- Northwest EMS breaks ground on new Manheim facility
- Entertainment is on the ‘Taste of Lititz’ menu
- A perfect storm election: GOP incumbents prevail
- Warwick hires new solicitor
- July 4 ticket sales under way
- MiniTHON raises nearly $35K
- Illegal burning a hot topic at Elizabeth Twp. meeting
- With a little help from Friends… Manheim Community Pool prepares for 58th season
- Warwick continues MiniTHON tradition
- Manheim Historical Society honors Restore ‘N More
‘Cool’ club 2011’s coolest mayor offers insight
By: MELISSA HUNNEFIELD Record Express Staff, Staff Writer
"Welcome to the club!" chimed John Manchester, mayor of Lewisburg, West Virginia, when he heard that Lititz had been voted the Coolest Small Town in America for 2013.
Lewisburg held the honor in 2011, and much like Lititz, this town of approximately 10,000 has a rich history. Let’s venture south, to the Allegheny Mountains.
"Lewisburg beckons to the traveler seeking something other than patented tourist attractions," claims the town’s website. "We are the 221-year-old town with many 18th and 19th-century buildings, where the steeple clock still tolls the hour and the church bells ring out on Sunday mornings. Old structures, converted to new purposes, are still in use, and antebellum homes — often remaining in the same families for generations — are still occupied. There is a comfortable relationship between past and present."
When Lewisburg was in the running for the honor of being "coolest," their biggest rival was Astoria, Oregon.
"It was really down the wire," Mayor Manchester said, "so we decided to do something about it."
To encourage last-minute voting, Lewisburg’s visitor’s center planned an all-night countdown party. When it became obvious that Lewisburg’s victory was ensured, the celebration spilled out into the streets.
It had been a hard winter in small town and snow had piled up. The contest provided a perfect way to redirect everyone’s focus.
"In the dead of winter it allowed people in this community to participate in an exciting contest," Manchester recalled. "It was just a helluva lot of fun."
Two other celebrations soon followed. Lewisburg held a contest to create a logo honoring the town’s victory. At the event where the winner was announced, a second party quickly escalated. The party rocked, for more than one reason.
"We had an earthquake during the party, if you can believe that," Manchester said.
Earthquakes are not a common occurrence in West Virginia.
"Yep, we pull out all the stops here in Lewisburg," Manchester joked.
The third celebration ensued when the folks from BudgetTravel.com visited Lewisburg to do a feature on the victory. They took pictures, interviewed locals and enjoyed red carpet treatment.
The 2011 victory certainly helped put Lewisburg on the map. Local businesses were able to add the "Coolest Small Town" tagline and logo to their marketing materials and the town purchased a billboard on Interstate 64 luring travelers to exit and visit.
"We had a real uptick in the economy, and many more visitors," Manchester said.
But the victory was not without its downside, Manchester noted with amusement.
"When you are proclaimed the Coolest Small Town in America, you’ll always have detractors," Manchester said. "Especially if their definition of ‘cool’ differs from yours. I heard people say, ‘If you’re the coolest small town in America, why don’t you open your pool a week early?’ or ‘If you guys are so cool, why don’t you give me $1,000?’ You can’t make this stuff up. Just wait. You’ll see."
To learn more about perpetually-cool Lewisburg, W.V., visit lewisburg-wv.com. More COOL, page A16
About Lititz Record
Paid in the shade
Council supports rebate program for problem trees Lititz may be...
‘Lititz Remembers’ fallen heroes
In his Gettysburg address, given to dedicate the Soldier’s National...
Linden Hall kicks off local graduations
Co-valedictorians hail from Lancaster County Women have made strides in...
WESC honors volunteers
The Warwick Emergency Services Commission hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Banquet...
Kissel Hill Cemetery beautification set for June 27
What started out as a post on a Lititz history...
Charles A. Magee IV, 23, Warwick grad, worked at Roma Pizza, Lancaster Alliance Church member
Chuckie Magee, 23, of Lititz, went home to be with...
Dorothy J. Cox, Moravian Manor resident, avid volunteer, beloved grandmother
Dorothy J. Cox died Saturday evening at Moravian Manor in...
Ronald Lee Sandhaus, 69, popular Lititz police officer, HAM radio enthusiast
Ronald Lee Sandhaus, 69, 533 Spring Avenue, Lititz, passed...
- July 23, 2014