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Chambersfest Kicks Off, Marks 150th Anniversary of Town's Rebirth

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the burning and rebirth of Chambersburg during the Civil War.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersfest kicked off Thursday, marking the start of an entire month of activities throughout Chambersburg.

The festival was created in the 1980's to commemorate the burning and rebirth of the town during the Civil War. More than 400 buildings were destroyed.

But it’s not the destruction community members remember, it's the rebuilding of the town they are most proud of.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of that historic event, and at this year's Chambersfest, it is all about celebrating the community.

"It’s also about promoting the spirit and creating a vitality in the community. To make a community more livable, desirable,” said David Sciamanna, president of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce.

This year is also the tenth anniversary of the Heritage Center, which educates the public about Chambersburg’s history. Esther Wagner has been a volunteer there from the beginning.

"We have a lot of history [in Chambersburg], and [the Heritage Center] tells the people, you know, what really happened here,” said Wagner.

What started as a one-day event has turned into a month-long celebration, drawing in not only people but also businesses.

"It’s not just the Chamber, but there are a lot of partners involved in these events to really help promote and celebrate the quality of life in the community,” said Sciamanna.

CM Pig Out BBQ is just one of many businesses involved in Chambersfest.

"It's been very good to be involved in the Chambersfest, especially for the kick-off. And we've had a lot of support of a lot of the businesses in Chambersburg,” said Ginger Edmondson, owner of CM Pig Out BBQ.

The festival is expected to draw in thousands of people. The turnout is a sign that the community still remembers its history and the bravery of those who endured the burning of the town 150 years ago.

For a full list of Chambersfest events, click here.

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