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Re: [TalkAntietam] No Sharpsburg festival? (long)

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  • richard@rcroker.com
    ... Tom -- I m glad to get the e-mail and sorry to get the news about the Heritage Days in Sharpsburg. I have wonderful memories and was planning to be there
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 2 1:33 PM
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      >>From today's Hagerstown newspaper...
      >
      > Festival's future appears to be grim
      >
      > The Sharpsburg Heritage Festival, which has attracted thousands of people
      > in conjunction with Antietam National Battlefield's annual remembrance of
      > the mid-September Civil War battle, may not be held this year because of
      > financial and personnel difficulties, according to members of the group
      > that runs the festival.
      >
      > "We just can't do the festival that the community has become accustomed
      > to," said Skip Lushbaugh, 57, of Sharpsburg. She is one of the half-dozen
      > members of the Sharpsburg Heritage Society, which has organized the annual
      > event for the last 12 years. "Logistically, financially, physically, we
      > just can't do it," Lushbaugh said Monday night. Sharpsburg Mayor Hal
      > Spielman read a letter during the Sharpsburg Town Council meeting Monday
      > from Ben Arndt, chairman of the heritage group, saying the group would not
      > run the festival this year. In his letter, Arndt cited a "steadily rising
      > difficulty in staging the festival." Spielman said after the meeting that
      > the town had given the group $3,000 a year in past years, and last year it
      > provided another $2,000 for police supervision. But he heard that due to
      > grant sources drying up, the group had run into difficulties.
      >
      > Sharpsburg Town Councilman Jeffery Saylor said there could be a secondary
      > impact on local clubs if the festival isn't held. He said he works with a
      > local Lion's Club chapter, which uses the festival as its main
      > fund-raiser, and he knows of others that do the same. "This is news to
      > us," Saylor said Monday night. Spielman said "it'll be a loss to the
      > town" if the festival isn't held this year. Due to rain, the festival was
      > not well attended last year, but Spielman estimated at least 3,000 people
      > attended two years ago.
      >
      > There have been as many as 135 vendors at the festival, which also offers
      > live music and living history performers, Lushbaugh said. The festival
      > shuts down a portion of West Main and South Mechanic streets. In 1996,
      > the group was granted nonprofit status in hopes of being able to obtain
      > more grants, Lushbaugh said, but last year a state arts group only
      > provided $500. Most of the funds came from the town of Sharpsburg, vendor
      > sales and program book advertisements.
      >
      > At the group's February meeting, members decided they couldn't hold the
      > festival at full strength, if at all, Lushbaugh said. "It's gotten out of
      > our hands. Five or six people can't put this thing on," Lushbaugh said. "I
      > sincerely hope somebody can pick it up and go with it. ... I would be
      > sorry to see it fall flat."
      >
      > POSTED BY: Tom Shay
      >
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      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
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      >
      Tom -- I'm glad to get the e-mail and sorry to get the news about the
      Heritage Days in Sharpsburg. I have wonderful memories and was planning
      to be there this year to sign my new book about the battle. Serious
      bummer. I'll probably still be there, but it just won't be the same.

      If you're not familiar with the book (To Make Men Free) check out my web
      site at www.rcroker.com It just went on sale today.

      Richard Croker
      770-977-2397
      www.rcroker.com
    • Bud Wilkinson
      Tom, Thanks for posting this article. I sure hope that things can be worked out to allow this annual event to be held this year. However, having attended
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 3 4:17 AM
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        Tom,

        Thanks for posting this article. I sure hope that things can be worked out
        to allow this annual event to be held this year. However, having attended
        this event every year since 1993, I still plan to be in Sharpsburg in
        September.

        Bud Wilkinson
      • richard@rcroker.com
        ... Bud -- I used to stay at The Rohrbach Inn the B&B on Main St. there, and was there for the parade one year. I got to sit on the balcony and watch and
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 3 7:24 AM
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          > Tom,
          >
          > Thanks for posting this article. I sure hope that things can be worked
          > out
          > to allow this annual event to be held this year. However, having attended
          > this event every year since 1993, I still plan to be in Sharpsburg in
          > September.
          >
          > Bud Wilkinson
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          Bud --

          I used to stay at "The Rohrbach Inn" the B&B on Main St. there, and was
          there for the parade one year. I got to sit on the balcony and watch and
          (even for this big city boy) it was great fun. It was like I was on the
          reviewing stand. But I also knew that Joseph Rorhbach stood in this same
          spot and watched Jackson's corps march into his town. Of course the
          "original" house has been refurbished (I believe) but, nonetheless, it was
          a "moment" for me.
          I hope they will be able to save the event. It would be a shame to lose it.

