Sep 25



American flags were planted in the front “yard” of the new visitor center. Attached to each flag was a card. One side talks about the grand opening and the other side holds the name of a donor. This view was taken from the west facing east at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.

The Grand Opening Weekend for the new National Park Service Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park begins tomorrow. Preparations are underway for the celebration, including a donor party tonight for those who contributed $25,000 or more. Tents and stages were erected, flags were planted, candles and flowers displayed, and tables were set. If you thought there was extra room in the visitor center, it was all used tonight.



If you approached the Visitor Center late this afternoon, everything seemed pretty normal. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



Then the field of flags appears on your right. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



Here’s an example of what is written on the other side of the donor card. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The flags stopped at the main entrance sign. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The field of flags stretches to the woods to the southeast. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



When you first enter, you will see the table decorations. They included flowers… This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



… and candles. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The flagpoles near parking lot #1 are seen through this candle holder. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



Soon to be unveiled on the right side of the front lobby will be computer screens where donors may look up their names. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The Grand Opening Sign near the ceiling is hidden until the party. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The soft drinks are stacked near the artillery pieces. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



By the way, the prices for the movie/cyclorama presentation were reduced to $7.50 today. Hmmmmm. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The equipment for the bands began to arrive. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



And tent was placed over the picnic area outside the the restaurant. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



Tents and tables now cover the lawn to the west of the visitor center. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The restaurant was transformed into a reception area and stages for musical groups. This view was taken from the north facing south at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



This stage is in front of the ordering area. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



Here’s the equipment, and notice the stage lights above the window where the wall meets the ceiling. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The Foundation’s custodial crew was dressed in their best and they prepared the area for tonight’s festivities. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



Nametags were placed on the tables outside the entrance to the Ford Education Center (Fords Theater?). This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The the main lobby where tickets are sold was quickly transformed into a large dining area. Here Gettysburg Foundation employees who had been selling tickets earlier in the day are quickly putting up tables. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The caterers quickly began to set the tables. This view was taken from the west facing east at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



The front lobby was soon filled with these long tables. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



But if you’re going to feed all these people, they need entertainment. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



So a stage was set up between the National Park Service Information Desk and the Gettysburg Foundation Ticket Counter. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.



By this time, National Park Service Ranger Chuck Teague didn’t have to worry about giving visitors information as the stage was constructed in front of his information desk. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, September 25, 2008.


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