Reminiscing about antiques and ice cream
Recently, I had the honor of being nominated for, and receiving, the United Way of Adams County’s ‘With Heart in Hand’ Adult Volunteer Award. I’m not one to pat myself on the back or brag to others about something like this, so my reason for writing about it is one of nostalgia.
I didn’t celebrate. I didn’t go out to dinner before or after. In fact, my dinner after consisted of fast food from Rutters. But, when I was younger, elementary school to be exact, I did get to celebrate. After a school orchestra concert, or Eisenhower Elementary Fine Arts night, my grandpa would always take me for ice cream. We’d go to Serendipity, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor located at the Gettysburg Hotel.
Sadly, Serendipity was lost, along with other shops in the 1983 hotel fire.
I don’t know whether I was being celebrated, or if grandpa just wanted an excuse to satisfy his sweet tooth that would be justifiable to my grandmother. Either way, sitting there during the awards ceremony conjured up some cherished childhood memories. Grandpa and Serendipity are both gone, but always just a thought away in my mind.
May 20th is the 56th Annual GARMA sponsored Outdoor Antique Show. Yet, another memory comes to mind. ‘Boom box’ radios were quite the thing in the early 1980’s. People would hoist these monstrous music machines onto their shoulders and walk around blaring music that was usually not appreciated by all that were in earshot.
For my 10th birthday I received a smaller version of the boom box. I thought I was something and couldn’t wait to show off my present. My cousin and I walked around town on antique show Saturday, my mini boom box on my shoulder, blaring a Cindy Lauper tape. I remember seeing so many vendors while I was weaving in and out of the crowds of people on the sidewalks making my way to Hartzell’s Luncheonette so I could buy some candy.
I think back at the number of vendors then, and how they’ve diminished over the years. I’ve wanted so much to revitalize the antique show to its grandeur of old, and I really feel that as the caretaker of the show, I’ve failed to do so.
Times have changed since 1983. Vendors have passed, the perception of what qualifies as an antique has changed, streetscapes have changed, and competing shows have popped up over the years. Now, in 2023, that 1983 boom box would qualify as an antique, as do I.
Let’s not forget to make memories. Whether it’s getting together with family for ice cream after a special event or navigating the streets of town through an antique show in search of a Jolly Rancher Fire Stix. Take time to look around and treasure what you have and what is here because it won’t be here forever.
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA and proud lifetime Gettysburgian.
Have a hopping good time in Gettysburg
April 7th is First Friday in Gettysburg, and the Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants
Association (GARMA) has a ‘hopping’ good time planned for all. Our Easter Bunny will be waiting to greet you on the porch of the Gettysburg Hotel to prepare you for your walk along the Bunny Trail.
When you meet the bunny you’ll be given an egg (filled with candy or an instant prize), a bag to collect eggs, and a list of all participating businesses who will also be giving out filled eggs. There will be one egg given by the bunny containing a Grand Prize for an overnight stay for two at the Wyndham, complimentary breakfast, and tickets to the Gateway Movie Theater.
Now that’s something to hop up and down about.
The following weekend History Meets the Arts will be held at the Gettysburg Fire
Department Friday and Saturday, April 14-15. This annual historical arts show and sale, started in 1989, is presented by Lord Nelson’s Gallery. Admission is free.
If you’re craving more Gettysburg, I highly recommend a visit to Gettysburg Foundation’s new virtual reality experience, ‘Ticket to The Past’, housed in the historic Gettysburg Lincoln Train Station. My first foray into the working world was at the train station with the Gettysburg Travel Council, now Destination Gettysburg. I’ve seen the Lincoln Train Station go through many changes inside and out. The latest metamorphosis of the Train Station is by far the greatest.
From the moment I sat down and adjusted my ‘virtual viewer’, I knew that my journey back to Gettysburg in July 1863 was going to be educational and inspirational. I didn’t know how much of an integral role the Train Station played in our town’s history during and after the battle, outside of trains passing through and making stops for passengers.
If it’s laughter you’re looking for, then get your tickets now to see unscripted fun
provided by Gettysburg Community Theatre’s Improv Troupe on April 1st . You never know what’s going to happen, what’s going to be said, or who might be pulled from the audience to participate. As a member of the Improv Troupe, I can tell you that we never know what scenarios will be thrown at us by our crazy, creative leader, Karen Land. Sometimes we even crack ourselves up!
