This Friday, the streets of Gettysburg will be transformed. Through the elaborate decorating efforts of community members, Lincoln Square will morph into a Latin city center in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Salsa on the Square will run from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. along the first block of Carlisle Street as Latin dancers, musicians and restaurants take over. Featured will be the music of Hector Rosado and his orchestra "A-che," who will play throughout the night.

At 8 p.m., things will kick up a notch with a performance by the dancers of Folklorico San Jose. Dressed in extravagant costumes and large flowing skirts, the dancers are always a crowd pleaser, said event organizer Karl Mattson.

And of course no fiesta would be complete without traditional Hispanic foods, which will be in ample supply at the event. A dozen local restaurants and caterers will be selling food, and Nicaraguan coffee will also be available for purchase. True to its name, Salsa on the Square will also offer a salsa-making demonstration so that everyone can take home this traditional dipping sauce.

At the center of the festivities will be a celebration of the Hispanic community in Adams County, the true theme of the night.

"The purpose of the event is to celebrate the many contributions of Latino people to Adams County," Mattson said.

Gettysburg Mayor William Troxell will make an appearance, presenting a special proclamation announcing Hispanic Heritage Day in Gettysburg.


For a town like Gettysburg, where 10 percent of the population is of Hispanic or Latino descent, this is an event that is always well received and attended, organizers said. Mattson estimates that between 800 and 1,000 people will partake in Salsa on the Square this year alone.

Several Hispanic-based organizations will be funding and organizing the event including the Adams County Fruit Growers Association, Rice Fruit Company, Knouse Foods, Young Grower Alliance, and the Center for Public Service at Gettysburg College.

Project Gettysburg-León will also play an active role, offering community painting workshops at the Adams County Arts Council. As part of the project, a delegation from León, Nicaragua, will be present, including artists Marlon Moreno and Maria Torres. The two have been working with students at Lincoln Elementary School in Gettysburg to paint a new school mural.

Although Salsa on the Square is held to honor Hispanic heritage, people of all backgrounds are welcome.

"The purpose of the event is also to relate to the local Gettysburg community," Mattson said.

If you go

WHERE: The first block of Carlisle Street, Gettysburg

WHEN: 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday

COST: Free.