Visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center during the extended Memorial Day weekend have the opportunity to see and learn about original weapons used in the Civil War, unique artifacts and period dance demonstrations. The Civil War Dance Foundation returns to the Museum & Visitor Center Saturday, May 29, 2021 with the Guns of Gettysburg and Monday, May 31, 2021, with artifact displays and dance performances.
Guests view artifacts displays, May 2019
Guns of Gettysburg
The Civil War Dance Foundation presents the Guns of Gettysburg display Saturday, May 29, in the Group Lobby from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The unique display includes:
- Pre-war weapons that were in the arsenals when the war began
- U.S. Rifle-Musket series
- Imported arms
- Some of the new breechloaders used for the first time in the war
- Handguns and edged weapons
While guest participation in handling the weapons has been removed from the program in accordance with current protocols, historians in period attire will explain to guests the weapons and technology of the war, including various breechloaders, the Maynard tape and pellet priming systems, and pinfire and rimfire cartridges. The historians will also tell the story of the role of women and children in manufacturing ammunition and about the hundreds who died in accidents doing the dangerous work.
Guns of Gettysburg event, May 2019
Victorian Dance Ensemble Artifacts & Dance Demonstrations
On Monday, May 31, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., the Civil War Dance Foundation features an exhibit display in the Group Lobby of civilian artifacts including dance cards, hand fans, Victorian jewelry, 19th century photographs and Grand Army of the Republic memorabilia. The Victorian Dance Ensemble, the performing troupe of the Civil War Dance Foundation, will perform demonstrations of common dances of the Civil War era. Dance demonstrations are performed throughout Memorial Day in the Group Lobby at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The exhibits and dance performances are free of charge to visitors with tickets for the Museum & Visitor Center attractions. The indoor event requires visitors and participants adhere to event-specific and on-going Museum & Visitor Center health and safety protocols. While visitors may view and learn during the dance performances, guest participation has been removed from the program in accordance with current protocols.
The Civil War Dance Foundation (CWDF) presents the weapons and artifacts display and dance demonstrations as part of its educational outreach programming. The special exhibit of the Keener-Farley Traveling Arms Collection is part of the CWDF's educational outreach programming.