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Adams County Bicentennial Flag
Adams County Bicentennial Flag flew at the County Courthouse throughout the Bicentennial year Photo: Bob McIlhenny

Adams County Bicentennial Celebration

A year-long celebration sponsored by the Adams County Bicentennial Committee, headquartered in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Adams County was founded on January 22, 1800, with the signature of the bill to create a new county and name it for the incumbent President of the United States. The Bicentennial celebration recognizes not just the founding of the county, but honors its people -- past and present, famous and not -- and their diversity of cultures and religions. Like the early European immigrants who settled here, the duty of today's county residents is to appreciate it, protect it, and pass it on to their children as a precious "family heirloom."

The county is now home to about 78,000 people and Gettysburg about 7,000. The quaint villages of Fairfield, New Oxford, East Berlin, Littlestown, Biglerville, Carroll Valley and others are pleasant sites to live and work. The County is one of the nation's premiere agricultural areas, producing some of the finest fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Second to agriculture, tourism is a mainstay of the local economy.

The anniversary year was jammed packed with events celebrating the Adams County Bicentennial, many reprised over the course of the year:

Brass Band Festival, Strawberry Ice Cream Social, and a Band Concert (June 1999); Battle of Gettysburg Re-enactment and a 5K run (July 1999); a 5K race, a town parade, and Littlestown Good Ole Days (August 1999); Bicentennial Parade, Colonial Day, Gettysburg-Adams County COC Bike Ride, Adams County Heritage Festival, Civil War Battle Re-enactment, Bicentennial Band Concert (September 1999); Apple Harvest Festival, Church Tour, Bicentennial Band Concert (October 1999); a Church Celebration, Birthday Ceremony, and Bicentennial Ball (January 2000); Bicentennial Band Concerts (February and March 2000); Adams County Guided Tour and Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council Tea and Open House (March 2000), Adams County Guided Tour (April and June 2000); a County Bike Ride (May 2000); 225th Anniversary Memorial Commemoration, honoring the County men who met and marched from Marsh Creek to join General Washington's forces near Boston to fight in the Revolution (June 2000); continental Harmony Music Festival, 5K run (July 2000); Lincoln Highway Road Rally (September 2000).

Included in the documentation are bumper stickers, pamphlets, an invitation to the Bicentennial Ball, printouts of the Adams County Bicentennial website; 32 color photographs with descriptions; a letter soliciting donations to the Adams Bicentennial Committee to fund its programs; a "Become an Official Sponsor" letter; a page on ideas for events to celebrate the Adams County Bicentennial; a printout of the Bicentennial Slide Show; newspaper clippings; two computer sound files of the Adams County Band playing the Washington Post March and the Battle Hymn of the Republic; an Adams County 200th Anniversary tabloid newspaper commemorative; a Bicentennial Calendar; an Adams County lapel pin; and a book, A Favorable Comparison, published by The Gettysburg Times newspaper in association with the Adams County Historical Society.

Originally submitted by: William F. Goodling, Representative (19th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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