Making holiday memories in Gettysburg
I’ve always loved Christmas in Gettysburg. Growing up I loved seeing Frosty the Snowman on the Square and so many of the other decorations that were eventually lost in one of the fires that plagued Gettysburg in the early 1980’s. I remember vividly the February 10, 1983 fire that turned the historic Gettysburg Hotel into a burned out shell. It stood that way for 8 years until its grand re-opening May 15, 1991 as the Gettysburg Hotel, Best Western.
Now, every Black Friday at 6pm we get to hear Santa say those magical words “Light That Tree” while he’s standing on the beautiful front porch of the Hotel. We had a very magical tree lighting this year. Santa was brought to town in a WWII jeep courtesy of the WWII American Experience Museum. I can’t help but think that President Eisenhower would’ve been very excited and proud to have watched this happen. A 5 Star General who commanded the allied invasion, D-Day, June 6, 1944 on the beaches of Normandy, and later chose Gettysburg as the place he and Mamie called home; the only home that he and Mamie ever owned. Eisenhower also used the Hotel as his office during 1956 while recuperating from a heart attack.
After Santa’s arrival and lighting of the Gettysburg Christmas Tree, he hung out his shingle and was open for business greeting 2-legged and 4-legged fans at his Shanty. Maybe shanty isn’t the right word to use anymore as Santa’s little Gettysburg home has been repainted to have a Gingerbread House appearance. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out (much deserved credit to our painter and artist Norm Joyner for its beautiful new look). I hope that everyone gets a chance to visit Santa and create a great Gettysburg Christmas memory.
Helping to spread more Christmas cheer this holiday season, GARMA’s elves will once again be giving out $1000 in GARMA gift certificates to random shoppers. We enjoyed this so much last year that we’ve decided to make this an annual tradition. Last year shoppers were so excited to receive “free money” toward their purchases. However, sometimes if something sounds too good to be true it’s hard to fathom that it is. I will always have this great memory of trying to give a customer a gift certificate to use toward their lunch and the customer refusing because they didn’t believe me. So, I turned to the next table and gave the gift certificate to an ecstatic patron who stated, “I read that this was going to happen, I can’t believe I got picked”. If you’re approached by one of our elves, take the gift certificate!
Free parking is available again during the holiday season. Parking is free Monday – Thursday, all day, on the square, the first block off the square, and the first block of Steinwehr Ave. Please be mindful of the 3 hour limit.
I’m also excited to welcome two new GARMA members. The WWII American Experience Museum at 845 Crooked Creek Rd. and The Lincoln Diner on Carlisle St. For a complete list of our GARMA members go to www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com. Have a great holiday season!
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA and owner of Artworks, 30 York St.
So much holiday fun in Gettysburg
The holidays are rapidly approaching and GARMA is ready to kick off the season!
GARMA starts the month of November with First Friday, Gettysburg Style on November 4th. If you haven’t started your holiday shopping, start now on First Friday!
The official start to the holiday season is GARMA’s Annual Gettysburg Tree Lighting event on November 25th, Black Friday. Festivities start around 5:30 with holiday music and free hot chocolate courtesy of the Gettysburg Hotel. Santa arrives in downtown Gettysburg to light the tree at 6 PM, after which he will greet everyone at his Shanty. We are excited to unveil a new look for Santa’s Shanty this year! No hints, and no peeking! We will have it covered until Santa’s arrival.
The following weekend, December 2nd – 4th, is the ever popular and exciting A Gettysburg Christmas Festival presented by Main Street Gettysburg. This year GARMA will be taking ownership of the three Wishing Wells that are placed throughout town. When you see a Wishing Well make sure to fill out a Wish Slip and tuck it in the bucket. Slips will be drawn during the Festival with prizes being provided by GARMA members. Plan your weekend so you have plenty of time to shop and have some fun.
The Adams County Arts Council has two great events happening the same weekend as A Gettysburg Christmas Festival. The annual Jingle Ball will be held at the Gettysburg Foundation/Visitor Center on Saturday, December 3rd. If you’ve always wanted a chance to dress up and go to a Ball, this is your opportunity. Treat yourself to fine dining and dancing all while supporting arts in Adams County.
