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Cool it! Record-setting downtown party planned Friday
STEPHEN SEEBER Record Express Staff
, Staff Writer
Friday night in Lititz will be seasonably cool.
That’s when Lititz will officially celebrate its 2013 title of America’s Coolest Small Town with a block party to end all block parties.
Meet your neighbors on East Main Street for an event that will include celebrity sightings, live music, street performers, food face-offs, a shady world record attempt, theatrical pyrotechnics, and a top secret surprise presentation. Partner that with other 2nd Friday festivities on Main and Broad and you’ve got a tough act to follow.
Two performance stages will be set up in the first block of East Main Street. The Main Street Mystics, a 2nd Friday favorite, will jam two sets on the Sturgis Lane stage at 5:25 and 7:05 p.m., and they’ll join Gretchen Emery & Dirty Boots for the final concert of the night at 7:40.
Then, as organizers hand out 2,000 pairs of sunglasses in hopes of setting the Guinness World Record for the most people wearing sunglasses at night, the downtown crowd will be called to the Square at 8:30 for a collective rendition of Corey Hart’s hot hit from 1984. The paparazzi will be there to capture this memorable moment in Lititz history, so don’t miss it. And feel free to bring your own shades, just in case the crowd grows beyond the two grand mark.
The street full of serenaders will then be treated to a dazzling two-minute display of theatrical pyrotechnics, donated by Celebration Fireworks Inc.
"I am often asked, ‘What makes Lititz the Coolest Small Town in America?’" said Kelly Withum, head of the celebration’s steering committee. "The answer is always the same. What makes Lititz cool is the community. We can look at one item or another in town, but it will always come back to community. This celebration is just another example of how the community comes together."
The party starts at 5 p.m. when rising star Sebastian Janoski sings the "Star Spangled Banner" at Sturgis Lane. Janoski, 13, released his debut single "Big City" April 25 and is fresh off his Broadway performance in "Newsies" and an appearance on the Katie Couric show.
The Dignitaries and "Lady Gaga" will also perform on the Sturgis stage.
Many recall the excitement generated by Lady Gaga sightings at the Log Cabin restaurant, the Bulls Head pub and the Lititz Giant in 2011. Well, she’s back… in spirit. Gaga impersonator Sharon Lee Daniels will be on the red carpet in front of the Rudy Building Friday night, and the paparazzi will be capturing every moment. Bring your cameras for this brush with fame.
And bring your appetites, because 11 local restaurants and eateries will be competing in a Coolest Lititz Sandwich contest. Three judges – Chef Jay Nonnenmocher from Landis Homes, Chef Bob Lichen from Linden Hall and Chef Bill Perham from Luther Acres – will pick winners in the categories of Farm to Table, Traditional Deli, Vegetarian, Pork, Beef, Seafood, Dessert, Poultry/Egg, and Best Representation of Lititz. All of the sandwiches will be available for sale to the public throughout the night.
The list of local contestants include Dosie Dough, Cafe Chocolate, Danner’s Deli, Bruno’s, Tomato Pie Cafe, General Sutter Inn, Scooter’s, Roma Pizza, Appalachian Brewing Co., Sturgis Haus, and Pork & Wally’s. Many will enter multiple categories.
"Because they feel that the independent and unique character of the Lititz shops and eateries adds to our coolness factor, the steering committee wanted to limit the restaurant entrants for the sandwich contest to include only independent community restaurants," Sue Barry, one of the competition organizers, said.
The winners will be asked to carry their Coolest Lititz Sandwiches on their menu, so locals should be able to enjoy them throughout the year. Judging begins at 5:30 p.m.
"I hope the chefs are hungry, because they have 21 samples they will need to eat for the judging," Withum said.
Winners will be announced between 6:30 and 7 p.m.
On the Susquehanna Bank stage (at the drive-thru entrance) performances by Dance Dynamix, Pulse Dance Studio, Sebastian Janoski and Vantastic Vanden the juggler will take place starting at 6:15 p.m.
Character juggler Chris Ivey will work the crowd next to Wertsch Vision Associates. And street performers will be strategically moving about on Main and Broad streets while people eat, shop and enjoy the entertainment. Street performers include Vantastic Vanden, Joffery the stilt-walker, "Lady Gaga," magic and balloons by Insanity Factor, and Shelli Buttons the aerial rock star.
Also, artist Travis Harris will be doing anamorphic street painting on Sturgis Lane. Don’t miss this 3-D marvel.
That’s a lot of entertainment, and food, to digest. Two information booths will be set up on East Main Street, in case you need a reminder. Posters listing the event schedule can also be found throughout the downtown.
"Friday night will be fun for all," Withum said. "Local restaurants will be competing for the best sandwich, local talent will be showcased, street performers will amaze, and our dignitaries will validate what we already knew – Lititz is the Coolest Small Town in America."
This event will be held rain or shine.
More COOL NIGHT, page A18