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Antique show tries new date, adds entertainment
By: MELISSA HUNNEFIELD Record Express Staff, Staff Writer
It’s a year of firsts for the Lititz Springs Park Antique Show. It’s the first year that Dale Dietrich has served as chair of the event. Additionally, it’s the first year in the show’s 46-year history that it won’t be held the Saturday before Labor Day.
The show will be held in Lititz Springs Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 25. The rain date will be Sept. 1
"The antique show committee felt it necessary to make some changes to the show because the show has been decreasing steadily in terms of dealer participation," explained Dietrich. "We asked some of the dealers why the downturn and one of the responses was that it was the same weekend as some other shows."
Millie Eby, who has been organizing the event for 23 years, expects 40-50 vendors on the day of the event. She’ll accept new exhibitors up until the show begins. The committee is going out of their way this year to woo new vendors and charm loyal returnees.
"We reduced their fee by 40 percent from $75 to $45. We increased their spaces by 60 square feet," said Dietrich. "We have some early morning amenities for them when they arrive. We are doing as much as possible to make them want to participate in our 46th annual show."
According to Eby, among the returning long-time exhibitors are crowd favorites Carolyn Kilgore’s linens and doilies, TJ’s Furniture and David Sharp, who recently took over his late mother’s glassware stand.
It’s been years since live music has entertained spectators at the antique show. However, this year the big band sounds of The Moonlighters will emanate from the Oehme Gazebo from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m on show day.
The Moonlighters, a Fourth of July entertainment staple in Lititz, are an 18-piece band comprised largely of Lititz residents. The group plays tunes from the great band leaders — Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Fats Waller and more. They also play tunes by recent pop artists like Lionel Richie and Billy Joel.
The event should also prove to be a big day for The Spring House, the park’s newly revamped concession stand.
"The brand new concession stand is a vast improvement over the old," Dietrich said. "A lot of money has gone toward improvements and menu. The public will be pleased."
Proceeds from the show benefit the continuing maintenance of Lititz Springs Park.
"The annual 4th of July celebration and annual antique shows," noted park historian Ron Reedy, "are the only fund raising efforts that keep the park thriving as a beautiful centerpiece to the town of Lititz."
"The Antique Show was originally known as a Flea Market. The Lititz Springs Park Board of Trustees held a chicken barbecue, to raise funds for park maintenance, for several years in the mid 1960s, but added a Flea Market in 1968 the Saturday before Labor Day," explained Reedy. "In 1970 it was changed to an Antique Show and continued with the chicken barbecue which lasted for many additional years."
Unlike many surrounding communities, Lititz does not host an annual fair each fall. Instead, the community holds a trio of cultural events.
"If you’ve been to the Lititz Art Show and the Lititz Rotary Craft Show, this is the trifecta," said Dietrich. "Like the others, there is no admission. Walk around and peruse all the various vendors, enjoy the beautiful park, stop and grab a bite to eat at the new concession stand, feed the ducks, and go home with something that your grandmother will recognize." More ANTIQUE SHOW, page A3