ACAC will also be sponsoring their Gingerbread Celebration and Holiday Mart the same weekend as the Festival. If you’ve ever thought about building a Gingerbread House, well now is the time. Enter your Gingerbread masterpiece for a chance to win cash prizes (and we could all use some cash!).
To add to your Gettysburg shopping experience, we welcome new GARMA member Dawg Gone Bees. They are located in the same building (just a different part) as GARMA member Gettysburg Olive Oil Co. at 430 Baltimore St. You may have heard of them before as they have a sister store on the square of New Oxford.
We also welcome back as a GARMA member Town and Campus at 8 Carlisle St. If you haven’t heard, Town and Campus is under new ownership! Same great stylists and services. We’re so happy that Nico and his staff are still a fixture in downtown Gettysburg.
GARMA Gift Certificates make great gifts and are spendable at almost all GARMA members. You can purchase them at Artworks, 30 York St. and Gettysburg Heritage Center at 240 Steinwehr Ave.
For a complete list of GARMA members visit www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com.
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA and owner of Artworks.
November is GARMA's Collection for Veteran's Month
REMEMBER & HONOR
Every November GARMA invites the membership to collect items for Veterans and those currently Deployed. If you wish to participate, please set up a collection box at your location and affix the list linked below of wants and needs provided to us by For The Love of A Veteran.
The first week of December, please bring your donations to Gettysburg Rental Center and they will transport everything to For The Love of A Veteran.
SUPPORT OUR VETERAN'S AND OUR ACTIVE MILITARY
Click on the link below to learn more about For The Love of A Veteran and their Mission.
50 years of memories with Gettysburg and GARMA
As a society we put a lot of emphasis on milestone birthdays, anniversaries, and moments in time. So, to jump on that proverbial milestone bandwagon, GARMA is celebrating our 50th birthday in August, First Friday style.
I’ve always enjoyed reading the birthday cards that give you fun, trivial facts about the year someone was born. So, I’ve taken the liberty of creating my own fun, fact filled birthday card about GARMA and the happenings and events in Gettysburg and the country in 1972.
In 1972 Richard Nixon was our 37th president. Minimum wage was $1.60/hour, a stamp would cost you 10 cents, and gas was 36 cents/gallon. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins in Superbowl VI and Hurricane Agnes rained hard, and devastated, many areas of Pennsylvania.
Honda came out with their compact car, the Civic, which is still produced today. 1972 introduced two food staples that are still popular. McDonald’s introduced our taste buds to the Egg McMuffin, and Stove Top Stuffing hit supermarket shelves.
Movies playing at the Majestic Theater in 1972 were The Godfather, Cabaret, and The Poseidon Adventure. And on the radio, America was introduced to David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust and his Spiders from Mars. Don McLean memorialized February 2, 1959 and the tragic deaths of Buddy Holly, J.P.
Richardson, and Richie Valens, with the release of American Pie.
Now for local news! Gettysburg has seen many transformations since 1972. In 1972 the hospital was still named Annie M. Warner, in honor of John Warner’s wife (Mr. Warner had set aside 19 acres of land for the hospital and was one of the main financial contributors when the hospital started construction in 1919). In 1982 it was renamed Gettysburg Hospital, and then in 2012 to the current Wellspan Hospital.
Some of Gettysburg’s major employers at the time were Westinghouse Electric (later changed to Schindler before closing the Gettysburg facility), DMI (Dolly Madison) Furniture Company, and Keystone Ridgeway (which is now the current Dal-Tile).
When GARMA first came to fruition we were known as the Retail Merchants Association. A constitution was created in October 1972. In minutes from the December 1972 meeting I found that is when GARMA (the RMA) took on the responsibility of hiring Santa for the holiday season, which we still do to this day. The RMA also promoted ‘Sales Days’ during the year that all members participated in.
One interesting request that was approved by the RMA Board was made by Gettysburg photographer Walt Lane that during the July 4th holiday, employees of member businesses be dressed in Civil War period attire. The Board approved this request.
The Outdoor Antique Shows were coordinated for the RMA by Norris Minter. Years later Wayne Schultz took over that responsibility, then John Angstadt, and now it’s coordinated in house by GARMA board members. The fee for the Antique Show was $22.
