Gettysburg Reenactment 2024: Don’t Miss This Thrilling Event

One of the biggest and most well known events in my hometown is the annual Gettysburg Reenactment, which draws thousands of Civil War enthusiasts from across the country and even around the world.

In 2024, the 161st Battle of Gettysburg Civil War reenactment will be held at the Lady Farm just east of Gettysburg on July 6 and 7.

This guide, written by a local, will help you navigate this historic anniversary event, including what to expect, what to pack and where to stay and eat.

If you’re on the fence about going, hopefully this will help you make up your mind. Yes, it’s a long day and it will probably be hot, but I still attend every reenactment I can.

There is always something new to learn!

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A picture of the 150th Gettysburg reenactment showing horses and soldiers on a green field with cars and spectators in the background.
Cavalry battle during the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg reenactment.

Looking for a place to stay in Gettysburg? I recommend:
BUDGET: The Colton Hotel: No-frills hotel in the tourist district.
MID-RANGE: Country Inn and Suites: Outside town by outlet mall.
LUXURY: Hotel Gettysburg: Historic Hotel in the heart of downtown.

A Civil War soldier on a white horse carrying the American flag with other horses surrounding him.

Where Is The Gettysburg Reenactment In 2024?

The non-profit Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association (GBPA) hosts the Gettysburg Reenactment each year at the Daniel Lady Farm, just east of Gettysburg.

This Gettysburg Reenactment is always held on the weekend closest to the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, which occurred on July 1, 2 and 3 in 1863.

This year the Civil War Battle Reenactment will be held on July 6 and 7.

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The Gettysburg Handbook and Insider’s Travel Guide

Shows American flags waving in the breeze in front of Civil War tents set up in a field at the Daniel Lady Farm in Gettysburg during the Civil War reenactment event in 2022.
Flags wave in the breeze at the Gettysburg Reenactment in 2022.

Why Attend a Civil War Reenactment?

Speaking from experience, there is no better way to visualize or experience history than to see it unfold right before your eyes.

In addition to the actual Civil War battle reenactments, (which are narrated so that you understand what is happening on the field), these events also give you the opportunity to talk to the soldiers, and feature numerous presentations about the Civil War era.

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You can even go shopping at the sutler stands for Civil War era and modern goods!

Plan to spend the day because there are activities, talks and demonstrations that you won’t want to miss.

A Civil War cavalry battle reenactment in Gettysburg with soldiers in uniform on horseback and their sabers.

How Do I Prepare For A Gettysburg Reenactment?

You may first want to check the availability of hotel rooms before you purchase tickets. June and July are busy months, so hotels fill up fast.

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If by chance you can’t find a hotel room close by, there are also campgrounds near Gettysburg that offer RV hookups, cabins, cottages, and tent camping.

In addition to the actual battles, there is so much to learn by walking through the Civil War camps. You can talk to the soldiers about their weapons, how they cook, where they sleep, etc.

Both Gettysburg Reenactments will also have “sutlers” which are Civil War era stores that sell a variety of items from hand-sewn clothing and flags to old-time candy and reproduction weapons.

Civil War-era white tents are lined up in a row in a field under a blue sky at the Gettysburg reenactment.
Civil War tents are lined up in a field on the Daniel Lady Farm during the 2022 Gettysburg Reenactment.

The Daniel Lady Farm Gettysburg Reenactment

The annual Gettysburg reenactment is held at the 146-acre Daniel Lady Farm, which borders the Gettysburg National Military Park at Benner Hill.

This farm was the actual site of artillery placements and infantry preparations for the Confederate attack on Culp’s Hill during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

Check out this post on Gifts and Products Made In America.

The house and barn then became a field hospital, and you can still see the initials of soldiers carved in the wood of the barn and blood stains that remain on the floors in the house.

Shows the interior of the Daniel Lady Farm set up as a Civil War hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg reenactment in 2022.
The Daniel Lady Farm house is set up like a Civil War hospital, like it was during the Battle of Gettysburg.

The house and barn are open during the Civil War reenactment, which provides additional opportunities to take a step back in time.

This Gettysburg reenactment will have bleachers near the “battlefield” this year so spectators can sit during the battle reenactment.

Because this Gettysburg reenactment takes place near the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, you can expect crowds of people in Gettysburg, which can cause traffic slowdowns.

