Sparks in the park!

By on June 26, 2019
Photo by Tom Kline The pyromusical fireworks finale, created by Celebration Fireworks, will begin at 9:55 p.m.

Photo by Tom Kline
The pyromusical fireworks finale, created by Celebration Fireworks, will begin at 9:55 p.m.

 

By Cory Van Brookhoven

After months of planning, the team of organizers behind this year’s 202nd annual Fourth of July celebration in Lititz are ready for the big day.

Below is a list of activities leading up to and including the Independence Day celebration in Lititz this year.

 

I love a parade!

Once again, the annual Patriotic Parade will be hosted by the Lititz Lions Club on July 3. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., it will commence on the streets of downtown Lititz.

The parade route will be as follows: It begins at Broad and Kleine; then will head south on Broad Street; then left on East Main; right on South Locust Street; right on Marion Street; then right on South Broad Street. At the conclusion of the event, the parade has two options to end: either exit left onto West Main Street at the square or continue north on Broad Street towards the staging area.

There will be live entertainment in the Lititz Springs Park following the parade including FUN 101’s Ronnie Ramone as well as headliner Rick K and the Allnighters.

Billed as “America’s Most Exciting Show Band,” Rick K. & The Allnighters will take you on a high speed, cross country, tour of rock’s greatest hits. A crowd favorite, the band’s performance on the night before Independence Day has become a new town tradition. The show has a tentative start time of 8:30 p.m.

Come hungry! There will be an assortment of food vendors in the park that evening. The Lititz Lions Club will also be accepting donations during intermission to help defray the cost of the program. Bring your lawn chairs, but please remember that no chairs or blankets may be left in the park overnight or they will be collected and removed by security.

Entertainment

All Lititz Springs Park gates will officially open at noon to kick off the festivities.

Lititz 4th of July Concert in the Park. Rick K. and the Allnighters – that’s Rick in red – tour outof Morgantown, West Virginia. They brought their high energy take on 50 years of rock ‘n roll to the Lititz Springs Park on July 3rd.

In the Kid Zone, games will run from 12:30 to 5 p.m. with entertainment at the Oehme Gazebo beginning with a magic show starring Papa Tater. Other entertainment in that area will include music with Ian Carroll and a special performance by members of Springs Park Playhouse.

The mainstage entertainment which takes place in the Paul E. Beck Memorial Bandshell kicks off at 1:30 p.m. with a special opening ceremony featuring the National Anthem, National Bell Ringing and this year’s special guest emcee, Miss Liberty Bell, Jenna Martorana
This young woman has recently competed in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant. And although she keeps an extremely busy schedule, she’s beyond thrilled to spend the 4th of July in Lititz.

“I am looking forward to seeing the amazing fireworks and the beautiful candle display all lit up, and of course meeting members of the Lititz community!,” she said.

Live music provided by local band Alow will begin at 2 p.m. The Lititz Community Band will then take the stage next beginning at 3:30 p.m. They will be followed by headliners Best of the Eagles at 5:30 p.m.

“My concept was to be authentic,” said Best of the Eagles frontman Joe Vadala, who founded the band in 2012. “It’s pretty much the experience of seeing the Eagles if you close your eyes,” he added. Vadala also states that he wants guests that day to leave with a renewed love of the Eagles.

The final event in the bandshell this year will be the 78th annual Queen of Candles pageant, which will take place at 7:30 p.m.

This year’s contestants include Jocelyn Brechbill, Abbey Finkill, Elizabeth VanScoten, Leah Graybill, Grace Longenderfer, Abbi Knouse, Emily MacNair, Brynne McNelis, Trinity Bitting-Ellis, Mickayla Harris, Delaney Baringer, and Rachall Adams.

Rachel Gaver will act as the flower girl for the program and Pierce Henault will serve as crown bearer that evening.

Also onhand will be the 2018 reigning Queen of Candles McKenzie Cossette, who will crown the 2019 queen. Cossette has recently completed her freshman year of college at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she is majoring in business management with a minor in Spanish.

Bandshell entertainment concludes at approximately 8 p.m. At that time, event organizers are asking guests to please begin making their way to the fireworks field. There will be additional entertainment from the band Nearly York at 8:15 p.m. At 9 p.m, Ronnie Ramone returns to the park for FUN 101’s DJ Dance Party. Fireworks are tentatively slated to begin around 9:30 p.m.

