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    Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination

  • Dates:
    December 3, 2016
  • Time:
    6:00 PM
  • Admission:
    Drive Through Free - Guided Tours $30
  • Location:
  • Address:
    5831 Dunker Church Road, Sharpsburg, MD 21782
  • Phone:
    (301) 432-5124

23,000 Candles - One for Each Soldier Killed, Wounded or Missing at the Battle of Antietam

On Saturday evening December 3, 2016, Antietam National Battlefield, in cooperation with the American Business Women's Association and the Washington County Convention and Visitors' Bureau, will host the Annual Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination in honor of those soldiers who fell during the Battle of Antietam.

The Illumination opens to the public at 6:00 p.m. The main entrance to the event is Richardson Avenue off Maryland Route 34. From Boonsboro, travel west on Route 34 and a line will form on the westbound shoulder for entrance to the Illumination. From Hagerstown or West Virginia, travel to Sharpsburg and head east on Maryland Route 34 and make an appropriate turnaround at some point to access the line on the westbound shoulder of Route 34.

The driving tour through the park is approximately 5 miles long. Vehicles are to use parking lights only, to the extent technology permits this, and continue through the event without stopping. Visitors are prohibited from walking the tour route. Event brochures will be distributed at the event entrance and contributions will also be accepted. If the event needs to be rescheduled due to weather, the following Saturday, December 10 is the make up date.

Go to a detailed .pdf map of the event.


  • Entrance to the park for this event is on Route 34.
  • Stopping or exiting vehicles along the route is not permitted.
  • The line of cars to enter can be up to two hours long.
  • There are no bathrooms along the route .
  • The visitor center closes at 3:00 p.m.
  • Be patient and prepared for a long wait. The line of cars to enter can be up to two hours long.
  • Visitors are prohibited from walking the tour route.
  • Note, the visitor center closes at 3 p.m. There are no bathrooms along the route.
  • Vehicles must use parking lights only and proceed without stopping.
  • The easiest way to attend is to take a guided tour. Antietam Tours/Road Runner Services offers Mini-Coach guided drive-throughs. Tickets sales begin in early November and are likely to sell out. Advance reservations/ticketing are required, call 301-573-1930.  The cost is $30 per person. Prior to departure for each bus trip, the Visitor Welcome Center will re-open from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 pm;  refreshments will be provided in the Visitor Welcome Center. The metered parking lot on Potomac Street will serve as the staging area for the coaches. The first trip will depart promptly at 6:00 p.m. and the second trip will depart promptly at 8:00 p.m