Lighting up Lititz

By on June 27, 2018

The stage is set for the year’s biggest party in Lititz, and you are invited. The annual Independence Day celebration in Lititz Springs Park takes place on July 4. And as in previous years, organizers have a full day’s worth of fun, surprises, and family memories in store. The entire event is a fundraiser for the park, which does not receive any public assistance or government funding.

Stake your claim

The back gate at the Boy Scout pavilion will open at 7:30 a.m. on July 4 for guests to select their preferred spots of choice for the fireworks show, which is slated to begin that evening at 9:45 p.m. As a friendly reminder, organizers are urging guests to not place tarps or stakes in the ground. There are several security sweeps of the area during the day, and those items will be removed.

Patriotic Parade

The annual Patriotic Parade, sponsored by the Lititz Lions, will take to the streets of the downtown on July 3.

 

The parade, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will start at Broad and Kleine streets. It will then proceed south on Broad, then left on East Main, then right on South Locust, then right on East Marion street, and then right on Broad street.

 

On July 3, the annual Patriotic Parade sponsored by the Lititz Lions will unfold on the streets on Lititz. The parade, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will start at Broad and Kleine streets. It will then proceed south on Broad, then left on East Main, then right on South Locust, then right on East Marion street, and then right on Broad street.

After the parade, visitors will begin to get fired up for the 4th by checking out a special performance by Rick K. and the Allnighters which will perform immediately after the parade. This highly energetic group known far and wide as “America’s Most Exciting Show Band,” they will take you on a high speed, cross country, tour of rock’s greatest hits from one decade to another. And you won’t want to miss the incredible percussion skills of the man behind the drums, Steve Moore. In 2010, a YouTube clip of the group performing a cover of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” emerged, which showcases Moore’s very creative skills on the drums. The video quickly went “viral,” and racked up more 44 million views in the process.

In addition to live music after the parade, patrons can also enjoy approximately 13 food trucks that will be scattered throughout the park that evening.

During intermission, the Lititz Lions will be taking up a donation to help cover the cost of the evening. Guests to the park are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and make a night of it!

Rick K. and the Allnighters will rock the band shell in the Lititz Springs Park after the parade July 3.

Party in the park

The next day, the party continues in Lititz for the 201st Fourth of July celebration. Gates will open at 12 p.m. as the park comes to life with food trucks, games, and family fun taking place all day.

The official welcome to the park and some brief announcements will begin at 1 p.m. at the bandshell. Afterwards, the all-female rock band Steel Radiance will take to the stage. The band specializes in blues rock of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Powerhouse lead guitarist Gabbie Bonet has entertained audiences from South Carolina to Nashville. During her career, she has had the pleasure to share the stage with legendary artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Carlos Santana. Tara Reber is featured on vocals and keyboards, and Lisa Thomas and Kelly Buchanan on bass and background vocals respectively, who all team with small but mighty Deb Olsen on drums to create a fun-loving energy that will make you get out of your seat and dance.

Colebrook Road will then perform at 2:15 p.m.

Colebrook Road

A standout string band as well as a bluegrass powerhouse, the group is made up of five individuals whose sum is more than the total of their talents. The 5-piece has won numerous accolades, including the 2016 D.C. Bluegrass Union’s Mid Atlantic Bluegrass band contest in Washington D.C., the 2015 Podunk Bluegrass Festival band contest in Hebron, CT, the 2014 Watermelon Park Fest band contest in Berryville, VA, and the 2011 Pickin’ In The Panhandle Bluegrass Festival band contest in Martinsburg, WV.

Then at 3:45 p.m., the Bell Ringing Ceremony and the National Anthem will take place. A few moments later, the Lititz Community Band will perform. Always a town favorite, the group is comprised of talented musicians of all ages and all walks of life right here in Lititz.

Baby Parade

At 1 p.m. registration begins for the Baby Parade in the main parking lot in the park. The event is open to anyone ages birth to 6 years of age. Entries may be anything from a small wagon or stroller to a float. At 1:45 p.m., entrants will begin to line up for judging. Judging will then begin at 2 p.m, with the winners will then begin being announced at 2:15 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for Most Patriotic, Best Hometown, and Best Use of the Willy Wonka Theme. One of the many prizes this year will be a 4 pack of Dutch Wonderland tickets.

Kids Zone

Look for Insanity Factor inside the park, who will provide some great magic, comedy, and audience interaction.

