Ready, set… Christmas is coming to Lititz

By on November 20, 2012

By: MELISSA HUNNEFIELD Record Express Staff, Staff Writer

It’s Thursday night, and the last of the Thanksgiving dishes are finally done … and that means Christmas in Lititz is right around the corner.

Hot on the heels of what is expected to be a busy Black Friday for local shops, the community will be ready for the festive jingles that officially kick off the Christmas season here.

By Nov. 30, the historical stars that were recently affixed to the downtown street lamps will be shining brightly, and Lititz Springs Park will be filled with carolers for the annual community tree lighting and address from Mayor Ron Oettel.

Christmas in the Park serves as Part One in a weekend of events that usher November into December.

The Friday night candlelit program begins at 6:30 p.m. and will feature music from the Lititz Moravian Trombone Choir and a sing-along with Warwick High School’s production companies and concert choir. For more information on this event, check out next week’s Record Express.

The following day, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in town for Have Yourself A Merry Lititz Christmas. Children 10 and under can enjoy a special day just for them on Dec. 1. Putting this event together has truly been a community endeavor.

Thanks to donations of time, items and money from countless sources, Kathy Blankenbiller has organized the biggest ever rendition of Have Yourself A Merry Lititz Christmas, which has been growing in popularity since its inception four years ago.

Blankenbiller has been so busy organizing the event that she’s had no time to update the website or Facebook page to reflect the 2012 changes and additions. Each day brings something new, anyway.

Just this week, Members 1st Federal Credit Union made a very generous cash donation and Kline’s Services donated 300 pounds of individually wrapped candies.

"Therefore," said Blankenbiller, "I think I’ll add a candy scramble!"

"I wish I could individually name every single person who helps me but I can’t — the list would be a mile long," continued Blankenbiller. "We live in a wonderful town with wonderful people! I’m happy to say that the true meaning of Christmas — the joy of giving — is alive and well in Lititz."

"Christmas is my favorite time of the year. The holidays are really about children — I want them to have fun," said Blankenbiller. "Every child in the community, no matter what their family’s income level, will be able to participate. It’s a community thing — it’s what we can do for the kids."

Blankenbiller’s efforts to organize the event were buoyed by the sales of her cookbook, "Bake Someone Happy," which has been on sale since early September.

The Dec. 1 event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature many of the same activities as last year. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fire engine and visit with the kids in the caboose at Lititz Springs Park. A scavenger hunt will take kids on a downtown adventure. Lititz El will be a hub for crafts and fun.

New additions to this year’s festivities include: Sebastian Janoski, the new 13-year-old master of ceremonies; storyteller Rita Clark; performances by Dance Dynamix and children from the EPAC stage; and a book corner — where each child can pick out a free, gently used book.

The event, though organized by Blankenbiller, can only be labeled a community effort.

"Senator Brubaker is donating hundreds of bottles of spring water, Photography by GeorJean is supplying a photo booth so that everyone can take home a memory of the day and Warwick Interact is supplying most of my volunteers," Blankenbiller said. "The stories of fantastic people pitching in is remarkable, to say the least!"

In short, Have Yourself a Merry Lititz Christmas proves that it really does take a village to raise a child. And everyone can enjoy the festive fruits of those efforts downtown on Dec. 1. More LITITZ CHRISTMAS, page A15