After Old Market Day is 1864: The Burning. Activities begin at 6PM with history exhibits, vendors, kids’ activities and the final round of a musical competition, A Cappella & Unplugged, followed by the reenactment of the Burning of Chambersburg with an exciting laser light show at dusk.
At 7PM, it’s the final round of A Cappella & Unplugged. Three finalists will compete for the title and a $500 top prize with unplugged or singing a cappella. The public and online voting will take place that evening.
As darkness approaches in the evening, the town of Chambersburg transforms into 1864. The town’s ransoming, burning and rebirth history comes to life during 1864: The Burning.
On July 30, 1864, Confederates demanded a ransom of $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in Yankee dollars or Chambersburg would be burned. The town was unable and unwilling to deliver the money, and the center of Chambersburg was fired. More than 2000 people were homeless and over 550 structures burned. Yet, the town returned, stronger than ever, and this is the basis of the annual celebration. It is a tribute to the strength of people and community. This event is filled with incredible light and atmospheric effects! As the Confederate soldiers arrive, stay alert, as they will attempt to collect ransom money from within the crowd. All money collected will be donated to Franklin County Habitat for Humanity.