Ephrata CloisterLantern Tours - My Family Travels

People from around the world come to see just this event alone. Hundreds, even thousands of people travel the globe just to see the Ephrata Cloister, and many of them don’t even get to see this single, magnificent event!

This is most definitely an event you should see before you get old.

I was born and raised in Ephrata, PA, but I recently left for college in Pittsburgh, PA. In the time I have spent away from home I have come to realize how much I miss the Ephrata Cloister. It was the birthplace of my hometown and it is kept alive by the volunteers who work there.

One of the greatest events of the year is the Ephrata Cloister’s annual Lantern Tours. This event is, in essence, a large play that takes place on the grounds of t he historical site. Each year is a different theme. The event for 2009 was the time the mills burned down on the site. This was a big piece of the history, though it might not seem like it to most people. The mills were an essential part of life there. It helped the residents with daily chores such as making bread for their meals, and ink for the printing press they had.

The tours are interactive; in fact, the guests get to say lines some years. It all depends on how the script is done. The ambiance of the event is fantastic as well. The guests walk around the sight at night with lanterns, giving the feeling that they are really in the 1700’s, which is when the Ephrata Cloister was thriving.

 The actors and actresses who take part in this event are middle and high school students from the surrounding school districts; they call themselves the Student Historians. They put months of work into this one event, usually starting the memorizing in October. It is a lot of hard work for them, but it pays off and everyone has fun.

How do I know all of this information? I used to be a part of the Student Historians. I have also recently been on the other side. I now know just what it looks like when students put so much work into such a great event.

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