Chillin’ on 2nd Friday

By on March 13, 2013

By: JANET SCOUTEN Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

America’s Coolest Small Town was just a tiny bit chilly last Friday evening, making it the perfect backdrop for Lititz’s last 2nd Friday celebration before spring officially arrives. This celebration of local shops, restaurants and galleries helped Lititz live up to its recently bestowed title by featuring a musical flash mob, life-sized Girl Scout cookies, some kangaroo stew, an Amish mystery, and more.

Outside of the Teddy Bear Emporium, Girl Scouts from Junior Troop 264 were dressed in homemade costumes as they enthusiastically peddled America’s favorite cookies to passersby who bought a box (or 10) of varieties like Do-Si-Dos, Thin Mints, and Samoas.

Troop Leader Chris Runkle explained that the new owner of the toy store, Eleanor McKee, was already proving to be a great friend to the troop, much like former owner Pixie Beck. Not only did McKee offer the girls a choice spot for selling cookies, but she also helped girls from the troop to earn their "Cookie CEO Badge" when she invited them to attend a lecture in her shop about how to become a small business owner.

Of her role as the new owner of Main Street’s toy store, McKee said, "This is so much fun. It’s like playing all day."

Meanwhile, pointing to the warmer days ahead, Isabella’s Ice Cream Parlor kicked off its 2013 season, scooping up cones for hardy folks who love ice cream in any kind of weather.

This month is the start to owner Kim Reidenbaugh’s fourth year for the popular Main Street establishment. Of her time in business, Reidenbaugh said, "It’s been very good. Each year we’re building more customers."

The new season, which runs from March through mid-December, is featuring a new flavor: Salty Caramel Truffle. They’re also bringing back old favorites like Cappuccino Crunch, Cookie Doughlicious, and Old Fashioned Vanilla.

Over at Aaron’s Books, customers lined up for a mystery with a twist as author Laura Bradford signed her newest whodunit set in Pennsylvania Dutch country, "Assaulted Pretzel." In this second book in her Amish Mystery series, a murder has occurred in the fictional Amish community of Heavenly, Pa.

Bradford said of the series, which includes her bestselling first book, "Hearse and Buggy," "My books are very respectful of the Amish. I’ve always admired the way they live."

Of her time in Lititz, Bradford sang the praises of "the best chocolate and best pretzels," explaining that her car trunk was full of Sturgis Pretzels to take back home to New York.

Owner of Aaron’s Books, Todd Dickinson, said of the book-signing event, "It’s great when people come back to say that they loved the author’s first book and want to read more."

Outside the bustling book store, as if on cue, an Amish buggy trotted down Main Street, the tapping of the horse hooves matching a similar tapping sound heard whenever a group of fresh-faced Warwick High School students passed. As a crowd began to gather in front of Matthew 25, strains of "We’re in the Money" played over a loudspeaker. By all accounts, Lititz was on the verge of succumbing to a flash mob.

As one of Lititz’s finest directed traffic, Warwick High School students brought a touch of Broadway to Main Street, singing and tap dancing to the delight of 2nd Friday revelers.

With flashbulbs popping and phones recording the spectacle for YouTube posterity, the young people danced their hearts out, arms flying and feet tapping to the big finish of the title song of this year’s high school musical, "42nd Street."

Promoting this year’s Warwick High School musical performance, the flash mob gave spectators a little foretaste of what to expect in the school’s auditorium on March 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m., with a March 17 matinee at 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, at Zest!, Rob Reese, Jimmy Spires, and Brandon Enchant heightened Lititz’s cool factor as their band performed live music at the cooking and kitchen shop for the enjoyment of shoppers and window shoppers alike, adding to the positive energy on the street that makes Lititz such a uniquely special small town.

And in honor of that time of year when everyone is Irish, things were hopping down at Broad Street’s Savory Gourmet. Partnering with Fiona O’Leary Hart, co-owner of Pop’s Coffee Shop, the Savory Gourmet was serving up Kangaroo Irish Stew.

"We always do an Irish theme," said owner John Peris. "And this year we decided to do something new. We convinced our friend to try using Kangaroo in her traditional Irish Stew recipe, and people are loving it!"

In addition to her stew, Hart and her daughter P.J. (Patricia Jo) were also serving up festive cups of Irish coffee topped with whipped cream and a little green sparkle for the season. Promoting their new coffee shop located at 55 N. Water St., the pair was eager to spread the word about their family’s business venture.

Selling gourmet coffees from Antonino Coffee Company, which is also owned by the Harts, their fair-trade and organic blends include espresso, flavored coffees and seasonal varieties. With hours from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Pop’s is part of The Shoppes of Olde Town, which is at the lower level of Lititz Junction, below Appalachian Brewing Company. More 2ND FRIDAY, page A17