The smell of black powder, the thundering of hooves, the boom of cannon fire and screams of Rebels - the annual Gettysburg re-enactment is sure to excite the senses.
But even if you stay home this year, there will likely be opportunities to watch about 2,000 re-enactors simulate fighting on a farm outside Gettysburg.
Dozens of film crews, ranging from TV channels to foreign filmmakers, have requested permission to record footage of the simulated fighting.
The crews are working to produce films and TV shows to be aired next year during the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, said re-enactment spokeswoman Andrea DiMartino.
"We were surprised because it's not something we've seen before," DiMartino said.
Crews are scheduled to arrive representing the Travel Channel, Smithsonian and the History Channel.
There are film crews also expected from a Dutch television channel, and Japanese filmmakers.
"They're coming from all over the world to get snippets to create their films for the 150th," DiMartino said. "Gettysburg has such an attraction because it's the high tide of the Civil War."
The annual Gettysburg re-enactment has been held for decades. And officials expect this year's event, held Friday, July 6 through Sunday, July 8, to attract about 2,000 re-enactors.
Five major battle scenes will be re-enacted and events will also include an artillery salute and demonstrations of live mortar fire. There will be living-history encampments where visitors can stroll amid the tents and watch as re-enactors polish their muskets and water their horses.
Ladies will wander amid the farm fields in bonnets and Victorian gowns, while sutlers offer everything from period kettle corn to glass-plate photographs.
In fact, the re-enactment was named one of the top 100 events to see in the U.S. by the American Bus Association.
Still, this year's re-enactment is expected to draw smaller crowds, as many people are waiting for the 150th anniversary commemoration next year, said DiMartino. But every Gettysburg re-enactment, she added, is a spectacle to be experienced.
"Gettysburg is and always will be the Mecca," she said. "It was the turning point of the Civil War and each year you have new people that are coming and getting excited about history."
Last year at the re-enactment, there were 1,500 re-enactors, 20,000 visitors,
22 cannons and 90 horses - all on a farm of about 300 acres southeast of Gettysburg, organizers estimated.
This year, the re-enactment will again be held on the Redding Farm, near Gettysburg on Table Rock Road.
- TIM PRUDENTE, for FlipSide
If you goCrews planning to film re-enactment:
WHEN: Friday, July 6 through Sunday, July 8
WHERE: Redding Farm on Table Rock Road, north of Gettysburg