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Day trips from Williamsburg to Gettysburg

By Patrick Farrell, The Baltimore Sun

4:20 PM EST, November 8, 2013

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Gettysburg, Pa.

Remembrance, Dedication days

Two tributes that take place each November at Gettysburg National Military Park have special significance this year. Dedication Day, held annually on Nov. 19, will mark the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, which President Abraham Lincoln delivered in 1863 at the dedication ceremony for Soldiers' National Cemetery. This year's event will include as keynote speaker the author and Civil War historian James McPherson. On Nov. 23, Remembrance Day will honor those who fought in the battle with a memorial service, parade and placement of luminary candles on the graves of each soldier.

Dedication Day begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19, with a wreath-laying at Soldiers' National Cemetery, followed by a formal ceremony. Remembrance Day events begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23. The grand illumination takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit gettysburgcivilwar150.com.

Philadelphia

'From Vienna to the New World'

Austrian Manfred Honeck, music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, will be making his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducting Dvorak's "From Vienna to the New World" — a symphony written during the Czech composer's three-year stay in America. The program will contain influences of American folk music, spirituals and landscapes.

Performances are Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 14-16, at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. For tickets, visit philorch.org

National Harbor

Christmas on the Potomac

Thanksgiving is still weeks away, but if you're already eagerly awaiting Christmas, check out Gaylord National Resort's fifth annual Christmas on the Potomac. Held in the hotel's glass atrium overlooking the Potomac, the event allows guests to experience an indoor snowfall while walking through elaborate Christmas scenes carved from ice by Chinese artisans. This year's theme for ICE! is 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The display will also offer bonus scenes of highlights of Christmas in New York. The resort will be all decked out in millions of twinkling lights and will feature two-story ice slides and a 60-foot suspended glass Christmas tree.

Christmas on the Potomac runs Friday, Nov. 15, to Jan. 5. Tickets prices vary. Hotel packages, includingickets to ICE!, start at $209 for two guests. For more information, go to christmasonthepotomac.com

Lorton, Va.

'Choose!'

Theater fans looking for something out of the ordinary can head to the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Va., this weekend for a staged reading of "Choose!!" — the newest work from playwright God's Boo. The staged reading offers fans the opportunity to see and hear the play before it reaches full production. After the performance, the playwright and producers will hold a Q&A session.

The reading is at the W-3 Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10. For details, go to workhousearts.org.

Williamsburg, Va.

Colonial Williamsburg

History buffs will delight in a trip to Colonial Williamsburg for the grand opening of James Anderson's Public Armoury. The new reconstruction — replicated from the original armory built in 1776 — is the town's first in four years, and will highlight the activities leading to the Revolutionary War. Watch as blacksmiths, tinsmiths, and bakers relive the days of preparation. Also on display will be the "First Oval Office," a tent used by George Washington during wartime. Colonial Williamsburg tailors re-created the tent in partnership with the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. For those wanting a longer stay,the Williamsburg Experience Package includes accommodations at the Williamsburg Woodlands, starting at $131 per night.

The Public Armoury grand opening is Saturday, Nov. 16. No tickets or reservations required. For additional information on the exhibit, visit colonialwilliamsburg.com