Baby Parade

Registration for the annual Baby Parade will take place from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. The parade will begin at 1:30 p.m. from the east corner of the Bortz pavilion.

Children up to age six are invited to participate in the event. first, second and third place prizes will be awarded. Some possible themes for the floats can be “Patriotic,” “Hometown Pride” or any other theme you can think of. For Patriotic, bring out the red, white and blue; celebrate our nations heroes and anything else you believe showcases patriotism. Hometown Pride celebrates all that makes Lititz special such as Rosie’s Lunch Wagon, Wilbur Chocolate, the history of July 4th, and The Fairyland of Candles. Show the crowd why you love Lititz! Entries may be small or large, from a decorated stroller to a float. Winners will be announced at the bandshell at the conclusion of the parade (approximately 1:45 p.m.). Prizes awarded for Top 3 entries (no separate categories this year).

You may also pre-register for the parade by emailing sandi.foreman@hotmail.com. Please list the following:
Name of Entry (Float Name)
Name and Ages of Participants
Parents Names, Address and email address

Chill on the Lawn
“The Lawn” is a new area that is being added this year, and set up specifically for teens and young adults. One item of feedback organizers heard a lot last year was that there was not a lot geared for this age group in the day’s festivities. “The Lawn” will be set up from 5 to 8 p.m. around the Oehme Gazebo near the front of the park (the Kid Zone activities will be finished by 5 p.m. in the area nearby). There will be a coffee truck with casual, picnic style seating, lawn games, live music and a few other surprises just for the young adult guests.

And there’s at least one other surprise in store this year.

“Be on the lookout for a new feature in the headend of the spring near the back wall,” says lead organizer Kellye Martin.

“It will be the new STAR of the stream for sure.”

While the launch site has been slightly modified from previous years, organizers for the annual 4th of July festivities in Lititz promise a not-to-be-missed show this year. Photo by Dennis Bicksler.

Fireworks!
For a brief time last year, the future of the annual fireworks display–which for decades were launched on the field next to the former Wilbur Chocolate factory on Broad Street–were threatened due to the ongoing construction at that location. Although work continues there, organizers, after months of planning and many meetings, were able to figure out a new launch site, all the while keeping the grand finale of the day inside the park.

“There will be a lot of changes with our new fireworks field layout,” Martin said. “The biggest one we want to highlight is that there will be a new gate to access the fireworks field at the Lititz recCenter.”

 

Miss Liberty Bell Jenna Martorana will serve as the emcee for bandshell activities in the Lititz Springs Park July 4.

 

She also stated that the “running of the blankets” will take place from this gate (not at the Boy Scout pavilion entrance as in previous years) beginning at 7:30 a.m. on July 4. Guests coming in later in the day just for the fireworks should also use this gate, as other gates in the front of the park will begin closing as early as 8 p.m.

“In order to keep the fireworks going forward, our shoot site is now inside the park, and event staff must secure a safety drop zone all around the launch site,” Martin added. “For everyone’s safety, we will be ending entertainment at the band shell, including the Queen of Candles pageant, around 8 p.m. so that guests can begin making their way to the field for additional entertainment before the fireworks begins at approximately 9:30 p.m.”

She says that this will allow time for the park staff and volunteers to finish securing that safety area inside the park.

There will be detailed maps, instructions, signage, and additional volunteers throughout the day to answer any questions. Additional information can be found at lititz4thofjuly.com and the Lititz Springs Park Facebook and Instagram pages. Martin and her team are also seeking additional volunteers this year. Interested people can email Martin at lspgates@gmail.com to inquire about volunteering. For helping, volunteers will a free admission wristband.

All for a great cause
Admission wristbands are currently for sale now at the following locations: Lititz Welcome Center, McElroy’s Pharmacy, Bomberger’s store, Stauffers of Kissel Hill, and new this year at Hotel Rock Lititz. The pre-sale price is $13 for ages 11 and up, with kids 10 and under being free. Gate prices will be $15 on the day of the event for ages 11 and up, kids 10 and under are free. Guests may come and go from the park with their wristband all day. Security will be doing bag checks at all gates.
No pets allowed in the park on July 4th.

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

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