Beach trip: Tickets for Lititz’s Fourth of July celebration go on sale Friday

By on May 11, 2016

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Everyone loves a beach trip, right?

This summer, Lititz residents won’t have to travel too far for a classic boardwalk experience. It’s the theme for this year’s Independence Day celebration in Lititz Springs Park.

The Fourth has been the crown jewel of local events for 199 years, and each year the committee creative thinkers works tirelessly on a unique theme. This July, it’s all about the beach.

“We’ve had much success in the past with a theme to go hand-in-hand with the patriotic red, white and blue of the Fourth of July!” committee member Bill Dussinger said. “Baseball, The Wizard of Oz, The 1950s … so we thought, how about The Beach?”

Dussinger has been designing the event logo for many years, and this year’s invitation is a nod to Bruce Springsteen’s 1973 classic rock album “Greetings From Asbury Park N.J.”

“A lot can be done with a beach theme,” Dussinger continued. “One of the first things that came to mind were the old postcards from the beach with the name of the town and photo images in each letter. Then, the Bruce Springsteen album ‘Greetings from Asbury Park’ came to mind. That’s the inspiration behind this year’s Lititz Springs Park Fourth of July logo image, ‘Greetings from Lititz Springs Park.’ If it’s a warm July day, you can wear your beach attire, flip flops and all, and have a great day at the park! And wouldn’t it be cool if Bruce Springsteen showed up. Anybody know how we can send him an invitation?”

This year’s Fourth celebration takes place on Saturday, July 2. A rain date has been set for July 3. Discounted ticket sales start this Friday when the Fourth Committee will have a stand set up in downtown Lititz during Second Friday. The early bird price is $10 for adults (age 13 and up). Children 12 and under enjoy free admission. If you miss the stand at Second Friday, early tickets can be purchased at Bomberger’s Store, McElroy Pharmacy, Stauffers of Kissel Hill in Lititz, and the Lititz Welcome Center. This is the non-profit park’s main fundraiser for the year. And, if you buy an early discounted ticket (which is a $2 savings), you get a keepsake postcard designed by Dussinger.

So, how exactly is Lititz Springs Park going to be transformed into a beach vacation? The Record Express recently sat down with Fourth of July Committee Chairman Tim Reedy to discuss that.

“The area around the gazebo will be turned into a boardwalk, and it will feel like you’re walking to the beach,” he said, adding that this Kid Zone paradise will include the classic beach arcade game skeeball. There will also be free prizes, free popcorn and free cotton candy for the kids. “We’re trying to create a great atmosphere for families with this.”

The Kid Zone Boardwalk will be the only thing going on in the park during the early part of the afternoon (starting at 1 p.m.). The setting will also feature magic by Insanity Factor, performances by Dance Pulse Studio, a critter show with celebrity outdoorsman Jack Hubley, a ventriloquist show with Marian and Friends, and musical performances by Phredd and Steven Courtney. With all this carnival-type activity on an authentic beach set, Reedy and his committee think people (especially the kids) will be transported to Wildwood for a few hours.

And there will be a big photo booth set up at the Reedy Pavilion, where a professional photographer will be capturing Lititz beach memories. Every family gets a free framed photo.

Other highlights for the day:

  • Band shell activities include the National Bell Ringing ceremony at 4:45 p.m., patriotic music by the Lititz Community Band at 4:50, a performance by Chris Poje at 6:10, the Mama Tried band at 6:50, and a special tribute to the history of the Queen of Candles pageant.
  • This year’s Queen of Candles is the 75th anniversary of the program. A special tribute will take place on the stage, starting at 8 p.m., and many of Lititz’s past queens will be present for the celebration. The actual pageant for the crowning of this year’s queen starts at 8:20.
  • Following the pageant and the Grand Illumination of candles along Lititz Run, attention turns to the fireworks field, where there will be a beach dance party with DJ Ronnie Ramon of Fun 101.3 starting at 8:55 p.m. A 35-40 minute fireworks show starts at 9:55 p.m. The soundtrack will include lots of beach music, and a Queen medley in honor of the pageant’s 75th anniversary.

Other points of interest:

  • A rumor has been circulating that PennDOT’s work on Route 501 could force a cancellation of the Lions parade and Fourth of July events. Reedy was crystal clear in saying this is “not true.” The planned events will go on as scheduled, regardless of road work in the area.
  • For those who like to secure an early spot for the fireworks show, the park will allow the placing of blankets and lawn chairs in the fireworks field between 7 and 8:30 a.m.
  • Registration for the baby parade begins at 12:30 p.m. in the park. There will be no pre-registration this year.
  • Look for Fourth of July coasters at local pubs and restaurants, reminding locals to get their tickets early.

It looks like Lititz’s 199th Fourth will be a fun-in-the-sun weekend, starting with the Lions Club parade and free entertainment (Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods will be back again) on July 1, and the big beach party in the park on July 2.

So, mark your calendar, get your tickets early, and dust off your classic vinyl.

“One of my favorite Springsteen songs is ‘Thunder Road,’ of course,” Dussinger said. “But I don’t want to say that too loud. We don’t want rain or thunder during the festivities on July 2!”

Look for more preview articles and information on the parade and park events in upcoming issues of the Record Express.

Stephen Seeber is the associate editor of the Record Express. He welcomes comments and questions at sseeber.eph@lnpnews.com, or 717-721-4423.

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