It was indeed a big event. We intended to be early and when we were in Latrobe, waiting at the stop light to get onto highway 30, we wondered what or why the heavy traffic. Sandy even suggested that perhaps they were also going to Ligonier for the festival. Sure enough, the highway was jammed to Ligonier with cars.
We parked and caught a shuttle bus to the center of town and near the fort. We were an hour early, but already the parade route was 4 or 5 deep. It was people everywhere! We found a place where we could be in the shade and felt we had a good view of the parade elements that would be passing bye.
We were not disappointed. The parade was about 2 hours long with several local bands, all dressed in uniforms that reflected the fountier days theme. There were a few neighboring fire companies and one fire company even included a 50 member marching corps. They also were nicely attired in great looking uniforms.
We bugged out of the parade viewing stand finally and went to the museum and fort so that we could see some of the relics of days going by. Ligonier claim to fame is that it was the post where George Washington rose to be recognized as a talented leader of men. As I recall from my early American History class, George Washington served in the British army on the frontier (the far west.) Ligonier was where he served.
On Sunday, we attended the church where Sandy's niece was being installed as one of the pastors. So were there in the morning, went out for a light sandwich at noon, visited most of the afternoon with Jane and her mother, attended the installation service in the late afternoon and then attended a dinner hosted by the church in Jane's honor. In short, it was a long day for us..
Today were were slow rising, and we took our time getting ready to leave the campground. we decided that we've had enough of driving the turning twisting Pennsylvania roads, so we headed west some to pick up an interstate toll road and the infamous Pennsylvania Turnpike. What a joy to drive the turnpike with its open space and long sweeping curves.
At the half way mark to Gettysburg, we left the turnpike and took Highway 30, which I expected to be an improved road. I missed. The highway was narrow, turning and twisting and very hilly. We were in 2nd gear going up and often 2nd gear going down the other side. It was slow going. Finally we got into more open country where the hills were more gentle, such that we could cruise in 5th or 6th gear.
We arrived at Gettysburg at 3 pm and found our desired campground with no problem. They had room for us, so we paid the fees, parked our rig and kind of collapsed, it was a tiring long day driving.
Tomorrow begins 3 days of intense touring here. We were hear about 30 years ago for one day. So while the basic battleground is unchanged, I'm sure the visitor center and supporting area has been altered to suit the wishes of the current tourist.