Men in Civil War soldier uniforms marching across a green field during the Gettysburg reenactment in 2023.
  • Battle Reenactments: (Of course!) They will have one major battle each of the two days corresponding with the days of the original battle
  • Cavalry Demonstrations: Learn about the uses and tactics of horse cavalry units.
  • Sharpshooter Demonstrations: See what it took to be considered a sharpshooter during the Civil War.
  • Domestic Demonstrations: Explore how civilians lived and how the battle impacted their daily life.
  • Living History: Learn about a variety of Civil War topics, including medicine, games, clothing and more.
  • Children’s Activities: Doll making and tea parties, period candy, period games.
  • Speakers Tent: Various topics throughout the day like Civil War spies, women in the Civil War, etc.
  • The Daniel Lady House Museums: Tour the house and barn set up like Civil War hospitals. (See the certified blood stains still on the floors). 

What Battles Will Be Reenacted In 2024?

The battles at the Gettysburg Reenactment in 2024 will be announced soon.

In addition to the watching the battles the public can visit the military camps and see how a soldier lived while moving from skirmish to skirmish. There will be a Living History Village with all kinds of displays and Living Historians who are happy to talk to visitors about everything from how families managed without their father or husband to early embalming methods.

Civil War soldiers firing muskets enveloped in a smoky haze under a blue sky in Gettysburg.

Handicapped Parking At The Gettysburg Reenactment

Special parking is available at the Lady Farm reenactment for the handicapped.

If that lot is full, a parking attendant can call for a golf cart to provide transportation to the gate.

Golf carts are also available to provide transportation to and from the bleachers. The first row of bleachers is for handicapped people who possess a bleacher ticket.

TICKET PRICES FOR ONE DAY:
Adult General Admission: $30
Adult General Admission with Bleacher Seat: $50
Child General Admission: $15
Child Admission with Bleacher Seat: $35

TICKET PRICE PACKAGE:
2 Day Adult Admission with Bleacher Seat: $90
2 Day Ault General Admission (no Bleacher): $50
2 Day Child Admission with Bleacher Seat: $65
2 Day Child General Admission: $25

Parking is free.

Pros of the Daniel Lady Farm Gettysburg Reenactment

  • Located on a historic site that was used as a staging area during the Civil War and a field hospital.
  • Organizers have experience running Civil War reenactments
  • Lots of extra programs and presentations, as well as house and barn tours
  • Proceeds go to the upkeep, maintenance and preservation of the Lady Farm.

Cons of the lady farm gettysburg reenactment

  • Book accommodations early
  • Gettysburg will be crowded on the anniversary weekend
  • Be prepared for traffic back-ups
Civil War artillery men stand by their cannons during a demonstration in Gettysburg.
A cannon demonstration at the Gettysburg Reenactment in 2022.
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Guns are shown stacked in front of tents, with reenactors in the background at the Daniel Lady Farm in Gettysburg.
Guns are stacked in front of tents at the Gettysburg reenactment in 2022.

What Happened At The Battle Of Gettysburg?

The Battle of Gettysburg pitched Major General George Meade’s Union Army of the Potomac against General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

The Battle was important because it stopped a Confederate invasion of the North. However it was not decisive enough to end the war.

If you’d like to get a good visual of what happened, you can watch the movie Gettysburg before your visit.

Short Synopsis of the Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg took place over three days (July 1, 2 and 3 in 1863). Interestingly, the Southern troops arrived from the North and the Union troops from the South.

On July 1: Confederate forces moved into Gettysburg from the west and the north, and drove Union forces back through the streets to Cemetery Hill. During the night, reinforcements arrived for both sides.

On July 2: Lee struck the Union left flank at the Round Tops, Devil’s Den, the Wheatfield and the Peach Orchard, and then attacked the Union right at Culp’s and East Cemetery Hills. The Federals retained Little Round Top and repulsed the attack on the right.

On July 3: The Confederate infantry was driven from Culp’s Hill in the morning. In the afternoon, after a preliminary artillery bombardment, Lee attacked the Union center. Pickett’s Charge momentarily pierced the Union line but was driven back with severe casualties.

On July 4: Lee began withdrawing toward Williamsport on the Potomac River. His train of wounded stretched more than 14 miles. (You might want to read about the only battle to take place in two states that happened during the retreat: The Battle of Monterey Pass)

A child Civil War reenactor draws in a tent to pass the time away during a reenactment in Gettysburg.
A child Civil War reenactor draws in a tent to pass the time away during a reenactment in Gettysburg.

