Long live the queens!

By on June 29, 2016

Although the custom of illuminating the Lititz Springs Park with candles on July 4th began in 1843, the crowning of the Queen of the Candles was inaugurated only in 1942. When plans to mark the 100th anniversary of the first candle illumination were discussed, members of the Arrangements Committee endeavored to find some way to place special emphasis on this event.

The idea of crowning a queen was the suggestion of Omar K. Bushong, a member of the committee. Assisted by Miss Mary Augusta Huebener and several others, Bushong worked out the plans for this colorful, pomp-filled spectacle that would become a fitting prelude to the lighting of the candles.

Reigning as the first queen was Pauline Moyer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Moyer, who was chosen for the honor by the students of Lititz High School. The members of her court were Ruth Bender, Betty Cox, Vivian Dietrich, Gladys Hoover, Betty Lou Jones, Marian Krane, Rhoda Krane, Helen Nagle, Marian Royer, Dorothy Sing, Norman Steely and Gloria Wike.

Other participants included heralds James Johnson and Fred Rohrer, train bearers Charles Landis III and Richard Miller, and crown bearer Jerry Moore.

Boy Scout torchbearers, who served as escorts, were John Bear, Jene dePerrot, Richard Grube, Elliot Krane, William Ladd, Richard Leed, Wilbur Reist, Howard Richardson, William Ringer, James Ryan, Rodney Stark, and Stanley Schoenberger.

At the appointed time, a sonorous trumpet fanfare sounded from the hill above the “head-end,” near the Boy Scout cabin, as the heralds ceremoniously announced the approaching royal procession of the queen and her court that, with dignity and grace, majestically moved along the path from the cabin to the Paul E. Beck Memorial Bandshell. The attentive audience, having already enjoyed the preceding band concert, remained seated to watch the resplendent event.

The Grand Illumination of Candles in 1950.

The Grand Illumination of Candles in 1950.

To climax the evening’s program, more than 100 men and boys assisted in illuminating 10,000 candles throughout the park, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first candle illumination held in 1843.

Because it was so well received, the pageant was staged again in 1943. In response to popular demand, the committee decided to make the pageant a regular part of the grand candle illumination, which continues today.

Ron Reedy is the Lititz Springs Park Historian

About digital editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *