In character at the Chocolate Walk

By on October 15, 2014
Steve Scrivner, seated with his mother Sally, embraces the role of Forrest Gump during Chocolate Walk. Steve and his wife live in West Chester, and they come to Lititz every year for the walk. His parents were visiting from New Mexico. (photo by Michele Walter Fry)

Steve Scrivner, seated with his mother Sally, embraces the role of Forrest Gump during Chocolate Walk. Steve and his wife live in West Chester, and they come to Lititz every year for the walk. His parents were visiting from New Mexico. (photo by Michele Walter Fry)

Hello, you can sit here if ya want. You wan’ a chocolate?

At the 13th Annual Lititz Chocolate Walk last Saturday, life was like a walk of chocolates, you never knew what you were gonna get.

The walk is getting huge, attracting people from over 20 states. It has even served as a model for other towns wanting to do the same.

Deven Schwartz (left) as Elsa and Kaydee Stratis as Anna were hanging out with Sven and Olaf from "Frozen" during Chocolate Walk. (photo by Michele Walter Fry)

Deven Schwartz (left) as Elsa and Kaydee Stratis as Anna were hanging out with Sven and Olaf from “Frozen” during Chocolate Walk. (photo by Michele Walter Fry)

“We come here every year,” said Steve Scrivner from West Chester, Chester County. When asked what he liked the best so far on the walk, he said he “actually just likes the town.”

“The chocolate stuff is nice, but the rest of the folks are here for the town,” he said. His parents were visiting for the first time from New Mexico. “I love the town and the architecture and way the homes are decorated,” said Sally Scrivner.

Steve was the perfect sport in posing as Forrest Gump on the bench at Wilbur Chocolate. He was “made” to button up his shirt, sit up straight and put character in to it. The reason he was chosen for the role was because he was with his mother, had a box of chocolates, and his shirt could be buttoned to the top.

We been through every kind of chocolate der is. You can barbecue it, grill it. Dey’s uh, chocolate-kabobs, chocolate bubba chili.

At Wilbur Chocolate Company, not only could walkers watch them make the chocolate that they sampled, there was an impressive entirely edible chocolate scene of Sven and Olaf from the Disney movie “Frozen,” made by Kathy Blankenbiller.

The two princesses from the movie stood in front of the sculptures to “wow” the walkers, especially the little girls.

Kaydee Stratis, as Princess Anna, sewed both costumes from scratch.

“I hand-patterned everything,” she said. “I’m self-taught and am going to school for illustration.” Stratis is a student at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design.

Deven Schwartz is a look-a-like as Princess Elsa and is going to school for pastry arts. She’s also the granddaughter of Blankenbiller, so the talent runs in the family.

There was big ol’ fat, melty chocolate at Cherry Acres furniture. Chef Tim Whitmyer of Scooter’s Restaurant grilled up the most popular chocolate item on the walk — the chocolate panini. The recipe for this is featured in this week’s Taste of Lititz (page A11).

What’s normal (chocolate) anyway? The longest line went to Brethren Village’s smoked beef brisket slider with chocolate ancho chili rub at Linden Hall. The brisket was a nice salty break in between the sweets.

Walkers couldn’t tell where chocolate stopped and chocolate began. Me and chocolate goes together like peas and carrots, except like chocolate and pistachios.

While many of the other spots featured “safe” fudge, brownies and pieces of chocolate, the Luther Acres dining staff at Lititz Framing & Fine Arts creatively offered Triple Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding which included a packed butter croissant with dried cherries, pistachios, and Wilbur chocolate chunks. It was served on little clear trays with a throw-away tiny silver looking fork. On top was drizzled white chocolate cream and maple syrup. This spot on the walk was more for the foodie, and it’s nice to know they aren’t’ eating Jell-O at Luther Acres.

The surprise hit at the event was one of the volunteer musical entertainments, Break from Blue Collar. This modern barbershop quartet made all happy who walked by. Not one person walked by without a smile on their face, and many stopped and watched. They started out of Millersville University and have sung at Phillies baseball games. They are hoping to bring barbershop back.

The Break from Blue Collar quartet turned heads in downtown Lititz Saturday. (photo by Michele Walter Fry)

The Break from Blue Collar quartet turned heads in downtown Lititz Saturday. (photo by Michele Walter Fry)

“One of the biggest compliments we get is people will hear us and walk up and go, ‘Hey wait, you’re young,’” said Tyler Hart of the group.

Sugar Whipped Bakery offered cake at the Lititz Historical Foundation. Stephanie Samuel made all four different kinds of cakes by herself.

The smart walkers ate things, on spot, which they couldn’t take with them, like Pork & Wally’s famous chocolate chili, Greco’s homemade ice cream, Freeze and Frizz’s Lititz Chocolate Sundae, coffee from Whiff Roasters & Lititz Coffee Company, wine samples from Waltz Vineyards, and a unique chocolate balsamic vinegar from Olio Olive Oils & Balsamics. The rest of the samples, they placed in an egg carton or other container to save for later.

The walk is presented by the Kiwanis Club of the Lititz Area.

“It’s amazing to think that 32 chefs and chocolatiers donate their products, time, and energy to support this effort,” wrote Karen Davis, Kiwanis president. “To date, because of the walk, the club has distributed over $350,000 to the children’s charities that we support. That equates to about $1 for every chocolate treat consumed over our first 12 years.”

Nothing is better than chocolate for charity. All the samples were donated by the chocolatiers, so they were to be thanked along the walk.

The walk is supported financially by local businesses to help cover costs so that all the money raised through ticket sales goes directly to the charities. Sponsors included Clemintine’s, Gifts that Give Hope, Stauffers of Kissel Hill, Tiger’s Eye, Dr. David A. Richards, American Legion Post 61, Lancaster County Podiatry, Bomberger’s Store, Leslie B. Miller, Cornerstone Family Health Associates, Lititz Mutual Insurance Company, Gibble Kraybill & Hess, Sonnie’s Secret, InSite CPAs, Keller Bros. Ford, VFW Lititz Springs Post 1463, and Wertsch Vision Associates.

Co-Hosts of the event were Wilbur Chocolate, Luther Acres, Blue Ridge Communications, and ShopLancaster.net.

Davis also thanked over 150 volunteers including the Manheim Township’s Keystone Club which made the day possible, and to “you, the folks who purchase the tickets,” because without them there would “be no chocolate walk” and the “children would not get the benefits of all the funds that are raised.”

Some of the children’s charities the walk benefits include:

•            Schreiber Pediatric

•            Warwick Food Bank

•           Merry Lititz Christmas

•            Lancaster Boys & Girls Club

•           Center for Community Peacemaking

•           Cleft Palate Clinic

•            Manheim Township and Lititz Public Libraries

Chocolate is as chocolate does. After all that chocolate, walkers were all just floatin’ around accidental — like on a chocolate. That’s all I have to say about that.

Michele Walter Fry welcomes your comments at michelewalterfry@gmail.com.

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