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From the Desk of County Commissioner
Marty Qually

(5/2017) Spring is here! With the Spring comes a cornucopia of events in Adams County. I thought this column would be a great place to showcase some of the wonders we find in our own community. From musical events to plays, community fundraisers to business sponsored entertainment, every weekend in May has something happening that shouldnít be missed. Many of these events may seem to simply be fun or entertaining, but in truth they represent subtle signs of an improving economic environment in our County. When someone attends a concert, play, or fundraiser, they donít just spend money on the event, they eat at local restaurants or visit local shops. Just as May is when we start seeing the beauty around us come into bloom, so too do we notice the beauty of our community start to blossom. In looking at my calendar and with a little help from the Destination Gettysburg website, I came up with a small sampling of fun community events for the Month of May.

May 5th First Fridays in Gettysburg - Years ago the Gettysburg Area Merchants Association (GARMA) began celebrating every first Friday of the month as a way to encourage tourists and locals to frequent downtown Gettysburg. First Friday celebrations began in the late 80ís as a way to refocus consumer energy back into downtowns. In Gettysburg it has evolved into a tradition where merchants offer special discounts, bring live music into their stores or onto the sidewalks, and art galleries invite customers to meet the artists. If not in May, take the time to attend First Fridayís in Gettysburg sometime this year. You will not be disappointed. Check out the GARMA website for more information, www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com/first-friday.html.

May 13th Adams County SPCA Loyalty Walk - This month is National Volunteer month and I can think of no better way to celebrate it than by joining a great group of volunteers raise money to help abused and neglected animals. The Adams County SPCA sponsors this annual event held at the Gettysburg Middle School on May 13th beginning at 8:30 a.m. Check out their website for more details. www.adamscountyspca.org. This year the walk is bitter sweet for Elizabeth and I, as our 11 Ĺ year old Great Dane recently passed away. Dolly was a rescue dog, who had been abandoned at a young age. When Dolly was rescued she was so skinny that the veterinarians couldnít even tell her gender. Elizabeth and I gave her a loving home and, while she has been a part of my life for only 5 years, I miss her every day. Every day the staff and volunteers at the SPCA see this story repeated over and over. Take the time to support this cause and show people that for every idiot willing to abuse and neglect an animal, Adams County has two residents willing to give them a good home.

May 14th Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra - When some of us think classical music, we think classic rock. My wife likes both classic rock and classical music. I am not nearly as cultured as my wife, but when she asks me to attend a Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra event, I am more than happy to go. On May 14th at 4:00 we will be attending a concert at the Gettysburg Seminary chapel. My advice to anyone not familiar with the Lutheran Theological Seminary campus is that you make an afternoon trip of it. Prior to the concert, take time to visit the Seminary Ridge museum, especially now before tourist season really begins. After the concert take some time on the campus walking trail. For more information about the concert series check out www.gettysburgchamberorchestra.com.

May 18th to 21st Bluegrass Festival - Rich and Cyndie Winkelmann have done a great job transforming Granite Hill campground into so much more than just a campground. When I was a child, my family often camped on vacations. With seven kids, camping was the most cost effective way for my parents to take a vacation. While we spent money on vacation, camping does not have nearly the economic impact of hotels or theme parks. This is why the Bluegrass Festival is so great. The Winklemannís have both added more value to their business and to the economy of businesses around them. Not all of the attendees want to camp out for the weekend, so there is overflow into local hotels. Not all of the attendees want to have hotdogs and símores for dinner, so there is overflow into local restaurants. Maybe this is the first time some of their guests have visited Gettysburg and their second trip will not be for bluegrass, but for our rich heritage.

May 26th to 28th Driving Mrs. Daisy at the Totempole Playhouse - Last but not least is a great stage hiding on the edge of our County nestled in Michaux forest near Caledonia State Park. I have to admit (for full transparency), like many locals, I have never been to a play at the Totempole Playhouse. I recently went to a play at the Gettysburg Community Theatre in Gettysburg and was very impressed. It changed my preconceived notions about community theatre. It had the added bonus that with our community being as small as it is, I get to bump into local actors at the grocery store and tell them what a great job they did. I have heard only good things about the Totempole and itís about time I pay them a visit. Check out what they have to offer year round at www.totempoleplayhouse.org.

My point in all of this, is twofold. First, we need to take the time to experience the community around us. Second, it is important to not see each of these events as separate dates and times on a calendar, but instead view them as ongoing linkages between our tourism economy and our community. I only listed a few events in May, there are so many more. With each event listed above there are local businesses that depend on local support. We cannot assume that visitors alone supply all of the income for these businesses. We have our part to play in supporting local events. The great part is that in so doing, we also help to build our community. We live in a great place, take the time to enjoy our community.

As always if you have any concerns about County government or issues facing your community, feel free to give me a call at 717-339-6514 or email me at martyqually@gmail.com.

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