Each year, the Federal Government's Parks Service organizes 1,000 volunteers to place 23,000! luminaries on the battle field in memory of those who were killed or wounded on the bloodiest day in American history. The sight of the endless candles is very moving. You can drive through. This year, we opted to take a bus organized by Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministries. The reasonable charge includes dinner and a narrated drive. Overnight accommodations are also available. The evening was very well done. No having to drive or be concerned about the cars around us made the evening better. The date varies from year to year but I believe it is the first
Saturday in December, although the battle was in September. It probably would be helpful to tour the battlefield during the daylight before taking the tour if you have not already done so. And when you are in Sharpsburg, go to Nutter's for ice cream. TA wants to know who for, so I did Family with teens; note that the drive takes an hour or so because cars stop to take in the memorial, so it might not be appropriate for those who are used to a faster pace.
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