There were 38 RMA members in 1972. As I look over the list I remember many of the shops, of which all are gone except for Martin’s Family Shoes. I know that I’ve mentioned before that Martin’s has been with GARMA for all 50 years, and we do appreciate their support. For a time, current owner John Fidler was also a board member.
It’s sad to see businesses that are no more, but it’s exciting to see so many of the new
businesses that have come to Gettysburg. We hope that you celebrate our GARMA members with us this coming First Friday, August 5th . Look for First Friday flags and silver and blue balloons flying around and stop in and experience what all our members have to offer.
For a complete listing of GARMA members visit www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com.
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA
GARMA Celebrates 50 years for August First Friday
Connectivity and the power of partnering.
I’m a firm believer in creating partnerships that all parties involved may profit from. That profit may not necessarily present itself monetarily, but may build relationships that connect people with others who may help them further their goals and missions.
In the last few years I’ve seen GARMA businesses working together in such positive
ways. While many businesses were shuttered during the lockdown of the pandemic, some, like the Majestic Theater and Gettysburg Community Theatre, were closed even longer because there were no viable alternatives as to how they could conduct business. The Majestic Theatre thought outside the (pop)corn box and sold popcorn outside on First Fridays. GARMA businesses held special sale days where a percentage of their days proceeds where donated to Gettysburg Community Theatre.
The Lucky Paw, on York St., and Forever Love Rescue have partnered to get kitties
adopted and bring awareness to T(rap) N(euter) R(eturn). You can usually find one or two kitties hanging around The Lucky Paw waiting to meet their forever family. New GARMA member, The Good Samaritan (Masonic) Lodge in Gettysburg has also had fundraiser dinners with all monetary donations being given to Forever Love Rescue to help with expenses incurred with TNR efforts in the Borough.
Battlefield Harley-Davidson has been a great contributor to the Adams County Arts
Council, donating proceeds from their special event beer sales which helps offset expenses that the ACAC incurs for their events and projects. And for the month of June, countless GARMA businesses were sponsors of Gettysburg Pride. For-profits and non-profits, profiting together off of great partnerships. The power of connectivity.
So let me connect you with three new GARMA members! Welcome to Eighty-Two, at 82 Steinwehr Ave. I recently stopped in to have a coffee and pastry; my first visit. I’m not a big coffee drinker. Well, I drink it, but it’s mostly made up of cream and sugar and a slight bit of coffee. I was very happy with my selections. Eighty-Two also has artwork for sale by local artists.
While you’re on Steinwehr, you need to visit Cottage Creperie. Just down the street at 33 Steinwehr Ave., Cottage Creperie has taken up residence at the old Sunset Ice Cream Parlor location. You can still get some ice cream, but also incredible gourmet crepes made right in front of you using local, farm fresh ingredients.
As mentioned above, The Good Samaritan Lodge #336, on Lincoln Square has also
joined GARMA. The Lodge was first constituted in 1860 and had a couple different locations before settling in to their current space, the Funkhouser Building, in 1899. Before moving into their current location, The Lodge rented a “hall” from John Rupp of The Rupp House, now the Children of Gettysburg 1863 museum. See how things in this town connect?!
Connect with all of our GARMA members at www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com.
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA
A Little Something for Everyone
April Showers bring May Flowers. That’s the old saying and it certainly rings true in Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Garden Club has already beautified the circle and planters in each corner of the square with colorful tulips, and soon will be making Gettysburg even more beautiful with the hanging baskets throughout town.
Stores will be open in full bloom on May 6th for First Friday, Gettysburg Style. Have some Friday fun and stroll, shop, and support our local small businesses. Please know and understand, that not every GARMA business participates in First Friday. Participation is something that we let up to the individual businesses. We understand and know the hardships that our businesses are feeling with staffing, so it’s not always possible for everyone to stay open later. But remember, First Friday is all day. You can stroll and shop at any time of day.
