Candy and Fudge and Elephants… Oh My!

Candy, candy, candy… oh, wait, fudge too? And elephants? And an enchanted forest? Who knew an outing to Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium would be an adventure the whole family could love? In fact, that’s their main goal! I recently sat down with Nicole Bucher, co-owner of Mister Ed’s along with her husband Isaac, to get a little history!

It all started 50 years ago with a wedding gift from Mister Ed’s sister-in-law. It was a simple elephant and while he found it strange, she was quick to assure Mister Ed that it was meant for good luck. While on the honeymoon in Williamsburg, Virginia, his fascination with this pachyderm began to blossom and he purchased a few more. Before he knew it, the collection had grown to mammoth proportions, purchasing another everywhere he went. Miss Pat, Mister Ed’s wife, reached a limit when their home was overrun with the collection and told him he needed to find a place to keep his treasures. At the time, Mister Ed was working as a store manager at a Giant Foods in Virginia and thought it was the right time to become his own boss. After a few businesses including some restaurants, they decided a move to Pennsylvania was in order. It was 1975 when that they opened Mister Ed’s: The Territory’s Most Unusual General Store located just down the road from its current location. 9 years later, they moved the store to where it currently stands. While elephants had always been a part of the experience, they didn’t become the focus until the move. At that time, the combination of elephants and candy made for a truly unique destination, perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Over the years, the business has adapted to become what customers want, a wholesome environment for children to dream and explore.

Three years ago, Nicole and Isaac purchased the business of which they’d been a part for a decade. Since then, business has boomed. They’ve added a variety of items to the store, most notably, in my opinion, the truffle case. I can say from personal experience that these are by far the most delectable, mouth-watering truffles I’ve ever sampled and with the most unique varieties. With lots of liqueur flavors including amaretto and champagne, fruit flavors such as cherry and orange, the most popular flavor, hazelnut and a wide variety of white, milk and dark chocolate, it would be impossible not to find a flavor you love.

When you go in the shop, the elephants and sheer volume and variety of candy are admittedly the first thing you see, but their biggest seller is what’s kept behind the counter. That’s right… the fudge. With over 100 varieties, they produce between 1,000-2,000 pounds per week. That’s not a typo… per week! And the crazy part is that it’s all made on property. Cheryl, their fudge master and creator, uses two mechanized machines, which enable her to make 72 pounds of fudge per hour. The fudge is proudly sold all over Gettysburg and is made with only the finest ingredients. All of the cream comes from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia based dairy farms, making them one of the few Pennsylvania Preferred fudge manufacturers.

I asked Nicole what trends she’s seen over the last few years and while I expected the answer to be candy buffets, it’s not. The growing trend is a shift from candy buffets back to individually boxed favors. For this, they offer both fudge and truffles, which are, in most cases, more economical than creating a candy buffet from scratch. “The fudge and truffles have a bigger ‘wow’ factor,” remarked Nicole. “They’re more elegant.”

I asked what the best sellers are and “Fudge!” was the answer without hesitate. Specifically, peanut butter fudge. After that, Goetz caramel creams and root beer barrels come in second and third.

In regards to the most rewarding part of the job, it’s when they can make a personal connection with someone and help to bring joy to a family. “For us, it’s the warm fuzzy. We want to take people back to a time where you can have fun without technology and connect the generations.”

My favorite part of our conversation was a story she told me about how the community rallied behind them when the building burned down on July 5, 2010. They lost over 2,000 elephants, but they received tremendous support from our community and in one afternoon, they had over 100 volunteers gathered together, scrubbing fire damaged elephants with toothbrushes. The community also began donating elephants to help replace and rebuild the museum displays. Today, they have over 25,000 total.

And as if everything they offer weren’t enough, each year they host an enormous Easter egg hunt, summer music in the gazebo, a Great Pumpkin Party and Santa’s arrival. The events are always free and are always geared for children. Look for changes in the coming years to include both the addition of peanut brittle, Nicole’s specialty, as well as a new collection in Miss Pat’s Teapot Museum! I can’t wait to see what they’ll think of next!

Keep up to date with all things Mister Ed’s by following them on Facebook.

GARMA Gives the Gift of Christmas Cheer to Gettysburg This Year!

Gettysburg Christmas TreeThe Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association, known to our small town as GARMA, has undertaken a massive fundraising effort to replace Gettysburg’s worn out, but well-loved Christmas Tree.

The iconic tree has served us well, but we’re ready to deck the square, thanks to GARMA’s impressive efforts, with the new 26’ tree.  Join us on November 25th as we light up our town and introduce the tree to its new home.

