Wednesday, March 23, 2011

2011 Calendar of Events

Explore and More in Blair County

The year 2011 marks the first year of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Throughout Blair County, as well as the entire country, special events and commemorations will be taking place to honor the sacrifices of the soldiers, civilians, and politicians who reforged America itself. In that time, numerous community organizations, history aficionados, and young people will be coming together to participate in this momentous a 150th anniversary of the Civil War. During that time, we ask for community input and ideas from people of all backgrounds as how best to remember the sacrifices of our ancestors a century and a half ago. Upcoming special events will include reenactments, Living History demonstrations, encampments, historical tours, lectures by prominent scholars, and special educational programs for area students and teachers. Please contact us with any questions or ideas so you and your family too can be a part of history!

Descendants of Civil War Veterans
Monthly Meetings, the fourth Wednesday of the month from February through November at the Bellwood-Antis Public Library. Speakers and special guests discuss a wide variety of topics dealing with the social, military, and political aspects of America's bloodiest war. Call ahead at the library to confirm dates, times, and speakers. (814) 742-8234.

April 16 - Victorian Faire Gala Fundraiser
Saturday, April 16 from 6:00 – 10:00 pm; Join in the fun at our Annual Gala Fundraiser. This year we are presenting a Victorian Faire at the Calvin House where you will enjoy delicious food, decadent desserts, a beer tasting (21 and over), music, games of chance, a silent auction, and more. RSVP. Nonmembers: $75.00 per person/$140.00 per couple. Members: $70.00 per person/$130.00 per couple. Corporate table (10): $650.00. RSVP by April 8th to 942-3916; 934-2956; or Please make checks payable to the Blair County Historical Society and mail to: BCHS, P.O. Box 1083, Altoona, PA 16603-1083

April 21 - Finding Your Ancestors Through Land and Estate Records in Blair County
Join Mary Ann Bennis, Registrar of Wills and Recorder of Deeds, Blair County Court House, at this special presentation at the Blair County Genealogical Society to discover and trace the personal stories of your ancestors in the area. Find where they came from, where they settled, and how they lived their lives. The program is free and open to the public.

April 30 - Mayfest in Huntingdon
Mayfest presents a living history with period-correct dancing, music, reenactors and demonstrators using music, games and dance. Local non-profit organizations offer children’s activities and educational fun along with food and craft vendors. You'll also want to visit our local Huntingdon businesses who will be offering interesting gift and clothing items along with food specials. Visitors are encouraged to wear a costume to join in the fun. Plan to spend the day—there is so much to see and do!

May 2 - Press Event and Tour of Blair County Civil War Sites
10 a.m. to noon at The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art
The Allegheny Mountains Convention and Visitors Bureau, in partnership with Allegheny Ridge Corporation, has very recently been extended an excellent opportunity by the PA Tourism Office to serve as hosts for a national media kick-off of the Appalachian Regional Commission's efforts in commemorating unique sites and experiences surrounding the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Several sites/experiences within Blair County have been chosen to be featured in an insert to appear in the spring issue of American Heritage Magazine; they include the story of the 1862 War Governors' Conference (held at the former Logan House), the Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark (and its affiliation with the Altoona Railroaders' Memorial Museum), Baker Mansion, and the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Landmark.

The historical and cultural tourism community of Altoona/Blair County views this as an excellent opportunity for outstanding exposure and potential for increased visitation and is extremely honored to be chosen as the site for this national media event! Call 1-800-842-5866 for more information.

May 29-30 - Memorial Day Parade and Cemetery Services
Join the Keystone Regiment and the Colonel Crowther Foundation in Tyrone, PA for Memorial Day Activities including a special tribute to the community's Civil War veterans.

June 11-12 - Meet the Confederate Generals
Old Bedford Village is pleased to welcome back a select group of living historians who portray famous Generals from the Civil War. The Generals and their Ladies will be living in the Village all weekend and will be offering audiences with the public to discuss all aspects of their interesting lives, as well as the Confederate history of the Civil War.

June 18-19 - Civil War Reenactment
Hundreds of reenactors from the Blue and Grey set up their camps at Old Bedford Village, bring their horses, cannon and give you an unrivaled opportunity to take a look at life in the 1860s during the civil war. Battles both days. (note: Village closes on Sunday at 4pm).

July 22-23 - Mountain Days
Experience Pennsylvania Heritage at Gallitzin State Park's Mountain Old Fashioned Mountain Days Festival which includes music, food, crafts, and history demonstrations by the 110th PA Infantry.

July 29-31 - Civil War Reenactment at Baker Mansion
Experience history with Union and Confederate soldiers as they encamp on the lawn of the great Baker Mansion across from Altoona's Mansion Park. Witness demonstrations and the firing of a Civil War cannon! Tours of the mansion and the Blair County Historical Society will also be offered along with period refreshments.

August 6-7 - Colonel Crowther Weekend
Join Union reenactors at Tyrone's Reservoir Park to witness firing demonstrations, encampments, and other exhibits relating to the life of Tyrone native Colonel James Crowther (killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863) and the 110th PA Infantry he led into combat.

August 27-28 - The Confederation of Union Generals Weekend
Shake hands with famous Generals from the Union at Old Bedford Village who shaped the outcome of the Civil War. With programs throughout the weekend, these living historians will guide you through the lives of the Generals they represent. Children's programs throughout the day.

September 24-25 - Harvest Fest at DelGrosso's Amusement Park
Take part in the colorful festivities including arts, crafts, ethnic foods, and living history and Civil War demonstrations amidst one of the best amusement parks in Pennsylvania!

November 13 - Blair County Historical Society Annual Dinner
Jared Frederick, a local historian and seasonal park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park, will make a presentation entitled Real to Reel: The Civil War in Cinema. Call the society via the link above to check availability.

More events to be listed soon! Please contact us if you wish to add an event to the list!

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