Then at 1:30 p.m., music will be provided by Judy Pancoast. Back in 1998, Pancoast wrote a song called “The House on Christmas Street” as a tribute to those mega-decorated houses she’s loved all her life; the ones that can almost be seen from outer space and make the passerby wonder how the homeowner is managing to pay the electric bill.

“There seems to be one of those houses in every town,” says Pancoast, “but to my knowledge nobody had ever written a song about it.”

Judy Pancoast

Little did Pancoast know that just a few years after she wrote and recorded her song, a phenomenon known as animated lighting would begin changing the way decorating enthusiasts created their displays, and her tune would become their anthem. Since then, the trend has grown worldwide with displays as far away as Australia playing her song. Above it all, Pancoast is a recording artist that radiates joy and happiness throughout her music. She creates clever songs with melodies that will delight both the young and the young at heart. In 2011, she was nominated for a Grammy for Best Children’s Album for her recording “Weird Things Are Everywhere!”

At 2 p.m. sit back and take a break in the Kids Zone for story time with Janine Miller. Miller, in conjunction with illustrator Betsy Cook, wil be onhand to read their book “Three Wishes for Wilbur,” which is set in Lititz Springs Park. Signed copies will also be available for purchase.

At 2:45 p.m. Pulse Dance Studio will dazzle the stage and show off their talented dance moves. Look for a second appearance from them at the bandshell at 5 p.m.

At 3:45 p.m., Jesse Rothracker will be bringing his “Forgotten Friends Reptile Rescue” show to the stage kids zone.

The Lords of 52nd Street

You could say they are actually New York’s favorite band, having sold more than 150 million records while playing behind Billy Joel and his formidable sound. At 6:30 p.m., get ready for the The Lords of 52nd Street to take the stage.

But before becoming The Lords of 52nd Street, you could find them playing at local clubs in Long Island under the band name, “Topper” – a 60’s high school rock and roll band originally formed by Russell Javors on guitar and vocals, Doug Stegmeyer on bass, and Liberty DeVitto on drums. The band was drawing a large audience at the time, but then Stegmeyer quickly flew out to California to audition for the “Piano Man” himself, Mr. Billy Joel.

He, along with DeVitto and Javors then joined Joel in the studio to record the 1976 album “Turnstiles.” Joel was also looking specifically for a saxophone player who could play keyboards. Enter Richie Cannata, who was blown away by their playing speed and tightness of the band which can stop on a dime and start right back up. Cannata then went into the studio and immediately recorded “New York State of Mind.”

Phil Ramone and Joel coined DeVitto, Cannata, Javors and Stegmeyer The Lords of 52nd Street, and went into Columbia Studios to record, “The Stranger.” The album was a commercial success, holding a RIAA diamond certification (10x platinum), and several #1 singles including, “Only The Good Die Young” and “Just The Way You Are”. The Lords of 52nd Street, along side the Piano Man, led an international tour, and performed at famous arenas including Wembley Stadium, Royal Albert Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Nassau Coliseum, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, Budokan, the LA Forum and many others.

The Lords of 52nd Street, who helped provide the signature sound for Billy Joel for several decades, will play on in the Lititz Springs Park on July 4th on the Paul E. Beck Memorial Bandshell.

All hail the Queen

At 8:15 p.m., be sure not to miss the 77th Queen of the Candles Pageant, as recent Warwick graduates vie for this title. This year’s court includes Kaitlyn Pyle, Melissa Gibble, Paige Bogda, Lilly Shaffer, Elizabeth Wash, Jensen Hodecker, Talia Bertrando, McKenzie Cossette, Lauryn Ober, Peyton Hamilton, Amanda Herr, and Trinity McFarlane. Once the queen is crowned, she’ll make her way down to the nearby springs in the park and light the very first candle in the park. Then at 9 p.m., the 175th annual Fairyland of Candles illumination will take place throughout the park.

Light up the night

Also at 9 p.m on the fireworks field, look for radio station FUN 101.3, who will be hosting a DJ Dance Party with on-air personality Ronnie Ramone. Join Ramone as he counts down to the spectacular fireworks.

As the evening progresses, thousands in attendance will wait in anticipation as 9:45 p.m nears. That’s the time for the featured attraction of the evening – the fireworks spectacular staged by Celebration Fireworks. This year’s theme for the show is “CINEMAGIQUE: A Fantasy in Fireworks and Lasers.”

Admission wristbands are currently on sale at the Lititz Welcome Center, now at a pre-sale price of $13 for ages 11 and up. Gate price will be $15 and children 10 and under are free.

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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