Because the park is so large and requires driving it (or biking) to see all of the battlefields, it just isn't very crowded, even in the summer. People are spread out over thousands of acres. The only time it would be crowded is during the July 1, 2, 3rd battlefield reenactments. That is a huge celebration that I would love to see. I believe they put on demonstations every weekend during the summer. They aren't the big reenactments but they are interesting. Here is a really scaled-down video clip (no audio and it will start automatically) of them shooting their rifles. Click on picture for high speed connection.
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We took the bus tour again and happened to get the same Park Guide that we had last time. I believe his name was James Tudor, Jr.
I was really happy about that because he has to be the best. He makes it so interesting and you can tell he really loves telling the stories. Then we drove the whole park with the History Channel's Gettysburg Expedition Guide.(apprx.$30)
You put the CD in and follow the signs on the road that takes you to all the points of interests and the CD explains what happened at each place. The one we bought also has a DVD with interesting info on it.
There is a stark contrast between inside the park and just outside the park. Inside the park it is quiet and people spend most of the time reading the monuments and taking pictures and looking over the countryside visualizing what it must have been like back in 1863.
You feel a sense of sadness at such a loss of life. These were our own people, they each thought what they were fighting for was just. It wasn't just about slavery, it was also about states rights, issues that didn't get cleared up back during the forming of our country.
Outside the park is a mini-circus. General Pickett's Buffet ,
Rebel Yell and Yankee Hoorah flavored ice-cream.
See Jennie Wade's house,
the only civilian killed in the Battle of Gettysburg and so on. Last time I was a bit put off by such things as this was a site of a terrible and sad battle. But this time I actually enjoyed walking down Old Town Gettysburg and sampling the ice cream.
There is a big push to try and keep a Casino and Spa from being built near the base of Culp's Hill. Casinos are going up everywhere in this country but big-time gambling, and the problems it brings with it, so close to such an important battlefield I think is worth opposing. You can sign the petition against the casino by clicking here.