De-‘lighted’ to serve

By on January 30, 2019

Familiar area couple is Presenting Sponsor at Fire & Ice event

Chris and Melody Strayer love Lititz…in all kinds of weather.

One could even argue that they do their “hottest” work during the winter. Since 2013, the couple who’s behind locally based Stray Production Services have provided unique lighting for the ice sculptures as part of the popular Lititz Fire & Ice event. This year, the company has been named presenting sponsor, and they’ve been busy for weeks.

Earlier this month, members of the team at Stray were busy hanging Edison bulbs throughout the downtown. Now in its second year, the project is just a small way to make things a little less dark and dismal now that the Christmas stars have been placed back in storage. The lights, as well as the wiring and labor involved were funded by local businesses and residents, and have proven to be a major hit with locals and tourists alike.

But that’s just the beginning.

“As in years past, we will be lighting the ice sculptures and adding some design elements throughout the festival grounds,” Melody said. This is the sixth year that the business, which is based out of Pod 2 at Rock Lititz, has been involved with the very popular winter festival. Over that time, the company has seen various changes to the event.

“It has become a well-oiled machine, as the committee has been intentional and tireless about addressing areas in which the festival could improve, as well as brainstorming new ideas to make it an amazing experience for attendees,” Melody added.

“We love how this has become such a draw not just for the Lititz community, but also for folks outside of the area.”

Weather permitting, they’ll also be lighting the sculptures on Saturday evening as well, which is a change from past years. They’ll also provide additional lighting for areas of the festival that haven’t been well-lit in the past, and will also collaborate with another local company, Pyrotek, to produce a lighting and special effects feature this year. And, assuming the weather is especially frigid, organizers have great news: Stray is collaborating with Weaver Energy to provide a 30-foot long “heat tunnel” tent that will include large heaters and red and orange lights so attendees can temporarily get out of the cold.

Chris and Melody Strayer. Photo by Cory Van Brookhoven

But all of these differences are just “the tip of the iceberg.”

“I think the biggest change this year will be the addition of live entertainment,” Melody said. “We are bringing in our mobile stage which will be located at the intersection of Main and Broad, and it will feature some amazing local talent (who aren’t afraid to get a little chilly!).”

So what inspired them to be a part of the action again this year?

“We feel a deep responsibility to give back to our town.” ‘To whom much is given, much will be required,’ she said. “We feel profoundly blessed by the way that the community has supported our dreams and our business, and so it just makes sense that we would want to support this event­as it has so many direct and also trickle down benefits to the folks in the area.”

While the pair’s name may be in the spotlight, they’re quick to point to their hard-working employees who are always willing to go the extra mile.

“You would be hard pressed to find a better team than we have, and we feel incredibly grateful for them,” Melody said. “They are out for long hours in frigid temperatures, sometimes crawling in and out of canals, and they never complain. I’m not sure how we got so lucky.”

Cory Van Brookhoven is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your comments at or 717-721-4423. 

[caption id="attachment_30736" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Logo designer: Donna Felton

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