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“Reenactment was great.”

Annual Gettysburg Reenactment
Bangor, Maine
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Reenactment was great.”
Reviewed July 19, 2013

People Gettysburg is NOT Disney.
I thought the battles where great, some thing where far away but i was expecting this since it was a live battle reenactment.
Parking issues where made worse by people who think there have more importing things to do the wait there turn.
Only 1 thing i would like to see is more events and space between battles.

Visited July 2013
2 Thank kzn1214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Audubon, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

The town of Gettysburg and the GAC did an amazing job this year. I've been coming to the reenactments... Every year for the past 7. This was known for years... That this year, being the 150th anniversary of the battle at Gettysburg, that this year would be a rare enormous event. Hotels booked out last year... And to put it in perspective... One event coordinator clocked 92,000 cars. Yes.. 92,000. There were FREE shuttles and buses that were encouraged to be used to prevent traffic jams.. they were taking people not only to the reenactments.. But through the park, the outlets, certain museums and more... So if you choose to drive, then you sat in traffic... especially to the reenactments. There was free water being handed out... But knowing how hot it was going to be.. You bring water, umbrellas, sun screen... things that are common sense...the people that were going to the reenactments were reminded by the GAC , the hotel staffs, and anyone you talked to living and working in Gettysburg... to prepare the event goers. If you didn't buy grandstand... Then, get there early for a front row seat... Even we showed up late and found a spot to see the reenactments and get great photos. There were over 9,000 reenactors... Over 100,000 visitors... And I must say.. It was a very successful week.. If you planned right... You enjoyed yourself. We did everything we wanted... from the reenactments to the in town museums and nightly drives through the park... We planned right... We bought grandstand seating for two days, the other two... We sat on the sidelines. And still enjoyed each reenactment. We drove one day, shuttled and busses the other 3 days... Yes, it was hot... But there's nothing anyone can do to change that... Not even the tents that they have set up. I have to commend the town of Gettysburg, the GAC and everyone that worked together for this awesome event... Kudos to the reenactors that came from 16 different countries... Every state... That pitched tents, slept on the farms they were reenacting on every day.... To make this a memorable experience.... When I read all the comments and the complaints... About hot, water, waiting in traffic... Can you imagine the soldiers 150 years ago... Walking state after state... Some without shoes... In wool uniforms... No food. No water, or very little... I can't. They did what they needed to do, to survive and keep going to fight for freedom. To fight for what they believed in.. Whether it be for the reasons of war, for their loyalty to their land, or the brave men that fought beside them. And the battles... Went on for hours and hours.. 1 hour of a reenactment is awesome... Some complain it was too long, but they'd complain if it was too short... So, my trip advisor rating is excellent across the board! Thank you everyone so much for the hard work to make a wonderful week in Gettysburg... keep up the good work... remember, . you can't please everyone... But out of 100,000 people... 15 bad reviews is still excellent! see you next year!!!

Taryn K.

