Dunk tank will make a splash at Pretzel Fest Saturday Rock Lititz Tour set for Sunday
By: MELISSA HUNNEFIELD Record Express Staff, Staff Writer
Touted as "a new twist on an old favorite," the second annual Pretzel Fest, slated for April 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., guarantees plenty of food and fun. Attendees start off at the historic Rudy Building, 27-31 E. Main St. and receive maps sending them to various tasting stations, game and entertainment locations in the downtown area.
Last year’s inaugural event sold out quickly, so this year, organizers promised more games, more fun and more available tickets.
"It is bigger and better than last year," promised Alice Bracken, event organizer and member of the Kiwanis Club, "and the forecast is calling for sun and clouds, no rain, high of 68 — perfect!"
Last year’s attendees endured 40-degree temperatures. The cold was especially brutal for those brave local celebrity volunteers who took a turn in the dunk tank. This year’s dunk tank schedule is as follows:
10 a.m. — Barry Lavender (Mail Carrier)
10:30 a.m. — Renata Hoskova (Key Club)
11 a.m. — Mikayla Goldstein (Key Club)
11:30 a.m. — Kiersten Ketcham (Key Club)
12 p.m. — Scott Shaub (Lititz School Board Member)
12:30 p.m. — Steve Seeber (Editor, Lititz Record Express)
1 p.m. — Scott Shaub (Lititz School Board Member)
1:30 p.m. — John Lucier (Lititz House B&B)
2 p.m. — Gary Garson (Candy*ology)
2:30 p.m. — Darryl Miller (Lititz School Board Member)
3:15 p.m. — Ted Vulgaris (Stauffers of Kissel Hill)
3:45 p.m. — Barry Lavender (Mail Carrier)
Lititz Record Express editor Steve Seeber baited Lititz residents to drop him in the drink
"According to the maternity ward nurses who worked at Lock Haven Hospital in 1970, I’m extremely buoyant," Seeber said. "But that’s a moot point if no one can sink me. Based on what I saw last year, Lititz has the collective dunk tank aim of Carl Lewis throwing a ceremonial first pitch at Safeco Field. Bring it on!"
Lititz mail carrier Barry Lavender has volunteered for two stints in the popular dunk tank this year. He’s claims the proud distinction of being the only dunk-ee not wearing a wetsuit.
"Wetsuits are for sissies," Lavender said. "I’ll be wearing my swim cap with little flowers on it — and I’ll bring my rubber ducky."
Lavender found out he was last year’s top fundraiser among the dunk tank volunteers. He wasn’t sure if wanting that many people to see him soaked was a compliment or not.
"But I’m thrilled to be helping out for such a great cause," Lavender added.
"The second highest was school board member Darryl Miller," said Bracken. "He works at Stauffer’s and many people that work under him came to get payback!"
The dunk-ees won’t be the only folks enduring physical challenges. An integral part of the day’s events is "Twisted Minute to Win It," eleven gaming stations with a pretzel theme to each. Last year’s popular challenges were "Salt Shaker" and "Face the Pretzel."
Other entertainment will be provided by Ragtime Willi, known for their funky folk stylings, and the German youth dancers from the Lancaster Liederkranz. Bingo, with edible pretzel Bingo markers, is another crowd pleaser.
Pretzel Fest was created as a smaller-scale version of the popular Chocolate Walk held each Fall, so pretzel-laden fare is definitely in store for those who purchase tickets. Fourteen tasting stands will dot the downtown area and local chefs will compete for the title of Top Pretzel Chef.
Last year’s winner was Mike Greger of Greco’s Ice Cream, who created a new flavor called "A Taste of Lititz."
"It contains two different types of Sturgis pretzels, Wilbur dark chocolate mini-buds, our own bittersweet hot fudge blended together in a vanilla-based ice cream," Greger explained. "We wanted to incorporate the two biggest tastes of town and add our Greco’s’ flair to it by adding our bittersweet hot fudge and our homemade peanut butter topping. It will be on our menu on a regular basis."
While food, fun and entertainment are guaranteed in the price of admission, the real payoff is in the proceeds.
"The Pretzel Fest is a charity event for the Lititz Community Chest," explained Bracken. "Last year, the members of the Lititz community were given the chance to help someone else by supporting the first annual Lititz Pretzel Fest. Boy, did they ever! There are so many good people in the world, and so many good things that happen, I wish we could hear about them more often. I know a lot of them live right here in Lititz."
Last year’s event raised a total of $2,500 for the Warwick Community Chest. This year, Bracken would like to see that amount increase. Pretzel Fest proceeds will also benefit The Eliminate Project — an initiative sponsored by Kiwanis International and UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
Sponsors of Pretzel Fest include: Sturgis Pretzel, Auntie Anne’s, Luther Acres, Keller Brothers, Stauffers of Kissel Hill, Lisa Terry, Lititz Record Express and Keystone Pretzel.
Advanced tickets for Pretzel Fest cost $7 and can be purchased at downtown Lititz retail locations and at the Rudy Building, 27-31 E. Main St. Online tickets, at $7.50 each, may be obtained at lititzpretzelfest.com.
"Where else but in ‘America’s Coolest Small Town’ can you get six hours of fun, food and entertainment for $7? If you want to join in the fun, but are out of town," said Bracken, "e-mail me and we’ll set aside tickets for you." Alice can be reached at ThinkSilk@aol.com.
Rock Lititz Tour
On April 28, aspiring cyclists will roll into town for the second annual Rock Lititz Tour. Co-hosted by Clair Brothers, Tait Towers and Atomic Lighting, this rockin’ race with its multiple courses and brackets draws riders of all ages and skill levels to Lititz.
Touted as "a fast and fun four-corner criterium," last year’s race drew approximately 300 riders and 2,000 spectators to Lititz.
The event features live music from Colored Vinyl at 1 p.m.; The Districts at 2:15 p.m.; Jeff Thomas’ All-Volunteer Army at 3:45 p.m. The Cat’s Pajamas, an old-school jazz band, will be strolling the course from 4 to 6 p.m
A variety of vendors will offer food and merchandise. An exciting addition to this year’s festivities is a downtown Biergarten.
Organizer Rich Ruoff has big plans for growing the annual race.
"We want to develop this race into the largest Pro Am bike race in the East over the next several years," he said. "Lititz should expect to see a really fun, high energy event, and if they have never seen a bike race before they should be prepared to be impressed."
Cash prizes, trophies and medals will be awarded to winners. Races begin at 11:30 a.m. and continue through 5 p.m. Races for children take place at 3:30 p.m. The event culminates with a 50-lap Pro Men’s race starting at 4:40 p.m.
The registration tent will be located in the vendor expo area in the 100 block of Main St., as will food and beverage vendors. Cyclists can register the day of the event, or online at bikereg.com/Net/18649. Online registration closes on April 26 at 2 p.m.
Those needing more information should contact Rich Ruoff at 391-9722 or Rich@LancasterRootsandBlues.com. More THIS WEEKEND, page A3