How Do Civil war Reenactments Work?

If you’ve never attended a Civil War Reenactment before, you might not be sure how they work.

First, plan to arrive early because there is plenty to do on site! You don’t want to get stuck in traffic which is easy to do when trying to get to a Gettysburg reenactment.

Before you arrive, make sure you check the full battle reenactment schedule so you don’t miss something that you really want to see.

Civil War cavalry riders and horses ride by on a dirt road.
Cavalry riders head to the battlefield during a reenactment event.

Leave plenty of time to wander through the camps and talk to the soldiers. You will be amazed at how much you can learn from the reenactors themselves.

Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes based on weather conditions. The battle reenactment, soldiers’ camps and parking are all located in fields, so if it has rained before the event, nice shoes are not recommended to walk through the wet grass and mud.

A young boy plays the fife while three others play the drums. All are dressed in Civil War attire.
A group of young musicians play the fife and drums at the Gettysburg reenactment in 2022.

What To Take To The Gettysburg Reenactments

The temperature statistics can be a little deceiving if you are visiting Gettysburg, Pa., during the summer months—especially July. It is hot, humid and sticky.

Make sure you wear appropriate attire to the Gettysburg reenactment, like:

✅ Wear light-colored clothing and comfortable walking shoes.

✅ Don’t forget sun block, sunglasses, hats and water.

✅ Be aware of deer ticks if walking in high grass.

To reiterate above, wear comfortable walking shoes. The distance from the parking area, the battlefield and the different encampments can be quite far over uneven terrain.

Staying hydrated is another important element to having an enjoyable time at the Gettysburg reenactment. Water is sold on site, but it is a good idea to bring a Sports Water Bottle to help keep your water cold.

Splice also makes a convenient Collapsible Water Bottle if you want something convenient for packing.

I am also a big fan of Cooling Wrap Towels that you put around your neck. I’ve used them to go horseback riding in 90-degree weather and it really helps to keep you from overheating.

Lastly, you will do a lot of walking and will definitely appreciate having a chair to sit down on, especially during the actual battle reenactments. I found this Bottle-Sized Compact Chair that you can carry in your hand or stick in your purse.

Reenactment Information For People With Disabilities

The organizers of the Gettysburg reenactment provide special parking for those with disabilities. If that lot is full, a parking attendant can call for a golf cart to get spectators to the gate.

They also have golf carts to help move you to and from the bleachers. The first row of bleachers is preferential seating for the handicapped for those who purchase a bleacher ticket.

FAQs About The Battle of Gettysburg Reenactment 2024

When is the 161st anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg Civil War Reenactment?

The 161st anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg will be held at the Daniel Lady Farm on July 6 and 7.

Are Pets allowed at the 2024 gettysburg reenactment?

Pets are not allowed at the Gettysburg Reenactments and it is better to leave your furry friends home anyway. The gunfire is very loud, and the hot weather in Pennsylvania is not safe for pets.

Other Questions About the Gettysburg Reenactment

Can I bring a stroller?

Yes, you can bring a stroller, but keep in mind that the encampments and parking are in fields so it will not be easy to push.

Should I purchase my tickets in advance?

It is recommended that you purchase tickets in advance to avoid wait times upon entering the venue. Also, the price at the gate at the Lady Farm Reenactment is more than the online price.

Can I Tour The Gettysburg Battlefield?

Yes, you can tour the Gettysburg National Military Park Battlefield during your stay in Gettysburg. You can walk, ride bikes, rent a Segway, or drive your own car using a self-guided tour.

You can also get a good overview of the Battle of Gettysburg with a two-hour Bus Tour.

If you’re into ghost hunting and want to explore on your own, read about the most haunted places in Gettysburg.

Of course, if you want to go on a guided ghost tour, you can do that too.

If you’re interested in seeing what the civilians of Gettysburg went through during the battle, I highly recommend checking out Gettysburg’s newest museum Beyond The Battle.

Another museum that shows the hardships that the townspeople faced is the Jennie Wade House Museum. Jennie was the only civilian to be killed during the Battle of Gettysburg.

What Hotels Are Near The Gettysburg Reenactment?

There are a wide variety of hotels in Gettysburg, as well as a number of historic Bed and Breakfasts.