And if it’s great music you’re after, there are so many GARMA members that host great local musical acts. Check out websites and Facebook pages for Reid’s Winery and Cider House on Baltimore St., Ploughman Cider Taproom at 14 Lincoln Square, The Gettysburger on Carlisle St., and Garryowen Irish Pub on Chambersburg St. to see who is playing where.
There’s always fun to be had in Gettysburg. Sometimes it’s just right under your nose and you didn’t even know it.
Shop, eat, drink, laugh, and be entertained with our GARMA members. Visit
www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com for a complete listing of members.
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA and owner of Artworks on York St.
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.
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
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
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.
Fastnachts, Shenanigans and Shamrocks in the ‘burg
March is here, and spring will be sprung! Isn’t funny how we attach such monikers to certain months, days, events, people, etc? Spring actually starts March 20th. Whether it will feel like it or not is another story. Let’s hope for sunny skies and rain to make some rainbows!
March does hold some fun activities, regardless of the weather. Immediately starting out the month on March 1st, we celebrate Fat Tuesday. In Pennsylvania Dutch country, and other areas with large German populations, it’s commonly referred to as Fastnacht Day. So start your diet now so you can fill up on delicious fastnachts. Check with local churches and other organizations to see who will be making fastnachts for purchase.
March 4th is First Friday and GARMA wants you to have a Sham-Rockin’ good time. Join our participating member businesses that evening and find out what fortunes are in store for you. Everyone can let loose, be a Leprechaun, and participate in shenanigans even if you aren’t Irish.
If you’re up for some laughter on First Friday, the Gettysburg Community Theatre Adult Improv Troupe will be performing. If you’re familiar with the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway, then you know to expect the unexpected. Also, on March 18th, the Majestic Theater will host “HYPROV – Improv Under Hypnosis” with Colin Mochrie (of The Drew Carey Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway fame). March should be hilarious!
March also brings some of our shops and restaurants out of hibernation. The Gettysburg Heritage Center will reopen for the season on March 21st. For some of us old-timers, we still remember and refer to it as the Wax Museum, and that may have been the only time some of us were there. The Heritage Center is a must see for locals and tourists alike. Gone are the wax figures of old (and didn’t someone, at some point tell you that one of them was real and would jump out at you as you walked by, or was that just told to me as a little kid?). Now you can visit the museum and discover what life was like for the civilians living in the town before, during and after the 3 day battle.
For you foodies, March also brings the reopening of Hunt’s Battlefield Fries on Steinwehr Ave. I for one can’t wait to get a cheesesteak from this little gem of a restaurant. It wasn’t until the pandemic started that I decided to try some takeout from Hunt’s. Shame on me for not trying them sooner. I can only sum up the experience in one word – deliciousness.
In closing, I would also like to introduce you to some new GARMA members. Please take the time to visit these members and experience their wonderful shops and organizations. Welcome - Gettysburg Olive Oil Co., M’Lady’s Parlor, Gettysburg Pride, Civil War Tails, Oh Man, Food 101, and the Children of Gettysburg 1863 museum.
For a complete list of GARMA members, visit www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com.
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA and owner of Artworks, 30 York St.
Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association (GARMA) 2021 Year in Review
As we look back at 2021, the Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association feels fortunate to have had a great, progressive year. New board members were welcomed, a new committee was formed, and leadership changed hands.
In June 2021, Kathy Gilbert announced her resignation as President, and thankfully continuing to serve as a board member. July 1st, Vice President Jennie Dillon assumed the role of President and board member Michelle Lenzi was voted in as Vice President. New board members included Marci Cropp, Debbie Joyner, and Gary DeCroes.
Weather held out beautifully for GARMA’s 54th Outdoor Antique Shows held in May and September. Proceeds from the antique shows are used to purchase, replace, and maintain the Christmas decorations for Gettysburg. The weather also cooperated, except for being a little chilly, for the annual event which is always held the day after Thanksgiving.
Christmas in Gettysburg was made a little more joyful this year for our shoppers as GARMA decided to forego the tradition of the Holiday Shopping Spree which was limited to only one winner of $1000. To generate more fun and excitement this season, GARMA board members were all over town passing out gift certificates ranging from $5 to $20 to random shoppers. Much appreciation was expressed by the recipients and the merchants. $1000 was still given out all total with hopes to increase that amount in the coming year.
President Jennie Dillon continues to write engaging monthly articles for the Gettysburg Times promoting the member businesses and activities happening in the community. GARMA plans to continue building on our successes within the community in supporting businesses with events, social engagement and increased awareness of the amazing and unique businesses located in Gettysburg. Our ultimate goal is to create customer friendly events that will increase Gettysburg’s pedestrian traffic, sales and awareness for member businesses.
