The committee's first public meeting on Wed., Jan. 13th drew 22 representatives from different community organizations across the county. "We are in the initial planning phase right now," Farr said. "We're pulling together a master event schedule and historic sites, and we will continue to reach out to communities and neighboring counties as the plan comes together." Farr said the emphasis is currently on identifying existing historic locations and events to develop a county-wide historic calendar.
Co-chair Jack Giblin, Education Director of the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center (AHEC), led a brain-storming session which generated a series of creative ideas for cooperative community event planning. Committee members suggested everything from architecture and historic home tours to graveyards and Civil War themed menu dishes and recipes at local restaurants as part of the planning process. "AHEC will feature a series of Civil War-related events, exhibits and printed materials through the 2011-2015 sesquicentennial period," Giblin said. The center recently launched an online collection of thousands of digitized Civil War era photographs. "This is just the beginning of the U.S. Army's part of the sesquicentennial commemorative planning," he said.
A marketing communications strategy will follow once event planning across the county is in place. "Several sub-committees will be formed to focus on various aspects of the planning process," Farr said. "We're looking at March as a target date for county marketing planning to begin," Bob Philbin, steering committee member, National Civil War Museum Board member, and strategic marketing consultant, added.
The Cumberland Valley 150th Civil War Steering Committee will coordinate county activities over the 2011-2015 period as part of the Pennsylvania Civil War 150, a statewide partnership of major history organizations to serve as the Commonwealth's official planning committee for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War.
The Steering Committee meets on a regular basis. For more information call (888) 513-5130.
For further information visit Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau, www.visitcumberlandvalley.com/newsroom, PA Civil War 150, www.pacivilwar150.com or contact Shireen Farr, Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau, 401 E. Louther Street, Suite 209, Carlisle, PA 17013, (888) 513-5130.