A mile of smiles

By on July 10, 2019

Cuteness captured at baby parade

Barbara Miller Mandes was crowned as Queen of Candles at Lititz Springs Park on July 4, 1949.

The 1949 graduate of Lititz High School was back at Lititz Springs Park 70 years later, this time to crown the winners of the annual Baby Parade.

As the youngsters gathered for the Baby Parade, some as young as 6-months, Mandes admired their costumes and floats, all intended to depict American patriotism and Lititz Hometown Pride.

“I was very honored to be a judge for the Baby Parade,” said Mandes. “It was quite a surprise to be asked.”

A fan favorite, Olivia Hahn, daughter of Lititz Police Officer Jared Hahn. Photos by Laura Knowles.

It was a surprise back in 1949, when Mandes (then Barbara Lou Miller) wore a long pale gown and was selected from the court to reign as Queen of the Candles. She would have graduated in 1948, but contracted rheumatic fever in her senior year and had to recover before she could return to school.

“It was a wonderful experience. So long ago,” she said wistfully.

When it came to judging the young contestants, Mandes got right down to business with her co-judges Nancy Balmer and Lisa Gleason.

Just as the Baby Parade was about to start, it began to rain. Everyone took cover in the pavilion near the stage, and contestants lined up between the picnic tables. Fortunately, the rain stopped and the Baby Parade went on just a few minutes past schedule.

Mandes was a picture of composure as she announced the winners on stage, naming The Red Baron (Barrett) as First Place winner. Barrett Sheaffer was the baron, along with his cousins Adelyn and Grayson Thurber, who walked alongside his bright red vintage aircraft. Grayson carried a sign saying that he had flown all the way from Michigan to be in the Lititz parade. Adeline’s sign expressed her hopes to be Queen of the Candles in the future.

The Second Place winners were the Fishers of Lititz, with their float dedicated to the Great American Hometown BBQ. The float had hot dogs and burgers on the grill, a picnic table, root beer, Wilbur Buds, and even a swimming pool. Emma Fisher enjoyed the pool and even shared a few playful hand dips in the cool water with her fellow contestants.

Her older sister Leah Fisher helped with pull the float, with their parents Eric and Megan Fisher. Creativity is obviously in the genes. Last year the Fishers took home the prize for Best Theme with their Willy Wonka float.

Third Place winner was the youngest in the Baby Parade. Six-month-old Annette Crosetto was cheerfully perched on her float, a tribute to her parents’ favorite sweet hangout in Lititz, Dosie Dough. Tess and Jake Crosetto pulled a red wagon with a cut-out of Dosie Dough. Annette might have been happy to have a big stack of felt long johns in front of her. She might not be quire ready to dig into the real thing, but seemed quite content with her imitation stash of sweet treats.

Annie is Vera Goddard with her mom is Lisa Goddard (left) – who wore the same outfit as child made her mother, Mary Lee Gorman (right). 


Liam Goddard as Moon Walker.


The Glass Slipper float featured Jamesyn, left, and Waverly Schaich, right. Jamesyn is the older sister.


Patriotic Noelle Weaver with parents Jonathan and Mallory Weave.


Baby Parade #3 Winner Annette Crosetto, 6 months, with parents Tess and Jake Crosetto.


Barbara Miller Mandes, Queen of Candles 1949, judge for Baby Parade With judges Nancy Balmer and Lisa Gleason.


#1 Winnners Red Barons are Barrett Sheaffer with cousins Grayson and Adelyn Thurber.

For Vera Goddard, her adorable Annie costume was a bit of deja vu for her mother and grandmother. Back in 1983, Lisa Goddard wore the same outfit in the baby parade. She wore the same red dress with a white collar, the same curly red-haired wig, and carried the same stuffed Sandy dog. The dress was made by her mother, Vera’s grandmother Mary Lee Gorman.

Brother Liam Goddard also stepped back in time, to July 1969, when the first American stepped on the Moon. Liam was dressed in a white space suit, with a helmet and flag that he was ready to place on the Moon, marking the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing.

One-year-old Noelle Weaver was decked out in red-white-and-blue, with lots of sparkles. She kept her parents Jonathan and Mallory Weaver busy following the active toddler.

Sisters Jamesyn and Waverly Schaich came all the way from Colorado presumably in their magical Cinderella carriage. Their Glass Slipper tribute was pretty and lacy with Jameson riding inside the carriage and Waverly taking a more free-spirited approach.

It was Olivia Hahn’s debut at the Baby Parade, decked out in a wagon pulled by dad Jared Hahn, with red, white and blue balloons, sparklers, Lititz Springs swans, and wearing the cutest pair of star-shaped sunglasses.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the pages of the Record Express. She welcomes feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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