Holiday music by roaming street carolers from the Totem Pole Playhouse will fill your ears, hot chocolate compliments of One Lincoln will warm your tummy, coffee from the Ragged Edge will waken your sprit, candy and cookies from Kilwin’s Chocolates and Dunlap’s Restaurant and Bakery will tempt your sweet tooth and the magic of the season will fill your heart as Santa’s shanty opens at 5pm.  Be sure to come early for his arrival by Victorian Carriage Company.  And don’t miss out on telling him your Christmas wishes because he’s only there until 8pm!

Interested in taking in a little history that night?  Visit the David Wills House, located at 8 Lincoln Square, for a tour of the house where Abraham Lincoln stayed when he gave the Gettysburg Address.  Sip on local cider provided for the entire family while your children make their very own Victorian Christmas Tree ornament.  On your tour by a National Park Service Ranger, you’ll learn about 19th century holiday traditions and the significance of the David Wills House to our town.  Admission has been reduced to $2 per adult and the tour is free to anyone under 18.

Many of the participating businesses with GARMA will be open late that night to help you celebrate Gettysburg style.  But with all the fun going on, don’t forget to be back outside in the square around 6pm to experience the grand illumination.

For more information on the evening’s festivities or to make a donation toward the final phases of enlarging next year’s tree, please visit www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com or check out GARMA’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MyGARMA/.

Community partners include Kennie’s Markets, Destination Gettysburg, The Ragged Edge Coffee House, Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association, Gettysburg Hotel, Kilwin’s Chocolates, Victorian Carriage Company and Dunlap’s Restaurant & Bakery.

2016 Gettysburg Christmas Tree

13th Annual Breakfast with Santa

Calling all children and those who are kids at heart!

Santa Claus is coming to town on December 3rd to meet all the nice little boys and girls in Gettysburg so he can check that you are on his flight plan for Christmas Eve!  Santa will be arriving at 7:00am with help from our special friends. 

Come early to experience the excitement of his arrival and stay for breakfast, starting at 7:30am.  Breakfast will include silver dollar pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, donuts, pastries and so much more!  And, included with your breakfast is a complimentary photo with Santa Claus himself and time to tell Santa your every Christmas wish.  In the week following the event, the photos will be emailed directly to your mom or dad’s inbox with permission to print and use the photo as necessary.  Also included is a gift from Gettysburg Dental Associates and a piece of fresh fruit, given to you by Santa’s pint sized helpers.

While you’re here, be sure to introduce yourself to Santa’s star reindeer, Rudolph, who is making the long trip from the North Pole to meet you!

Since Santa cares about all the little boys and girls of Adams County, all proceed from this event will be donated to the United Way of Adams County.  The United Way’s mission is to strengthen families by focusing their efforts on education, income and financial stability and health.

Admission to the event is $5 per person.  Kids under 3 eat free!  Pre-registration is not required.  Feel free to drop by anytime between 7:00am and 11:30 to take part in the fun.  We can’t wait to see you there!

16th Annual Adams County Arts Council’s Masquerade Ball

Calling All Superheroes (And Evil Villains) on October 21st!

colgan-hirsh-photoacac-round-logoThe Gettysburg Hotel is proud to host the 16th Annual Adams County Arts Council’s Masquerade Ball, sponsored by Danny Sebright and in partnership with the Gettysburg Community Theatre.  This year’s theme is “Comic Zone!!!”, so come in disguise as your favorite superhero, evil villain or comic book character.  Not the costuming type?  You’re still welcome to come in formal attire with a mask and show off you superhero style on the dance floor, rocking the night away to the music of the eight-piece Colgan-Hirsh Band with the Slammin’ Horns.

This year’s entertainment doesn’t stop there.  Check out the silent auction featuring artwork, culinary items, event tickets, jewelry and a whole lot more!  The Conga Line Costume Contest will be judged by Heather Entwistle Roberts and a team of local attorneys and the Editor of the Gettysburg Time, Alex Hayes, will act as Master of Ceremonies.  As an added bonus, get a sneak peek at the Gettysburg Community Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” when they steal the dance floor, led by Founding Executive/Artistic Director Chad-Alan Carr.

gagasDinner includes a delectable duet plate of pepper spiced shoulder tenderloin of beef with grilled salmon medallions, served with pesto au gratin potatoes and seasonal vegetable medley, prepared by our Award Winning Executive Chef, Joseph Holmes.  Dinner begins promptly at 7pm, followed by the party at 8pm.

  • Dinner & Party Option: $75 per person
  • Party Only with Reserved Seat:  $30 per person
  • Party Only without a Reserved Seat:  $20 per person

Tickets can be purchased at the Arts Education Center at 125 S. Washington St., Gettysburg, online at adamsarts.org, by calling 717.334.5006 or at the event for the party only.

The Adams County Arts Council would like to thank the following major sponsors:  Fresh Boutique, Grace Kelly Salon, L & H Services Group Inc. and Wellspan Gettysburg Hospital.

