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6,000 sign up for Antietam re-enactment

June 17, 1997

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

Organizers of the September re-enactment of the Battle of Antietam said Tuesday that 6,000 re-enactors have signed on and most hotel rooms in Washington County are booked for the event.

Dennis Frye, president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites Inc., which is producing the event, estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 re-enactors would participate, making it the largest re-enactment in the country this year.

If enough re-enactors participate, "battles" could be true to scale, he said.

"That's almost unheard of," he told the Washington County Commissioners.

The three-day event commemorating the Sept. 17, 1862, battle, will run from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14 at the Artz Farm on Rench Road between Sharpsburg Pike and Downsville Pike.

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Ninety percent of the 1,800 hotel rooms in the county, and many area campgrounds, are booked for the re-enactment, said Frye, who estimated 50,000 spectators will watch the event.

Tickets for adults are $12 for the three-day event or $9 for any one day.

"There is no question that this is going to put Hagerstown and Washington County on the map that particular weekend," Frye said.

If attendance is as large as expected, "We'll basically be running the second largest city in the county for three days," Washington County Planning Director Bob Arch said.

In conjunction with the event, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra will perform selections with Civil War themes at Municipal Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Organizers are coordinating efforts with organizers of other events being held the same weekend, including the Sharpsburg Heritage Festival.

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