          Richard Croker
          richard@...
        • Rawlings, Kevin
          Richard & Tom I was the one who started the Union and Confederate troops meeting in the center of town and organizing the regimental bands of both sides into
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 3 9:09 AM
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            Richard & Tom

            I was the one who started the Union and Confederate troops meeting in the
            center of town and organizing the regimental bands of both sides into having
            a battle of the bands. Also had the churches ring the bells at Noon to
            signal the start of the festival. While I was on the committee I planned and
            over saw the culmination of a preservation walk Robert Lee Hodge organized
            that finished marching into town from their historic routes into Sharpsburg
            and meeting in the town square. I got the overnight camping locations, did
            the firewood, water, and porta-johns. Tom Clemens helped me as some of the
            money raised went to SHAF. Got avery nice Keith Rocco print as a thanks from
            the march organizers. Very few people know of what I did, but there have
            been some pretenders to the event in recent years making claims these things
            were their brainchilds. They have never had a hand in what I started. These
            were the days when the Lion's Club ran the event. Then the politics got out
            of hand during the event when we had the greatest attendence of Living
            history groups and success for the festival, including an artillery piece.
            All that I had set up started to be stripped back because of fears of a
            political back lash from another group. I quit and have never looked back.
            Unfortunately the festival has degenerated into a big crafts fair which not
            what it once was. It is a good money maker for SHAF,Inc.. Several members
            have tried to re-recruit me but I am not interested in getting back into the
            pool. I have more fun dressing up and primping and promenading around town
            and working the SHAF table. Can't say I'm surprised it has fallen apart.

            Best Regards,
            Kevin Rawlings
          • Rawlings, Kevin
            Tom, And we ll look forward to seeing you. My porch is always open for you all to set a spell. Kevin
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 3 9:12 AM
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              Tom,

              And we'll look forward to seeing you. My porch is always open for you all to
              set a spell.

              Kevin
            • Mary A. Stevanus
              Kevin, I agree with much of what you say. The Festival has gotten very far from what it was, but it s failure is not an option . I live in town, and I hope
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 3 1:16 PM
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                Kevin,

                I agree with much of what you say. The Festival has gotten very far
                from what it was, but it's failure is "not an option". I live in
                town, and I hope this is a wake-up call for the current organizers
                that some serious changes need to be made to save it. The Sharpsburg
                Historical Society is looking into ways we can help out, so don't be
                surprised if you get a call!

                PS (I don't call it a craft fair. I call it a junk fair! Without a
                juried show you will never get real artists to set up shop.

                Mary Stevanus

                --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Rawlings, Kevin"
                <kevin.rawlings@s...> wrote:
                > Richard & Tom
                >
                > I was the one who started the Union and Confederate troops meeting
                in the
                > center of town and organizing the regimental bands of both sides
                into having
                > a battle of the bands. Also had the churches ring the bells at Noon
                to
                > signal the start of the festival. While I was on the committee I
                planned and
                > over saw the culmination of a preservation walk Robert Lee Hodge
                organized
                > that finished marching into town from their historic routes into
                Sharpsburg
                > and meeting in the town square. I got the overnight camping
                locations, did
                > the firewood, water, and porta-johns. Tom Clemens helped me as some
                of the
                > money raised went to SHAF. Got avery nice Keith Rocco print as a
                thanks from
                > the march organizers. Very few people know of what I did, but there
                have
                > been some pretenders to the event in recent years making claims
                these things
                > were their brainchilds. They have never had a hand in what I
                started. These
                > were the days when the Lion's Club ran the event. Then the politics
                got out
                > of hand during the event when we had the greatest attendence of
                Living
                > history groups and success for the festival, including an artillery
                piece.
                > All that I had set up started to be stripped back because of fears
                of a
                > political back lash from another group. I quit and have never
                looked back.
                > Unfortunately the festival has degenerated into a big crafts fair
                which not
                > what it once was. It is a good money maker for SHAF,Inc.. Several
                members
                > have tried to re-recruit me but I am not interested in getting back
                into the
                > pool. I have more fun dressing up and primping and promenading
                around town
                > and working the SHAF table. Can't say I'm surprised it has fallen
                apart.
                >
                > Best Regards,
                > Kevin Rawlings
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