Gettysburg Hotel: Downtown Gettysburg; Walking distance to restaurants, pubs, museums and shopping. About four miles from both reenactments. Haunted

Super 8 by Wyndham: Budget hotel with great reviews. About three miles to Lady Farm reenactment. Less than six miles to Blackhorse Tavern reenactment.

Inn at Lincoln Square: Very highly rated historic inn located on Lincoln Square. Close to everything. Each floor has a bedroom (some with multiple beds) and full kitchen. About four miles from both reenactments.

Brafferton Inn: Highly rated downtown Colonial historic Bed and Breakfast. Terrace and garden area. About four miles to both reenactments.

Roundtop Campground 2-BR Cottages: Pool. Kitchen. Pet friendly. Located at a campground with lots of activities. About five miles to both reenactments.

There are also VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) listings where you might be able to find a good deal.

Check around if you’re looking for pet friendly hotels or you want to compare the best hotels with a pool.

FAQs About Civil War Reenactments

What Was The Largest Reenactment Of The Gettysburg Battle?

Two Civil War Reenactments in Gettysburg drew more than 10,000 reenactors. The 125th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1988 and the 135th in 1998.

What Is The Best Reenactment?

The best Civil War Reenactment is subjective, but the Gettysburg event always draws lots of reenactors which gives spectators a good show.

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What Restaurants Are Near The Reenactment?

There are food trucks at the reenactment if you want to grab a quick snack.

The Daniel Lady Farm is only a few miles east of downtown Gettysburg, where there are restaurants on every corner of Lincoln Square.

You can find fast food restaurants by jumping on Route 15 (less than a mile away) and heading north one exit to Route 30. Turn left at the light for Taco Bell, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Starbucks, and others.

There are a number of restaurants on Steinwehr Avenue as well as McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

If you don’t mind a short scenic drive of 8 miles, you can check out the restaurants in the small town of Fairfield.

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Wrap-Up of the 2024 Gettysburg Reenactment Events

Gettysburg has long been considered the best Civil War reenactment because of the number of living historians and Civil War reenactors it draws to take part.

Since this is the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Gettysburg Reenactment 2024 will also likely be the largest Civil War reenactment in the country.

In addition to the Civil War reenactments, you will also want to leave enough time to explore the museums in Gettysburg.

While you’re in Gettysburg, make sure you check out Gettysburg historic sites no one ever sees and if it’s just two of you, you can find plenty of romantic things to do in Gettysburg.

If you can’t make it to one of the Gettysburg reenactments in 2024, don’t worry. There are still plenty of things to do and see in Gettysburg. Check out the best time to visit Gettysburg Battlefield to find the perfect time to plan your visit.

Planning to visit other Civil War destinations? Pick up a copy of the Complete Civil War Road Trip Guide (More than 500 sites).

Book Your Trip To Gettysburg

10 Comments

  1. Thank you for all of this information. How long does each individual reinactment take? Wondering if I should bring a cushion for the bleachers.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Vickie — They are generally only 45 minutes to an hour, but you may be sitting longer if you go early to get a good seat. You have to weigh being comfortable with lugging your cushion around. It is a lot of walking if you visit the camps.:)

    1. Great question. I just heard back from the organizers of the reenactment at the Lady Farm. They do have special parking and if that lot is full a parking attendant can call for a golf cart to get you to the gate. There are golf carts to move you to and from the bleachers and the first row of bleachers is preferential handicap for those who have a bleacher ticket.

  2. I see that the reenactments are about 45 min long. How much time is between each reenactment? Or how many are done in a day?

    1. There is one major battle every day. For instance at the Lady Farm: Friday: Buford’s Stand – The First Shot; Saturday: Rolling Thunder – From the Wheatfield to the Valley of Death; and Sunday: Kemper’s Assault of Pickett’s Charge.

      There are artillery demonstrations, cavalry demonstrations, speakers and house tours, so no matter when you go, there should be something to see.

  3. Can’t til we get there on June 30th
    Wife and I will highly enjoy it…

  4. I am planning to attend the 161st anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg on July 6th and 7th, 2024. I am wondering if I will be permitted to bring along and enter the Daniel Lady Farm with my professional Canon EOS R6 mirrorless camera and large telephoto lens to capture the fighting between the Confederate and Union reenactment soldiers? Thanks!

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