Lititz Prepares For 14th Annual Celebration
Holly DeKarske, executive director of Venture Lititz, can easily recall what she considers the most unusual ice sculpture from the 2018 Lititz Fire and Ice event. "Last year, the Listerine bottle (was the most unusual)," noted DeKarske. "It was 10 feet tall. Everyone wanted a photo with it." For 2019, DeKarske is looking forward to a group of sculptures that will be carved in a barnyard theme. "This year, I am most excited about the tractor because you can actually get on it," DeKarske said. "We will have farm animals with it that (allow people to) put (their faces) in a hole for a photo."
This year's Lititz Fire and Ice, which is organized by Venture Lititz in partnership with the Lititz Lions and Leo clubs, will run from Friday, Feb. 15, through Monday, Feb. 18, throughout downtown Lititz. Specific activities will be held on Feb. 15 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 16, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Portions of Main and Broad streets will be closed during these times. The event will include more than 50 ice sculptures spread around town, with interactive sculptures near the Lititz Post Office and the entrance to Lititz Springs Park. The ice sculptures will remain in place for visitors to see through Tuesday, Feb. 19.
On Feb. 15, activities will kick off at 5 p.m. with the traditional Friday night block party. According to DeKarske, 40 small sculptures, including ones in the shapes of everything from birds to fish to business logos, will be set up around town. "At least a dozen large ones will be carved on-site," said DeKarske, who continues to work with Ernie DiMartino of Jeannette to procure the sculptures. A large throne and smaller throne will both provide photo opportunities, and there will be a chocolate-themed sculpture in the mix. "It's a wide variety, and they will be great for taking photos," said DeKarske.
This year, a stage will be set up in the square to provide live musical entertainment on Feb. 15 and 16. Local Scout troops will build bonfires for marshmallow roasting on Feb. 15 in the evening. Up to five nonprofit organizations, including Victory Church, Grace Church, Lititz Christian School, and Trinity Church, will have display tables located in Lititz Springs Park on Feb. 15.
To add a little heat to the event, the park will also be the site of a fire-related pyrotechnic surprise on Feb. 15. The display will run periodically from 5 to 9 p.m. "Last year, flames literally shot into the air every 30 minutes," recalled DeKarske.
About 20 food trucks, offering a variety of foods, including burgers, barbecue, kettle corn, funnel cakes, and french fries, for purchase will line Broad Street.
As is tradition, the Lions and Leos have several events planned to take place at Warwick High School, 301 W. Orange St., Lititz, on Feb. 16. The annual Chili Cook-Off, Kids Carnival, and Vendor Fair will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cook-off will offer the opportunity to taste chili concocted by 20 different chefs. The competition will raise funds for a number of local organizations. Admission buttons, which are necessary to attend the contest, may be purchased at the Lititz Stauffers of Kissel Hill, Bomberger's, Dosie Dough, and Aaron's Books, as well as at the high school during the event. Only 1,500 admission buttons will be sold.
The Kids Carnival will feature food, face painting, craft and coloring stations, inflatables, and a variety of games and competitions. Wristbands for unlimited play may be purchased at the event. There is no admission fee to attend the Vendor Fair, which will feature a number of local vendors and businesses showcasing their products and services.
Readers who would like to learn more about the festival may visit http://lititzfireandice.com.