Will there be a Gettysburg Civil War reenactment in 2020?
That is the question people are asking since Sept. 3 when the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee announced it would not be hosting one for the first time in 25 years.
The following day, history buff and frequent reenactor Dustin Heisey announced that he would volunteer to organize the event.
But after political commentator Glenn Beck announced on Dec. 20 that he would host his Restoring the Covenant event in Gettysburg the same weekend as the reenactment, the task became too risky.
“Whatever people’s views are on Glenn Beck, I don’t care … what I do care about primarily is the safety of our reenactors, the safety of the people that are putting their trust in us to take the best care of them that we possibly can and, for us to be able to do that, staying as far away from a Glenn Beck circus is the right thing to do,” Heisey said in a Facebook Live video.
The Patriots of the Civil War Association, the organization started by Heisey, decided that they would instead postpone their reenactment for the following year.
“When we started talking about, hey, this Glenn Beck thing is a huge problem, if we invest thousands of dollars, we have investors that invest thousands of their dollars, it’s a huge risk when you start to factor in things like Glenn Beck and what happens politically and what follows him politically,” Heisey said in the live video.
Heisey mentioned in the video some determining factors including security, a tight time frame and trouble getting their nonprofit status.
Changing the date of the event was also not an option. Heisey said in a phone interview that the farm at 965 Pumping Station Road is already booked for the vintage baseball games for the next weekend.
Yet, Heisey said he is looking forward to having the extra time to focus on the details now that they have more time to work with.
“I want to create an immersive atmosphere,” so that it’s not just land to fight on but also structures, artillery and quality pyrotechnics, Heisey said.
“We are still committed to hosting a quality event in 2021, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and support,” Heisey said.
Another reenactment and the military park
For those who still want to dive into history this Independence Day, there is another organization that is hosting a Gettysburg Civil War Reenactment.
The Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association announced on Sept. 17 that it will hold a reenactment and has not expressed any intention of postponing because of Glenn Beck’s appearance.
Attempts to reach the association have been unsuccessful.
Their reenactment will be on July 4 and 5 at the Daniel Lady Farm, 888 Hanover St. in Gettysburg.
The Gettysburg National Military Park will also still hold its yearly services.
The park will have its free living history program, which is offered every year from April until October as well as its yearly events held from July 1 to 3, Acting Public Information Officer Jason Martz said in a September interview.
Timeline through Facebook posts:
Sept. 3: Gettysburg Anniversary Committee announces it will not be hosting a reenactment in 2020 on their Facebook page.
Sept. 4: Dustin Heisey announces on Gettysburg Past and Present Facebook page that he has volunteered to host the reenactment in 2020.
Sept. 17: Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association announces they will be hosting a reenactment on their Facebook page.
Dec. 20: Glenn Beck announces his Restoring the Covenant appearance in Gettysburg that same weekend on his Facebook page.
Dec. 28: Dustin Heisey announces on The 158th Battle of Gettysburg Re-enactment Facebook page that he will not be doing the reenactment but plans to organize one for July 2021.
Read or Share this story: https://www.eveningsun.com/story/news/2020/01/08/2020-gettysburg-reenactment-canceled-after-glenn-beck-event-scheduled/2823067001/