Visited July 2013
9 Thank tkerper23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bryant Pond
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Sesquicentennial Reenactment”
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Come on guys! Although my experience for two days wasn't "wonderful" I appreciated the opportunity to be there. Yes it was hot and crowded--we all knew it would be. Yes they charged $3 for water, it wasn't provided for free as it was in Gettysburg, and yes, you could take your own. I was concerned for the re-enactors, human and equine because of the heat but was reassured by some re-enactors that all were well taken care of. My husband and I found the view from the upper bleachers better on Saturday, and sat at the lower bleachers on Sunday which was fine. We were advised to bring binoculars, which was good advice, because the battlefield was huge....which was to be expected. We came early both days (event opened 1/2 hour early each day) and had no problem parking. We had no issues with "rude" staff. We did have issues with:
1. We were told no backpacks, large bags or coolers would be allowed in--so we packed accordingly and were not happy to see others with those items allowed in. Would have loved to have had a cooler with drinks which some people brought in.
2. The activities tents were not nearly large enough. We missed out on some events would have liked to have seen but there weren't enough seats, and the activites were timed too close together and there wasn't enough time to get from one to the other---but it didn't matter anyway because there were no chairs. Some people just remained in their seats for hours just to keep out of the sun.
3. There were no people directing traffic out of the parking lot, which was a madhouse. Cars were pushing in front, cutting cars off, etc. It appeared to be an example of our society exhibiting one of it's worse behaviors.
All in all, we were glad we went, and appreciated the efforts of the re-enactors. I talked with a family of re-enactors from Northern California who had hauled a cannon ad caisson to the event.
It accomplished what we had hoped---to experience a piece of the heat and confusion that my ancestors endured at Gettysburg.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank mainelyvicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Authentic from a spectator's view”
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Yes, it's going to be hot and yes, it's going to be crowded. I went into the event knowing this, but also knowing that the 150th would be epic - which it was. So some recommendations for those going next year, since it will very probably be in the same place again (as it has been the last several years).
Go early. Arrive when the gates open at 8:30. We went right in, but soon after saw the line of cars waiting to get in growing. Plan to spend the whole day.
Plan for the heat. Dress coolly. Bring a sun umbrella and/or a hat for the sun. Wear LOTS of sunscreen and reapply it as you sweat it off. Bring a couple bottles of cold water with you but plan to buy more. The signs say no coolers or backpacks. I didn't see any coolers but saw plenty of small backpacks - just not the overnight camping/hiking the Appalachian trail types...
Things to bring: binoculars (to see the details of the action), sun umbrella & sunscreen (see above) and a seat cushion for the grandstand (metal seats can be both hard and hot after awhile).
Yes, you really need to plan to sit in the grandstands. The elevated view of the action will really help you to see the movements on the field. And no, you're not actually IN the action - rent the movie Gettysburg and watch it for that experience. What you ARE seeing is what a spectator from the 19th Century would have seen - movement of the forces on the field at a distance - and probably closer than they would have seen it. Unlike those spectators at First Bull Run/Manassas, you won't have to flee when the Confederate forces overpower the Federal positions. Remember, too, that some actions are easier to see than others, as the reenactors are trying to recreate a historic battle based on the terrain within the area, rather than where the grandstands are. On some battles, the south grandstand may have better viewing, but I thought the main grandstand was usually best. At any rate, definitely bring binoculars for the close-ups of what's occurring.
Food vendors are good and relatively inexpensive, but we needed a gluten-free option. Consequently, we went back to the car and ate out of the cooler for lunch - which had the added benefit of running the a/c and cooling off for about 45 minutes.
The bottleneck at the footbridge really should be fixed, but to avoid it just take time after the battles to explore the other exhibits on your side of the bridge while waiting for the crowds to disperse.
There were plenty of portapotties, and they were kept relatively clean. As I understand it, this was a massive improvement from previous years, so the GAC is working to improve the experience.
Yes, the reenactors get special treatment from the staff, but come on - they're the ones walking around in full wool uniforms in 90 degree heat!
Finally, the line of cars waiting to depart did take while (about 30 minutes), but we waited until after the last battle at 6 before leaving (again, plan for the whole day). Also, this wait was shorter than the wait I had to leave my community fireworks 2 days earlier (45 minutes), so I did not think it was excessive.
All in all, I thought the experience was authentic and worthwhile - where else can you see 10,000+ reenactors! I really enjoyed it and compare it to going to watch the fireworks on the national mall in DC - something that's special but that lots of other people want to see, and also not something I'd do every year but an experience I'm glad I did at least once.

Visited July 2013
4 Thank Wile-E-One
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“150th Gettysburg Reenactment”
Reviewed July 12, 2013

Most reviews seem a bit more scathing than I expected. There is no question that grandstand seating was much better than ground level. Umbrellas and standing photo takers was an issue. One review saying the battles took place "over a mile away from the grandstand" is a bit ridiculous. Scenarios certainly started from the wood line at times but artillery was posted right in front of the grandstand and the troops did a review after each battle. Unfortunately it was very hot and shade was an issue but I thought overall that the event was managed well. I was amazed at the quantity of port a potties on site so that there was never a line. To get the whole experience I would hope that visitors spent time in the town too. For the sheer number of participants and visitors they did a fine job. Yes water was $3 a bottle but it would have been $5 in Philadelphia or New York and there was plenty to be had!

Visited July 2013
2 Thank civilwarrior2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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