GARMA, always looking to have a prominent presence in our community and give back, collected donations the month of November for local veteran organization For The Love of A Veteran. Members collected food items, sundries, and cash donations to be given to this wonderful cause. GARMA is always looking to support and partner with non-profit organizations in our community.
One of GARMA’s ongoing efforts to drive business in Gettysburg is First Friday. As we reflected on this event, we recognized that changes needed to be made to keep this event relevant. A First Friday committee was formed of board members and some of the membership, meeting monthly to brainstorm new ideas. Our goal is to not only encourage our own community to shop, dine and stroll on that day, but to make First Friday a destination event bringing people here from all over the Central PA area.
We must acknowledge those who have helped GARMA continue to be a vital, relevant, membership based organization. GARMA does not have a paid staff, so we rely on our integral board members who volunteer their time to the betterment of this organization and community: Jennie Dillon, President (Artworks), Michelle Lenzi, Vice President (Lele B’s Boutique), Ruth Dunlap, Treasurer (Dunlap’s Restaurant), Kathy Gilbert (Gettysburg Day Spa), Marci Cropp (Rosie’s Collection), Marci Bievenour (Gettysburg Print & Frame), Gary DeCroes (Gettysburg Rental Center), David Kelly (Gettysburg Times), Marcia Wilson (Adams County Democratic Committee), Debbie Joyner (Gettysburg Foundation).
We also thank our membership. Without their continued trust and confidence in GARMA’s abilities, we would not be. Visit our website www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com for a complete list of members, activities and events. If you are a business interested in joining GARMA, an application and payment option are both on our website. We would love to have you on board.
2022 GARMA Members
Organization’s 50th year Anniversary
I don’t know why, but lately I’ve struggled each month with what I’m going to write for my article. However, this month is a little different because GARMA has big news to celebrate.
This year is our 50th anniversary! Started in 1972 as the Retail Merchants Association, GARMA (now known as the Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association) has grown in not only membership, but in our presence with what we do in our community.
Being born and raised here in Gettysburg, I become a little nostalgic when I look over the names of businesses that have come and gone as members. I remember where businesses used to be, and what is there now. I think about how much this town has grown and how diverse it has become. It’s refreshing to have such an eclectic array of shops, museums and restaurants that are locally owned and operated versus a town full of national chains. This is part of Gettysburg’s charm.
So what are we going to do for our anniversary year? For starters, our First Friday Committee is looking to do some fun quarterly events that will help make Gettysburg’s First Friday a destination event. February’s First Friday will be our traditional Chocolate Walk, but elevated. Prizes will be awarded to those who turn in their First Friday Chocolate Walk maps with the most shops and restaurants visited. More information will be available on our Facebook page and our website, www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com.
While going through the GARMA archives, we have found out that this will be the 60th anniversary of the Gettysburg Outdoor Antique Show. The show has actually been in operation since 1962 (if I am wrong, I do apologize, but I am reading from a letter included with the original constitution of the RMA in 1972 stating that “this will be the 10th year for the show”). Our biannual shows will be held Saturday, May 21 and Saturday, September 24. New for this year, we will be introducing arts and artists. As always, a vetting process will occur when accepting new dealers for our show. It’s time to grow and change things up a bit.
As I talk about great things for the anniversary year to come, I also want to talk about this past holiday season. This year, in lieu of the one-winner shopping spree we used to promote, GARMA handed out $1000 worth of gift certificates to random shoppers, within a 3 week time frame, to promote shopping in our member businesses. When I was walking through town handing out gift certificates, I felt such an enormous wealth of Christmas Spirit. I felt like the Grinch whose heart grew 3 times that day. The reception from the recipients ranged from “I can use this for my purchase now?!” to “I read about this in the paper and can’t believe I got picked”. I want to thank my team of Elves (Board Members) who volunteered their time to also give out gift certificates. The positive feedback from the shops and restaurants was tremendous. My hope is that next year we may be able exceed that $1000.
There are many other thanks to give, which are acknowledged on our website. Personally, I want to thank my GARMA team of Board Members whom I would be lost without. And from our Board Members, we want to thank our members for their continued support of this organization. It’s a choice to be a member, not an obligation. We thank them for continuously choosing GARMA. If you are interested in becoming a GARMA member, visit our website for details.
Thank you to Gettysburg. You came out in great support this year to shop local. You kept us going and we are ever so grateful to you all.
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA and owner of Artworks on York St.