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Old Market Day draws about 15,000 people

July 20, 1997

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Thousands turned out for a day of crafts, music, arts and food at Chambersburg's Old Market Day Saturday.

"It's pretty much an all-day family thing to do together," said Ellie May, 16, of Chambersburg. "You can see how it brings a lot of people together."

More than 30 music groups and other entertainers performed on four stages in and around the town's main square. Also, 250 vendors showed off everything from ostrich puppets to funnel cakes, cotton candy and Chinese food.

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Alyssa Singley, 2, was bopping along to the music along with her mother Marcella Reed and brother David Singley, 5, all of Chambersburg. David said he loved the spider puppets, while Marcella said she was more into the crafts.

Sara Dice did some early Christmas shopping, buying a pencil drawing of Garth Brooks. "It's nice to have something like this in downtown," said Dice, who said she normally shops elsewhere. "I drive through town, that's about it," she said.

Also, a Civil War encampment by about 45 reenactors showed off part of Chambersburg's history. Organizer Howard Edwards of Scotland, Pa., said Chambersburg should do more to promote its rich Civil War history, including the burning of the borough.

Edwards said reenacting gives people a new perspective into how life was in the Civil War.

The camp did deign to have one modern amenity. A specially wide handicapped-accessible portable toilet was brought in so women with hoops in their period dresses could fit in it, Edwards said.

Also, a Civil War band from Altoona, Pa., played authentic Civil War-era instruments and music.

Teresa Carbaugh, 41, said she liked looking at all the crafts. "It's like looking at a magazine but you can see it in person," she said. Gloria Souders, 39, snagged a wooden rocking chair for her 6-month-old grandson.

Barb Moran, event coordinator for the Downtown Merchants Council, estimated 15,000 people attended the event.

"By late afternoon, people are pretty well baked," she said. Moran said the day was exhausting but successful. "We do it for everybody else to have fun," she said.

"Not only did they get to go downtown and shop, they got a lot of entertainment as well," said Beth Luka, executive director of the Chambersburg Area Council for the Arts.

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