Although the pandemic will prevent its meeting at the rec park, the health crisis will allow the 30th annual Adams County Heritage Festival to have a new online format this year.
The festival will be presented as a month-long collaboration of artists and musicians representing different cultural traditions on its YouTube channel on the Festival website (icpj-gettysburg.org/festival-2/).
Already lined up on the music channel are music and dance performances representing African American, Mexican, and Indian traditions, as well as local storyteller Ann Griffith. The committee has also solicited brief videos from about a dozen local residents, telling stories that reflect their heritages.
The heritage festival is “a celebration of unity in our community . . . sharing and appreciating the cultures of Adams County.”
The Festival also includes a “CommUNITY Art Project,” in which children and adults are encouraged to express their ethnic heritages artistically.
The Festival seeks submissions of artwork for display in a public location or locations during the month of September. Submissions may be in any medium–e.g., crayons, markers, paint, collage– but must be in an 8-inch by 8-inch square format. Forms are available for pick-up at all library branches, the Adams County Arts Council, and the YWCA.
The deadline for submission is August 24th. Submissions must include name, phone, town and, if child, which grade, or mark as an adult entry. Entries may be returned to library branches, dropped off at the Adams County Arts Council or the YWCA, or mailed to Adams County Heritage Festival, P.O. Box 3134, Gettysburg, PA 17325.
The outdoor festival offered local nonprofits an opportunity to inform the community of their services. This year the committee is asking nonprofits to link their websites to the Festival’s and, if possible, to display material on their own websites that relates to the Festival’s purposes of celebrating the diverse heritages of our community.
A big attraction of the outdoor festival was the wide array of foods available. The committee regrets that it cannot replicate this experience online but encourages residents and visitors to explore the offerings of the local restaurants that represent many different traditions.
The Heritage Festival Planning Committee, a joint project of the Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice and the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County, judges that the need to affirm the festival’s mission has never been greater. It has therefore planned an alternative, month-long celebration for September.
The County Commissioners have agreed to designate September as Adams County Heritage Festival Month.
For further information, please email (email protected) or call 717-334-0752.
Charles Stangor is Gettysburg News’s Publisher and Editor in Chief.