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Lighting up Halloween
Lions respond to parade change critics
Letter to the community,
The Lititz Lions Club has been serving the Lititz community for over 73 years. The Club wants to continue that service by again sponsoring the 2014 Halloween parade. However, there have been numerous safety related issues of concern to the club involving the parade over the past several years. In working with the Lititz Borough Police Department, the club has made several significant changes to this year’s Halloween parade.
In an article published in the Lancaster newspaper two weeks ago, the club announced that the parade is moving to Saturday, Oct. 25 with a daylight starting time of 9:30 a.m. This change was made several months ago after several meetings with the Lions, police and local residents.
The primary reason a daylight parade change was deemed necessary was specifically related to the safety of our children. Small children are difficult to see at night, especially when running out to pick up candy off the street. At last year’s parade, our most serious incident occurred when a vehicle in the parade route came within inches of colliding with a group of hard-to-see small children at the staging area on Main Street. Only because of alert residents in the immediate area and a few Lions running into the street to stop the vehicle did we prevent a major mishap. A daylight parade could have prevented this potential incident.
The Lions Club realizes the impact of such a major change to our long-standing Halloween tradition. However, in making that change, the Lions are also adding a new event for the community. A Fall Fest is planned immediately after the Halloween parade on West Main Street and Kleine Street, near where the parade ends. These streets will be closed to traffic and will offer fun activities for all ages, including inflatables, music, games and other activities. Food vendors will line those streets and help create a great day for parade attendees after the parade’s conclusion. We are also asking our local retailers to consider incorporating an event that would attract parade attendees into their shops.
With change comes controversy. This Facebook page quickly grew over the weekend, with both pro and con comments directed at the Lions and local authorities. Although the majority of comments opposed these changes, we still appreciate all comments and will continue to monitor them on a regular basis. The club remains flexible and is prepared to make changes as we gain operational knowledge and experience with running our long-standing Halloween parade. Keep your comments coming so we can fine-tune parade planning. Since our Halloween parade is essentially a parade for our youth, their safety remains our most pressing, and the community’s most pressing, responsibility.
Serving as founding sponsor of the Lititz Lioness Club and the Lititz LEO Club, the Lititz Lions Club continues to plan and sponsor major community events each year. The Lions sponsor the Easter egg hunt, the July 4th parade, a Lions golf tournament at Fairview, the Car Cruise, the Halloween parade, the Lancaster/Lebanon Football Awards program at the General Sutter Inn, a meat raffle and a chicken BBQ sale.
Our sixth grade through 12th grade-age kids in the Lititz LEO Club learn about leadership, opportunities to serve the community and growing within themselves. They host the annual Fire & Ice Festival, Lititz Police Back to School Night, work with the vision impaired and many other events, and donate their profits back to the community as do the Lions and Lioness clubs.
The Lioness Club is a busy group of professional women that sponsors the Rock-A-Thon, a fashion show and many other exciting events within our community.
For more information about the Lititz Lions Club, visit our web site at lititzlions.org.
For the Lititz Lions Club Board of Directors,
Lion Thomas J. Bender