All proceeds from the Masquerade Ball will help the Adams County Arts Council achieve its mission of creating an arts-rich community and offering arts education programs at the Arts Council’s Arts Education Center.

 

 

Apples Abound in Gettysburg This Autumn

Gettysburg Apple Harvest

national apple harvest fest logo 2016The Annual National Apple Harvest Festival is right around the corner, which means it’s time for you to join us in Gettysburg and get your apple groove on! For the past 51 years, the festival has been offering us all the wonderful tastes, sights and sounds of the fall. With a wide variety of demonstrations, live entertainment, hay rides, craft vendors and of course, the amazing food, this is a day the entire family is sure to love.

The festival is located in the heart of apple country and takes place the first two full weekends of October every year. The National Apple Harvest Festiveal is conveniently located just 15 minutes from the Gettysburg Hotel! Come stay with us and prop up your feet after a fun-filled day with your friends.

Tickets for the Apple Harvest Festival can be purchased online at appleharvest.com.

ONE LINCOLN CIDER SPECIALS

And the apples don’t end there. Visit our signature Gettysburg restaurant & bar, One Lincoln, and try the Jack’s Hard Cider from Hauser Estate Winery or Big Hill Ciderworks Hard Cider, both locally brewed in the heart of apple country.

Hauser Estate Winery Logo     big hill ciderworks logo

Details If You Go:

October 1-2 and 8-9, 2016
8 am to 6 pm daily… rain or shine
615 Narrows Rd., Biglerville, PA 17307
General Admission: $10
Seniors 60+: $9
Military w/ ID: $9 (at gate)
Kids under 12: Free

  • 300+ Arts and Crafts Vendors
  • Antique and Classic Cars
  • Antique Cider Press
  • Antique Farm Equipment
  • Antique Gas Engines
  • Antique Shingle Mill
  • Apple Art
  • Apple Jellies
  • Apple Pancake Patio
  • Apple Syrup Making
  • Applesauce and Peeler
  • Candied Apples
  • Chainsaw Carving
  • Chicken Barbeque
  • Country Sausage & Ham
  • Free Live Entertainment
  • French Fried Sweet Potatoes
  • Gallery/Apple Memorabilia
  • Hay Rides
  • Kettle Korn
  • Kid Country Barn
  • Native American Dancers
  • Official Souveniers
  • Open Pit Beef
  • Penna Dutch Funnel Cakes
  • Petting Zoo
  • Photo Contest
  • Pie Baking Contest/Auction
  • Pie Eating
  • Pony Rides
  • Pork Barbeque
  • Puppet Shows
  • Ribeye Steak Sandwiches
  • Scarecrows R Us
  • Scrapple Making
  • Strolling Apple, Honey Bee, Worm & Johnny Appleseed Characters

 

The Gettysburg Story at the Majestic Theater

Filmmaker Jake Boritt used aerial drone cinematography, helicopter-mounted cameras, motion-control time lapse and 3D animated maps to bring the story of the Battle of Gettysburg to life in a way that has never been seen before.

Narrated by Stephen Lang (credits include Avatar, Gettysburg, Gods & Generals), this hour-long documentary gives viewers a perspective to the Gettysburg National Military Park that most have never before experienced to give context to the events surrounding those fateful days in 1863.

The Majestic Theater will offer two viewings (6:30pm and 8pm) of the Gettysburg Story on November 20, 2013 as part of the 150th Celebration.

Tickets are available for in-person purchase only at the Majestic Theater box office at at a cost of $7.50 per person.

For a taste of the documentary, I direct your attention to the trailer below:

The Gettysburg Story – Trailer #2 from Jake Boritt on Vimeo.

Gettysburg Weekend Roundup, November 8 – 10

The weekend is here! If you’re ready to kick off and enjoy yourself, I have the latest roundup of special events, art exhibitions, and more. As always, if you attend any of these events, drop me a note in the comments and let me know how it was.

Friday, November 8
Boy Scout Memorabilia at Civil War MuseumThrough December 31, visitors to the Museum Complex will get a chance to view some Boy Scout memorabilia on loan from Andrew Chernak, including uniforms and insignia over the lifetime of the organization and 50th and 75th Anniversary memorabilia from the Battle on loan from local collector David Loose. he museum is opening daily through the end of December, 9am – 5pm. Admission is $6.95 for adults and $3.95 for youth (6 – 17). Children aged five and under get free admission.

Vietnam Era Helicopters on Display
Three Vietnam Era helicopters are on display at the Outlets at Gettysburg through Saturday, November 9.

Eisenhower in Gettysburg Gettysburg’s claim to fame is not just the Civil War. Join us for a weekend focusing on President Eisenhower in Gettysburg.

