Hit parade

By on July 10, 2019

The crowd was so tightly packed near the square that scouts and leaders from Troop 142 had a hard time fitting this giant flag through the street.

 

The Lititz Patriotic Parade, hosted by the Lititz Lions Club, was held July 3.

It was a hot one. I felt bad for those who marched, and even worse for those who marched in uniform &tstr; though they bore it with pride. My biggest sympathies were for the eagle mascot from Lititz Christian School, the Haller Enterprises super-guy, and the Isaac’s employees with flamingo heads.

I got a new neighbor this spring and she has two small children. We left our homes at the same time to walk over to the parade route.

“You’ll want to bring some bags for the candy,” I remarked while we were on our respective porches.

She went back inside and did what I suggested.

We watched the parade together on the corner of South Broad and Marion streets.

I have loved parades since I was a little kid in the 1970s. I used to get a thrill just watching a balloon vendor walking down the street &tstr; and this was long before mylar was a thing.

The annual Patriotic Parade has made me fall in love with Lititz. It has been in said that, on July 3, half of Lititz is watching the Lions Patriotic Parade, and the other half is in the Lions Patriotic Parade.

The coolest part of the parade in our very cool small town is the people. I knew just about everyone in the parade. They are the people who call me on the phone at my desk at the paper. They e-mail press releases to me, telling me what their clubs, churches, and organizations are up to.

Highlights of this year’s parade included:

  • The crew from Special Olympics waving and smiling from a float blaring Van Halen’s “Jump.”
  • UDS Service Dogs and one adorable service ferret. “How much is a ferret, Mom?” I heard a boy near me ask.
  • A hold-up in the procession led to a display of impromptu tumbling from the students at Dance Dynamix in front of Furniture4U.
  • And cheers to Furniture4U for putting out no less than 40 chairs each year for patron use. And they hand out free water and lemonade.
  • The American Legion float with a giant cake marked the 100th anniversary that the national organization is celebrating this year.
  • The Grand Marshals were Warwick High School Principal Dr. Kristy Szobocsan and Superintendent April Hershey
  • Mayor Tim Snyder on his bike &tstr; a fan favorite!
  • The giant American flag carried by scouts and leaders from Troop 142. My heart swells every time I see it coming.
  • The Lancaster County Navy Club ship, staffed with real sailors.
  • The “Betsy Rosses,” members of the Warwick High School Class of 1959. “I don’t even like to sew,” one of them said as they passed us.
  • Vocal Harmonix singing barbershop tunes from a float hosted by AAA.
  • The intricate mural by Janet Smedley painted on the Lititz Historical Foundation float.
  • Candy! Or more specifically, watching the kids scramble for the candy. Toostie Rolls and Twizzlers were the most popular choices, with wrapped hard candy a close third. Due to the heat, chocolate was not to be found &tstr; except from the folks walking alongside the Hershey Kiss mobile, who were carrying coolers with (mostly) chilled Kiss samples to distribute.
  • Warwick Education Foundation handed out my favorite kind of candy… pencils!

Later, as we were walking home, each of my neighbor’s kids had a Halloween-worthy haul in tow. I’m not sure if she was grateful for my advice about the bags or not.

We were all too exhausted from chasing candy to make it over to Lititz Springs Park, where Rick K & The Allnighters performed a free concert right after the parade.

On patriotic holidays like the Fourth of July, it’s hard not to think about the freedoms we have, and the people who sacrificed everything to make those freedoms possible. Next time you see a member of the Lititz Lions Club, thank them for organizing this first-rate parade and concert each year.

If you’re interested in being part of next year’s parade, the deadline to register your organization is June 1, 2020. Learn more at lititzlions.org/patriotic-parade.

Melissa Hunnefield is the features editor at the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments at mhunnefield.eph@ lnpnews.com.

 

Members of the Lititz Legion Post 56 Auxiliary, Riders, and Sons of the Legion posed with their float prior to the July 3 Lititz Patriot Parade. The float honors the 100th anniversary of the national American Legion organization. The Lititz Legion is the proud sponsor of the annual Lititz Memorial Day parade.


 

Parade photos were taken by Kirk Neidermyer and Chris Knight.

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE.

 

Carmen Hostetter hands out small flags for the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary.

Mayor Tim Snyder travels down the route in style each year.

Gracelyn Rae Eberly, 3, of Lititz, shows she’s proud to be an American.

Due to the heat, Tootsie Rolls and Twizzlers were the most popular candy being tossed.

Members of the Warwick High School Class of 1959 dressed up as Betsy Ross for the parade.

Lititz Fire Chief Ron Oettel, and his Dalmatian, Baxter.

Abigayle Knouse, a member of the Queen of Candles court, waves to the crowd.

Duane Ober, administrator of Warwick Emergency Services Commission, drove his 1970 Howe fire engine in the parade.

Sophie and Cooper, mascots of the Lititz VFW Ladies Auxiliary, often appear in club photos and loved being the center of attention on July 3.

Patriotism isn’t dead here in Lititz.

Maddie Smith

Students from Pulse Dance Studio were dancing so valiantly that spectators were concerned about this wagon’s axles.

The good ship PT 166, manned by members of Lancaster County’s Navy Club, is a crowd favorite.

The Upper Schuylkill Marching Band, from Shenandoah, played classic oompah tunes.

 

Photos from the concert by Rick K. and the Allnighters, taken by Kirk Neidermyer.  The band is comprised of frontman Rick K.; Steve Moore, AKA “The Mad Drummer”; Paul Doege on bass guitar/vocals; Seth Mellon on saxaphone/vocals; and Frank Dinunzio on guitar/vocals.

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