The night sky lay heavy over the rolling hills of Gettysburg. In a tent among his fellows in the Union Army, Private Ron Angleberger woke from a restless sleep to the blaring of a cavalry horn and the earth-shaking rumble of hundreds of horses on the charge. He raced outside his tent with the other Civil War reenactors to discover that there were no horses present, and, in the eerie silence that followed the apparition, the regiments of actors realized they might have been privy to one of General Custer's July 3rd charges. This incident, along with a love for history and similar paranormal experiences on the many battlefields around Frederick, led Ron to form Candlelight Ghost Tours of Frederick.
Today, Ron's tours explore the bone-chilling histories of Frederick's most haunted abodes as he tells stories of their inhabitants both living and dead. Walking tours began in late March and end late in the year, depending on the weather.
Named after "The Star Spangled Banner" songwriter and Frederick County resident Francis Scott Key, the Frederick Keys have represented the Baltimore Orioles as their Class-A affiliate since 1989. In the decades since, they've claimed the Carolina League championship four times, most recently in 2011. During the seventh inning stretch, up to 5,400 fans rise inside Harry Grove Stadium for a rendition of "We're the Frederick Keys," a song that encourages fans to shake their car keys, house keys, or any Keys player that needs a stern pep talk.
Blank teapots, plates, mugs, and figurines line the shelves at I Made This!, awaiting finishing touches guided by the artful eyes of do-it-yourselfers. The studio carries all of the materials necessary to complete each piece, including paints, glazes, and a 1,800-degree kiln, where pieces of pottery, like really good barbecue or really bad pizza, requires about 20 hours to cook. A team of knowledgeable employees stays on hand to answer questions regarding the glazing and firing processes. The ideal activity for a range of ages and groups, painting pottery at I Made This! can enliven a sunny Saturday morning or a ladies' night out with a customer-provided bottle of wine, with the option of reserving a private party room.
When Dan and Alyce Weinberg purchased the Tivoli in the late 1950s, they imagined its ornate chandeliers and sweeping ceilings watching over concerts and performances that would keep the auditorium as full as it was in the theater's 1920s heyday. After a devastating flood in 1976 almost decimated the space, the Weinbergs and other community members restored the historic theater, which now flourishes as a home for live entertainment, films, and the performing arts.
Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats.
American Civil War Wax Museum, tucked in the historical and geographical shadow of the Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, immerses visitors in the history of the fledgling Union's internal war with realistic scenes and life-size wax figures dressed in historically accurate attire and equipment. Patrons embark on a self-guided journey through a number of detailed exhibits, such as the Battle Room, which simulates the battlefield experience with a digital audiovisual presentation, or the animatronic Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address, just as the first robot Lincoln did nearly 160 years ago. Across the way, Veteran's Park coaxes erstwhile museum-striders to soak in the historic surroundings on a bench or beneath a shade tree while relaxing among chirping birds. Since opening in 1962, the museum has broadened the historical knowledge of more than 8 million visitors and has hosted such notable orators as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.