Pretzel Fest: fun for a good cause

By on April 26, 2017

Tickets still available for May 6 event

Lititz has been the birthplace of pretzel bakeries in America since Julius Sturgis rolled his first “bretzel” in 1861. At one time, Lititz was home to six pretzel bakeries. Even the sports teams were named after the salty snack.

On Saturday, May 6, the Kiwanis Club of the Lititz Area will host Pretzel Fest, a day celebrating the town’s famous twisted treat, downtown, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Key Club volunteer Paige Newman serves pretzel-themed treats outside Tomato Pie Café.

Key Club volunteer Paige Newman serves pretzel-themed treats outside Tomato Pie Café.

“The first Lititz Pretzel Fest was chaired by Alice Bracken, who owns Zum Anker Alley and was at the time, a new member of Kiwanis Club. Having been involved with Chocolate Walk for years, she and others started to talk about an event that would be like Chocolate Walk, but different,” said Karen Davis, current chair of the event. “Chocolate Walk raises substantial sums for children’s charities. Members of the club thought it would be fun to hold an event that would raise money for children and could also be enjoyed by children of all ages.” It turned out that ticket holders up to eighty-some enjoyed the games, too.

Many were disappointed that the fest didn’t take place in 2016.

“I just love everything about Pretzel Fest, so I knew I had to step up so that it could continue,” said Davis.

Those who purchase tickets will have access to 13 tasting stations and 11 Minute-To-Win-It games. Plenty of activities are planned for kids, including balloons, face painting, and a bounce house. Musical entertainment will be provided by Forgiven and Ragtime Willi.

“We have a bounce house for the first time, along with face painting and balloon creations. The bounce house will be professionally run,” Davis stressed. “ The tastings are always new from year to year. I hope ticket holders will vote for their favorite, because we will present a Chef’s Award for the winner.”

Are you up to the challenge?  Eleven Minute-To-Win-It games are part of the fun at Pretzel Fest.

Are you up to the challenge? Eleven Minute-To-Win-It games are part of the fun at Pretzel Fest.

Among the tasty pretzel-themed treats to be offered at downtown tasting stations will be: chocolate chip pretzel cookies, spicy cheese dip, strawberry pretzel dessert, inside out chocolate-covered pretzels, savory seasoned pretzels, and chocolate peanut butter buckeyes.

Wacky challenges await those brave enough to participate in the Minute-To-Win-It games.

“The intensity of the one-minute time limit makes the games even more fun,” said Davis. “Some people love the competition. However, a ticket holder only has to attempt each game to be entered in a drawing to win a basket of items and gift cards donated by Lititz retailers.”

The new games this year are Crazy Nuggets, a pretzelized version of Toss Across; Salt in the Top, a game involving stacked cups; and “I Spy with my Pretzel Eye. Two returning games are Salt Shaker, and Hartz Physical Therapy’s obstacle course.

“The games are fun for everyone, from toddlers to octogenarians. People laugh a lot!” Davis said. “ The variety of games and tastings makes the day even more interesting. We just wanted an event that everyone could enjoy, and at a very affordable price. It’s an amazing bargain.”

Tickets cost $10 for adults, and $5 for kids age 12 and under. They are sold at Aaron’s Books, Sturgis Pretzels, Lititz Library, McElroy Pharmacy, Zum Anker Alley Shoppes, and Wilbur Chocolate; as well as online at LititzPretzelFest.com.

Keep an eye on your samples.  Humans are the only critters who love pretzels.

Keep an eye on your samples. Humans are the only critters who love pretzels.

Playing in Harmony

Proceeds from Pretzel Fest will benefit Harmony Playground, an all-inclusive playground in Warwick Township’s Linear Park, with equipment that can be used by children with and without disabilities.

“We have raised $50,000 of the total $80,000 needed to complete Harmony Playground. Equipment is spread being installed,” said AMBUCS Vice-President Derek Hummer. “The bucket swing has been in since January and the largest piece, the sway fun, is currently being installed. The sway fun will accommodate two wheelchairs and four adults.

“Warwick Township was instrumental in assisting us with the installation and on-going maintenance of the equipment, and the AMBUCS were also instrumental in their backing of this special project,” said Melissa Landis, a member of the core committee of the Harmony Playground. “We have been overjoyed with the support of the community, businesses, service organizations, and churches.”

“Our goal is to have ‘Every Body’ play together,” said Hummer. “Every kid will love all equipment installed. Everyone will benefit from playing together. We hope that all equipment will be purchased and installed by the fall of 2017.”

Volunteers can still sign up to work at Pretzel Fest serving food, running games, setting up, and tearing down. Give Karen Davis a call at 575-5967 to see what tasks are still available for volunteers of all ages.

Melissa Hunnefield is a staff writer at the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments at 721-4452 or mhunnefield.eph@lnpnews.com. 

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