of CI’s Swivel Gun “Spitfire” just as today celebrations occur with fireworks.

3 p.m. – Company Drill: A full day of training has made the militia mesh together better but practice makes perfect. More marching, more wheels, and more difficult maneuvers will be practiced before setting off for war. Company musketry will include different forms of firing that were utilized during the Revolutionary War.

4 p.m. – Diversions from Duty: Militia Musters helped bring the militia together, but were also a chance to relax, have fun and show off. Officers would often encourage soldiers to compete in footraces, boxing, and sports with cash rewards. Join the militia in unwinding in a group cricket match or a race around the green with prizes going to the best competitors.

Click here to visit the event page and see a full program list and register for free.

The Conococheague Book Club – Thursday, July 15th at 1 PM at the Welsh Barrens Visitor Center

All are welcome to join our book club regulars every month on the third Thursday at 1pm. For July the discussion will be on two women’s narratives of capture during the 18th century. “A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison” by James E. Seaver and “A Journal of the Captivity of Jean Lowry and her Children”

The discussion will be lead by Lois Steichen and the Jean Lowry journal is currently on sale in the CI gift shop.

For more information contact

Conococheague Institute Presents Sewing Seamstresses Saturday

Women’s roles in colonial America are often underrepresented. Join us in celebrating all the contributions that women made, and learn about the hardships they faced.

Our frontier farm makes the perfect location to highlight an everyday woman’s life: From tending the kitchen garden, educating the children, laundry, keeping the hearth, and of course making and mending clothing.

Members of the local colonial sewing circle will be on site throughout the day practicing their craft. Working together as a group or on individual projects, they perform research based textile crafts and interpretation.

Learn more about this fascinating subject, enjoy the camaraderie, and perhaps even put in a few stitches yourself!

Ongoing interactive activities will be occurring throughout the day, with the chance to learn about women’s skills, fashion and lifestyles. Immerse yourself by trying on some of our visitor clothing, or bring a needle and help with some of the community projects. Join our team for a group cricket match in the afternoon, or try your hand at colonial tavern games throughout the day.

This will be a free, in-person, outdoor family-friendly event. Social distancing will be observed.

CI Special Program June 5