There’s no place like Lititz

By on March 5, 2014

noplacelikelititzJuly 4 committee gears up for this year’s 197th celebration

Arctic blasts, polar vortexes and snowstorms, oh my!

It’s the dead of winter and it’s been a challenging one thus far. As winter wraps up, many are wishing they could close their eyes, click their heels, and take themselves to a place like Lititz Springs Park on the Fourth of July.

As we dredge through these dark and dreary days, the Lititz July 4 committee is already preparing for this summer’s celebration. This year’s theme, There’s No Place Like Lititz, is reminiscent of “The Wizard of Oz.” The classic film based on Frank Baum’s novel celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. The festivities in Lititz will be complete with themes from the movie throughout the park and into the evening celebration.

“It’s a fusion between Oz and patriotism, and No Place Like Lititz,” says Tim Reedy, general chairman of the July 4 committee.

This year, smaller acts scheduled for the day will be set up throughout the park. Acts include singing groups, magicians, kids’ activities, a small train, family entertainment and more.

“It’s a lot more family friendly,” says Reedy. “We want to draw in as many people as we can to the park.”

The park will be decorated similarly to The Wizard of Oz. The welcome center will look like Munchkin Land and the bandshell will resemble Emerald City. Decorations throughout the park will also have an Oz theme, and the ruby slippers just might make an appearance during the Queen of Candles ceremony.

Sebastian Janoski will perform leading up to the fireworks display, which will be presented by the company Celebration Fireworks with sound by Clair Global. WJTL’s Lisa Landis will return as this year’s emcee.

Kingsfoil will be returning as this year’s headlining act.

“The committee received rave reviews about their show and received numerous requests to have them back this year,” Reedy said.

However, this year’s performance may be without drummer Frankie Muniz of Malcolm in the Middle fame. A Feb. 20 post on the band’s Facebook page said Muniz is moving on to other projects.

But that news will not alter any plans here.

According to Reedy, The Lititz July 4 celebration, which began in 1818, is the second oldest continuous July 4 celebration in the country. The candle ceremony was originally started by the Moravian church to represent freedom. The ceremony is still recognized today with four to five thousand candles lit throughout the park at dusk.

The July 4 committee is also looking for people who are willing to display Wizard of Oz memorabilia. For more information, email Tim at timothyreedy@gmail.com. Tents will also feature local historical memorabilia.

“I’d like to see people living in the surrounding area, give it a shot this year. It’s great entertainment,” said Reedy.

Lititz Day will be celebrated June 29 at the Barnstormers’ stadium. Keep checking back with The Record Express for more information and updates leading up to both events.

Pricing for this year’s event will be the same as last year – $10 for ages age 13 and over and free for ages 12 and under, with all proceeds benefiting the park.

Note: The Maple Street gate or the Band Shell gate will no longer be a gate where people can purchase tickets to enter the park. This gate will only be used for those who have pre-purchased wristbands/tickets, event participants, event volunteers or those wishing to gain re-admittance to the event after leaving during the day. All other gates, Welcome Center, Park Entrance, Cargill/handicapped entrance and the Boy Scout Pavilion (School District Office parking lot) gates will continue to sell tickets and wristbands.

Lucy Riccomini is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at lriccomini.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4424

by Lucy Riccomininoplacelikelititz

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