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Memorial Day in Boalsburg Brings a Full Weekend of Celebration and Remembrance

by on May 23, 2019 5:00 AM

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and as usual that means five days events in historic Boalsburg.

The village's ties to and role in the founding of the national day honoring those who lost their lives in service to the United States date back to 1864, in the midst of the Civil War when three women decorated the graves of soldiers buried in the Boalsburg cemetery.

That gesture by Emma Hunter, Sophie Keller and Elizabeth Myers was the start of a tradition, one which stakes Boalsburg's claim as the birthplace of Memorial Day. Though other towns lay claim to being the founding place of Memorial Day, there is no arguing the draw that Boalsburg's annual celebration has become.

The celebration kicks off Thursday night with the start of the Boalsburg Fire Company Carnival and continues through to Monday night, concluding with the 6 p.m. memorial service at the cemetery.

The carnival will be held on the carnival grounds behind the fire station at 113 E. Pine St., through Monday (see below for times), featuring midway rides and games and plenty of food stands. New this year, the carnival will feature live music, with Kristi Jean and Her Ne'er Do-Wells at 7 p.m. on Friday and David Zentner at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Saturday's events include the Memorial Day Parade, with line-up beginning at 3:30 p.m. and the parade starting at 5 p.m., rain or shine. The carnival will be open after the parade until 10 p.m.

Thursday through Saturday, Nittany Theatre at the Barn will be performing "Over the River and Through the Woods" at 7:30 p.m. 

On Saturday and Sunday, the Pennsylvania Military Museum hosts World War II Revisited: Living History Bivouac, with living historians encamped on the grounds, portraying field life in the European Theater of Operations in 1944 and 1945. A short history of the war begins at 12:45 p.m., immediately followed by a tactical demonstration against German opposition. The bivouac is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Boal Mansion Museum grounds also will host a Civil War encampment from 1:30-5 p.m. Frida through Saturday.

Memorial Day on Monday is A Day in Town, kicking off with the 39th Annual Boalsburg Memorial Day Run. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. and the 3.8 mile run or walk begins at 8:30 a.m. in Blue Spring Park, winding through the historic village.

Festivities take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with live music and entertainment, food, more than 130 vendors, the Boalsburg Garden Club Plant Sale, a children's carnival, blacksmithing demonstrations, and fruit pie contest.

Boal Mansion Museum also will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Civil War re-enactors, live music, food, arts and crafts vendors, historic demonstrations and tours of the armory and Columbus Chapel. 

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Military Museum grounds, the regional chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America will host its annual car show, with pre-war through modern classics on display throughout the grounds. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The day concludes with a walk to the cemetery from the Diamond at 5:45 p.m. and a memorial service at 6 p.m.

Directions and parking info 

SCHEDULE:

THURSDAY, MAY 23

- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pennsylvania Military Museum open 

- 1:30 to 5 p.m. Boal Mansion open 

- 6 to 10 p.m. Boalsburg Fire Company Carnival, Wrist Band Night - $15 unlimited rides.

- 7:30 p.m. Nittany Theatre at the Barn, "Over the River and Through the Woods"

FRIDAY, MAY 24

- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pennsylvania Military Museum Open 

- 1:30 to 5 p.m. Boal Mansion open with Civil War Encampment

- 6 to 10 p.m. Boalsburg Fire Company Carnival

- 7 to 9 p.m. – Live music at the carnival with Kristi Jean and Her Ne’er Do-Wells

- 7:30 p.m. Nittany Theatre at the Barn, "Over the River and Through the Woods"

SATURDAY, MAY 25

- 8 to 10 a.m. Pre-registration & T-shirt pickup for Memorial Day Run at Blue Spring Park

- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pennsylvania Military Museum open with WWII Revisited Living History Bivouac. Tactical Demonstration at 12:45 p.m. 

- 1:30 to 5 p.m. Boal Mansion open with Civil War Encampment

- 3:30 p.m. Parade line up begins

- 5 p.m.  Memorial Day Parade. [Route info]

- After the parade until 10 p.m. Boalsburg Fire Company Carnival

- 7 to 9 p.m. – Live music at the carnival with David Zentner, presented by Dailey’s Lawn Care

- 7:30 p.m. Nittany Theatre at the Barn, "Over the River and Through the Woods"

SUNDAY, MAY 26

- 8 to 10 a.m. Pre-registration & T-shirt pickup for Memorial Day Run at Blue Spring Park

- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pennsylvania Military Museum open with WWII Revisited Living History Bivouac. Tactical Demonstration at 12:45 p.m.

- 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Colonial Liturgy Service with Patriotic Hymns at Zion Lutheran Church, 105 Old Boalsburg Road

- 1:30 to 5 p.m. Boal Mansion open with Civil War Encampment

- 2 to 6 p.m. Boalsburg Fire Company Carnival, Wrist Band Night - $15 unlimited rides.

MONDAY, MAY 27, MEMORIAL DAY

A DAY IN TOWN
- 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. Registration for Memorial Day Run at Blue Spring Park

- 8:30 a.m. – 39th Annual Memorial Day Run

- 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Children’s Carnival, Side Lawn St. John’s Church United Church of Christ, 218 N. Church St.

- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Boalsburg Garden Club Plant Sale

- 10 to 11 a.m. – Celebrating over 150 Years of the Durner Organ by Ryan Ditmer, St. John’s United Church of Christ

- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Over 130 Vendors on Church & Main Streets

- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Boalsburg Fire Company Carnival

- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Blacksmithing demonstrations at the Blacksmith Shop (east side of the Township Building, 224 E. Main St.)

- 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Memorial Day Stage Entertainment

- 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. – SCAHS Jazz Band
- 11:30 a.m. to noon – St. Joe A ‘Capella
- Noon to 1 p.m. – Little German Band
- 12:30 p.m. – Maypole Dance, Central PA Dance Workshop
- 1 to 1:30 p.m. – Left of Centre
- 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. – Screaming Ducks
- 2:30 to 3 p.m. – Cale Keller, Nashville Recording Artist
- 3 to 4 p.m. – Pure Cane Sugar

- 11 a.m. – Judging begins for Cramer Landscaping Fruit Pie Contest

- Noon to 4 p.m. Heritage Museum, 304 E. Main St., open for tours, Soup and Bread Sale

- 1 to 2 p.m. – Essay Contest winner announced

- 2 to 4 p.m. – Dan & Galla Musical Show at the Heritage Museum, 304 E. Main St.

- 5:45 p.m. – Walk to the Cemetery

- 6 p.m. – Cemetery Ceremony (emceed by Jeff Brown)

BOAL MANSION (Grounds Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- Civil War re-enactors, including a medical surgeon
- Food, art and craft vendors and
- Historic demonstrations
- Armory & Chapel tours on the hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Fee)
- Medieval knight combat
- Vintage carriages and bicycles
- 19th Century ice cream making
- Live Music

- 10:30 a.m. – Bellefonte Municipal Band
- Noon – Chris Kent
- 1:15 p.m. – JT Thompson
- 2:30 p.m. – OverheaD


PENNSYLVANIA MILITARY MUSEUM
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. AACA Car Show
- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. PA Military Museum Open

NITTANY THEATRE AT THE BARN
- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tours of Nittany Theatre at the Barn, Boal Estate Drive

Bagpiper Tracey Moriarty walks ahead of the ladies of Battery B in the procession to the 2018 Boalsburg Memorial Day service. Photo by Geoff Rushton/StateCollege.com 



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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