Learn about Camp Colt and the World War I tank training camp that first brought Eisenhower to Gettysburg. Visit the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, tour the Eisenhower home, and ;earn about the world leaders who visited Ike on the farm in Gettysburg including Khrushchev and De Gaulle.

The seminar will be lead by Gerry Eak, Historian; Retired Judge, State of New Jersey; U.S Regular Army Veteran, Former Capt., Judge Advocate General’s Corps; Former Adjunct Assistant Professor, Ocean County College(NJ).

Tickets are $75.

Saturday, November 9
Eisenhower in Gettysburg Gettysburg’s claim to fame is not just the Civil War. Join us for a weekend focusing on President Eisenhower in Gettysburg.

Learn about Camp Colt and the World War I tank training camp that first brought Eisenhower to Gettysburg. Visit the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, tour the Eisenhower home, and ;earn about the world leaders who visited Ike on the farm in Gettysburg including Khrushchev and De Gaulle.

The seminar will be lead by Gerry Eak, Historian; Retired Judge, State of New Jersey; U.S Regular Army Veteran, Former Capt., Judge Advocate General’s Corps; Former Adjunct Assistant Professor, Ocean County College(NJ).

Tickets are $75.

Sunday, November 10
The Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum will present “The Civil War and America’s Culture of Death,” part of the museum’s new History Conversations Film Series (in partnership with WITF) at 1pm in the Valentine Hall Auditorium (next door to the museum). Suggested donation is $5, and advance tickets are here.

Save the Date for Breakfast with Santa at the Gettysburg Hotel

It’s a little more than a month away, but it’s never too early to save the date (and make your reservations) for Breakfast with Santa at the Gettysburg Hotel. This is an immensely popular and long-running event that benefits children’s programming at the United Way of Adams County for the past ten years.

You can expect a traditional breakfast spread for your morning with the Jolly Old Elf, including silver dollar pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, and assorted pastries. And if eating alongside Santa isn’t enough, all children will get to meet the big man himself and walk away with a complimentary photo to commemorate the occasion.

I know, it’s still a month away, but December will be here before you know it. Here are some photos from last year’s event to tide you over until then.

What You Need To Know

When: Saturday, December 7,from 7:30am – 11:30am.
Where: The Historic Gettysburg Hotel
Pricing: $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 3 – 10. Children under the age of 3: FREE
Note: All children must be accompanied by an adult.
For additional information, contact Megan Wherley at 717.338.5408 or email.

Salute Our Troops in Downtown Gettysburg for First Friday on November 1st

Join us as we salute our troops in downtown Gettysburg for First Friday on November 2nd from 4:00 pm -8:00 pm.

The Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association will be joining Goin’ Postal Gettysburg to send holiday boxes to our troops currently serving overseas. The Salute The Troops campaign kicks off tonight at First Friday and runs through November 14th. Empty boxes can be found at participating local merchants. When the boxes are filled, Goin’ Postal Gettysburg will ship them out. This should be in time for our soldiers to receive them over the holiday season. A list of suggested items can be found here (PDF download).

True Friends Boutique – 22 Baltimore Street
Bring a donation for the Troops Box and receive 20% off the sale of any single item in the shop (consignments excluded). All Thymes Frasier Fir will be 10% off during First Friday as well.

A&A Village Treasures – 53 Chambersburg Street
Offering 10% off your entire purchase on First Friday upon presentation of a First Friday flyer or ad. Delicious local wines and gourmet treats will be available for sampling.

Sweeet! – 100 Baltimore Street
All veterans and active military will receive a discount in recognition of their service. Get your holiday shopping done early with old-fashioned candy and class toys.

Jennie Wade House – 548 Baltimore Street
Enjoy samples of old-time root beer floats made with Turkey Hill ice cream and Old Gettysburg Root Beer. Donations accepted to support Keystone Wounded Warriors.

Adams County Winery – 25 Chambersburg Street
‘Spice’ up your evening with a glass of ACW’s mulled wines available for $5/glass. Drop off your “Salute the Troops” donations and enjoy the nature and landscape photography of Marcy Royce in her first Adams County Winery show.

While you’re out and about, stop by One Lincoln for featured appetizer and First Friday cocktail specials.
Happy Hour Cocktail Special: Blue Independent
1/2 Price Appetizer: Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

Gettysburg Named One of the Most Haunted Cities in America on The Today Show

Did you see? The Gettysburg Hotel (and our town of Gettysburg) was mentioned on the Today Show in a piece profiling some of the most haunted places in America. Gettysburg has long been popular among paranormal researchers and enthusiasts, owing in part to the lore that emerged from the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Gettysburg Ghost Tours operates year-round, rain or shine, but they’re particularly popular come Halloween-time. Don’t let a little wet weather keep you away, by the way. They always have umbrellas on hand.

If you missed the live video, I’ve embedded it into the post below. Enjoy!

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