Remember when you’re in town for First Friday that we have some wonderfully unique businesses located on Steinwehr Ave. Sometimes our businesses out there get lost in the flurry of downtown First Friday activities. There are so many great shops and eateries to stroll and shop in. GARMA members actually start just before Steinwehr with Reid’s Winery, Gettysburg Olive Oil Co., Body and Soul Silversmith, and the Children of Gettysburg 1863 museum on the tail end of Baltimore St. When you round the bend you are greeted by Rosie’s Collection, Regimental Quartermaster, Hunt’s Battlefield Fries, Dobbin House, Tommy’s Pizza, Gettysburg Eddies, Appalachian Brewing Company, and the Gettysburg Heritage Center. M’Lady’s Parlor is located in the Old Gettysburg Village, and right out in front of them is the Civil War Tails museum (in the old Homestead Orphanage). With all of these places you could spend your entire First Friday on one street!
More fun continues in May with our 55th Gettysburg Outdoor Antique and Arts Show held on May 21st from 7am-4pm. Since I took over organizing the show in June 2020, we’ve been very lucky with the most beautiful weather the day of the show (remember, the show is always the third Saturday in May and the fourth Saturday in September). I think I need to find the biggest tree I can and “knock on wood” for great weather again on the 21st.
While you’re out and about enjoying the town during the antique show, don’t forget about the Adams County Farmers Market that is held every Saturday in the old transit center parking lot off of Stratton St. Show your support of local farmers who will be selling fresh, seasonal produce and other goods. The market also has a variety of food and craft vendors. You may not know it, but some of our local restaurants buy their produce from some of the local farms that you will see at the market.
Please also welcome our new GARMA members Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center (thank you to all businesses in town who displayed their blue lights for the month of April in support of Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month), Kip & Idle Home: Re-Loved Furniture + Décor (22 Carlisle St.), and The Beveled Edge Marble & Granite (1540 Chambersburg Rd.).
For a complete list of GARMA members, and information on becoming a member, visit www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com.
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA
GARMA celebrates 50 years strong
This year is GARMA’s 50th anniversary. I’m only a year younger than GARMA (yes, I own my age and am not afraid to admit it). I think back about all the shops and restaurants that have come and gone and there are a lot of good memories I have of this town. So here’s my 50 years of memories, minus a year.
My first job was with the Gettysburg Travel Council when it was in the Lincoln Train Station at the railroad tracks on Carlisle St. I walked to work after school and would regularly stop at Hartzell’s Luncheonette to buy sticks of Jolly Rancher candy. It was the only place in town you could find them. Another favorite stop would be for a quick slice of pizza at Mamma Ventura when they were on the square.
My mom and I would stop at Ernie’s Texas Lunch for “2 with” to take home. We’d usually call the order in ahead of time because my mom knew their phone number by heart (the last four digits are the year she graduated high school). Our other spot to hit was Tommy’s Pizza, but back when it was at the railroad tracks on N. Washington St. I loved waiting for our food to come out because I could play the jukebox for a quarter.
Growing up my dad would always take me and my step-sisters to the movies at the Majestic Theater. Back then it was still only one large theater and we’d usually see something my dad wanted to see (more so then what we girls were interested in). We’d go to People’s Drug Store when it was on the square, in the David Wills House, and buy all kinds of candy and sodas so we didn’t pay the movie theater prices. Sorry Majestic for doing that.
At night one of the few places that would still be open past 9pm was Codori’s House of Gifts. As long as there were people walking the streets, Mr. Codori would keep the door open. Sometimes it would be 11pm and you could count on him being there. I always admired that about him.
If you haven’t been able to tell by most of my articles, I truly do love my town and can be very nostalgic. There’s so much history here aside from the battle. So many businesses that have come and gone, and some that have managed to stay and stand the tests of time. One business I’d like to celebrate that has stood the tests of time is Martin’s Family Shoes. I’ve been shopping at Martin’s since I was in high school. Over the years Martin’s has always been steadfast in carrying great brands and providing great customer service. Thank you Martin’s Family Shoes for being a 50 year GARMA member.
Please bear with me as I continue to reminisce about my olden days growing up in Gettysburg. And, help me celebrate the GARMA businesses that are mentioned in these articles. We’re really proud of our members and encourage you to support them and Gettysburg.
For a complete listing of members visit www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com.
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA and owner of Artworks on York St.
MINUTES of March 10 Meeting