Getting down at the gala

By on March 8, 2017

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‘Independence Remembrance 200’ series off to strong start

It’s unlikely that the Moravian Brethren partied like this 200 years ago, grooving to the disco funk of Earth, Wind & Fire at the Rock Lititz entertainment complex.

Pod 2 was a “Boogie Wonderland” for a few hours Saturday night during the Lititz 200 Gala, a fundraiser for Lititz Springs Park and the first in a series of events leading up to Lititz’s 200th Fourth of July.

A crowd of more than 200 danced the night away with Mama Tried, a favorite band for local events. Their covers of Bruno Mars and Prince, to name a few, were a big hit.

Fresh from the Lancaster Roots & Blues weekend, bass player and vocalist Bobby Lawson said the band always has a great time performing in Lititz.

“We like to get everyone up and dancing, and that’s what they are doing tonight,” he said.

The rest of Mama Tried is Dorden Bivings on keyboards and vocals, Blair King on drums, and Nate Sheffer, Alex Goodman and Chris Sanborn making up the dynamic brass section.

Appalachian Brewing Company, Waltz Vineyards, and Stoll & Wolfe Distillery provided the beer, wine and whiskey to help elevate the dance moves. The catering by Gravie got rave reviews, and of course there was plenty of hobnobbing during this festive event for a good cause.

The first Independence Day celebration in Lititz Springs Park took place in July 1818. One hundred and ninety-nine celebrations later, Lititz is preparing for one of its most memorable Fourth of July programs ever. Saturday was the kickoff.

Fourth of July Committee Chairman Tim Reedy credited the gala’s sponsors for making the night a success. Key supporters were Rock Lititz, Stoll & Wolfe Whiskey Distillery, Waltz Vineyards, Appalachian Brewing Company, Woodstream, Bomberger’s, Town & Country Realty, Gravie Kitchen, ELA Group, Stray Lighting, and Penny Lane Graphics.

Proceeds from ticket sales and raffled items will help buy a new Gator utility vehicle for the park.

“It’s always amazing to me how the Lititz community pulls together,” Reedy said.

All that dancing works up quite an appetite, and Gravie, the new restaurant at Pod 2, came to the rescue with made-to-order macaroni and cheese and a buffet full of sliders, salads, tomato goat cheese crostinis, and a few devilish desserts.

Keeping in mind that this party was a celebration of local tradition, the Lititz Historical Foundation showed up in traditional 18th-century garb to help with the fundraising and share plans for a time capsule that will be buried in Lititz Springs Park this summer.

According to Historical Foundation President Cory Van Brookhoven, the capsule was designed by Warwick High School industrial arts students, and it should be able to withstand the elements and preserve its contents until it is reopened 50 years from now.

“My students are pretty excited that they will be able to be there when the time capsule is opened,” Sheldon Christner, industrial arts teacher, said.

Among the memories in that 33-inch watertight capsule that won’t see the light of day for five decades will be those of the dance party tribute to the Fourth of July, forever known as the Lititz 200 Gala.

The gala was the first of six major events planned for “Independence Remembrance 200.” Next up will be the Lititz Wine & Whiskey Fest on April 29, followed by the Lititz Arts Fest on May 27, Lititz Family Game Day on June 18, Lititz Patriotic Parade on July 3, and, of course, the 200th Fourth of July on July 4.

Reedy has been chairing the Fourth of July festivities for the past several years, carrying on the tradition of his father Ron Reedy, who passed away late last year.

“The Fourth of July was always close to my dad’s heart, as it is to mine,” Reedy said. “It’s great to see all the support tonight.”

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com.

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