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Elstonville Motorcycle Club Ride

The Elstonville Motorcycle Club Caring and Sharing Ride will take place on Sunday, July 16, beginning at 11 a.m. at Lawn Fire Company, 5596 Elizabethtown Road, Lawn. The ride will end at Elstonville Sportsmen's Association, 3133 Pinch Road, Manheim, where there will be food, entertainment, and awards.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. There is a fee to participate. Proceeds from the event will benefit Children's Miracle Network at Penn State Hershey and local families in need.

The ride will be held rain or shine. The registration deadline is July 10. For more information or to register, readers may contact 717-665-7609 or ameh@ptd.net.

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Lititz Fourth of July Celebration

Lititz Plans Anniversary Event

As Lititz plans to commemorate 200 years of Independence Day celebrations, organizer Tim Reedy is looking ahead. "The next generation will be planning the July Fourth celebrations, and they need to know (how) they should be celebrating the nation's birth in the park," said Reedy.

With that idea in mind, organizers of the annual event have enhanced the KidsZone activities while adding a new Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival for adults. A variety of entertainment and other activities are planned to begin shortly after the Lititz Springs Park gates open at noon on Tuesday, July 4.

Victory Church will hold games and other activities in the KidsZone area, where the theme will be Winter in July. "We will have real reindeer there, and kids can sit on the reindeer for photo ops," noted Reedy. In addition, local entertainers will appear in the KidsZone area, including the Insanity Factor, Marian and Friends, the Pulse Dance Team, story time with Rubi Nicholas, Jack Hubley, and music by Phredd and Steven Courtney.

At the band shell, the bluegrass festival will feature Colebrook Road and the Dirty Grass Players. The Lititz Community Band will play, and the Mama Tried Band will perform.

The National Bell Ringing will take place at the band shell at 4:45 p.m., and the 76th Queen of the Candles Pageant will take place at 8:45 p.m., followed by the candle illumination at 9:15 p.m.

Reedy recommended that attendees take advantage of a free photo booth that will open in the Reedy Pavilion. "You can take your picture in the 'Winter in July' garb," said Reedy.

To commemorate the 200th Independence Day celebration, Reedy noted that organizers have decided to bury a time capsule. The capsule, which was designed and built by Sheldon Christner's technology students at Warwick High School, will be dedicated at the band shell at 4:30 p.m. Area residents who wish to put something in the time capsule will have opportunities on Monday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 4, to purchase small tubes in which a personal note can be sealed. In addition, the July Fourth committee will put together a time capsule holding memorabilia from the event such as a poster and a program. The capsules will be buried with the plan to unearth them in 25 years. Reedy said that the capsule will give participants a chance to say "hi" to their grandchildren in 25 years.

Nearly 30 food vendors will be at the event selling items including brick-oven pizza made on-site, french fries, burgers, barbecue, crab cakes, stuffed pretzels, nuts, kettle corn, ice cream, and tropical-flavored smoothies.

It is said that just before the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that he hoped the day would be celebrated with "pomp and parade ... bonfires, and illuminations," and the town of Lititz has taken that hope seriously, holding a yearly fireworks show at the park that can be seen from vantage points outside the borough. "We will have a bigger (fireworks) show with a local flare, and (it will be) more patriotic than other years," said Reedy, who added that lasers will be incorporated into the mix.

The Independence Day celebration in Lititz draws up to 15,000 people annually to the park, and an estimated 10,000 people watch the fireworks from outside the park. "I want to encourage everyone from the Lititz area to come out and celebrate the 200th," said Reedy. "It's a big deal."

Tickets, which are necessary to attend the events in the park, may be purchased at the Lititz Welcome Center, Bomberger's Store, McElroy Pharmacy, and Stauffers of Kissel Hill - Lititz. Tickets are free for children age 10 and under, and tickets purchased by Sunday, July 2, will be discounted. Details and a schedule for the event may be found at www.lititz4thofjuly.com.

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Open House

Carol Zartman, director of Neffsville Christian Preschool, has no problem articulating the organization's goals for students. "Our goals are to provide a caring, nurturing, developmentally appropriate environment for a child where he or she can share, communicate, and interact with others," said Zartman recently. "(We are here to) help your child develop self-expression, creativity, and responsibility."

Zartman will be happy to tell parents about the goals and curriculum of the Christian-based preschool, among other facts, during the Neffsville Christian Preschool annual open house and registration event scheduled for Saturday, March 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the school, located in Long Memorial United Methodist Church, 2660 Lititz Pike, Lancaster. "We are asking everyone who attends the event to bring a new pack of children's underwear or socks for Lydia's Closet, a clothing bank in our area," noted Zartman. Harmony Hill Puppet Theater Group will perform at the open house, and animal crafts, face painting, tours of the preschool, and refreshments will be part of the event.

The school, now in its 42nd year, currently serves 65 children ages 2 and a half to 5 in six classrooms overseen by 18 staff members. Class size is limited to keep the ratio of teachers to students high and to meet church safety requirements. The school is open from 9:30 a.m. to noon five days a week. The 2-and-a-half-year-olds meet on Mondays and Fridays; 3-year-olds meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays or Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; and 4-and 5-year-olds meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with an optional extra skill-building day on Tuesday.

According to Zartman, academics for the students include basic math concepts such as shapes, colors, patterns, sizes, one-to-one correspondence and counting. Early reading concepts include focusing on a different letter each week. "Students are asked to bring an item from home that begins with that sound," explained Zartman.

Zartman added that teaching is kept developmentally appropriate for students. "We do a lot of sensory activities with letters by making the shapes with shaving cream or in sand. We work on how to manipulate scissors or hold a crayon or pencil." Students also learn their name, address, and phone number, along with songs and nursery rhymes and how to turn the pages of a book.

In addition to working in group settings, students also receive individual attention. "While the children are having free play time at different stations, the teachers will pull them out and do some skill work," said Zartman. "We are ... monitoring their academics and giving them the help they need to learn those prerequisite skills."

Neffsville Christian Preschool is a ministry of Long Memorial United Methodist Church, and Zartman emphasized that teachings are in accordance with the Scriptures in a Christian setting. "It's important that we continue to share God's love and His promises with our children while preparing them academically for the rigors of kindergarten," Zartman said.

Parents are encouraged to get involved in school activities through a back-to-school family picnic, get-acquainted breakfast, and school-wide Thanksgiving feast, among other celebrations. "We invite parents to come in and read to the children and to involve them in seasonal activities," said Zartman. "This is the first time the child is leaving the protection of their home, and we want parents to feel confident and know that their children are safe and this is a good place for them to be sent."

Readers who would like more information about Neffsville Christian Preschool may visit www.neffsvillechristianpreschool.com or call 560-5575.

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An American Salute"

The Hershey Symphony Orchestra invites the community to celebrate Independence Day on Monday, July 3, at the 14th annual free concert on the lawn of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 500 University Drive, Hershey. The orchestra's performance, titled "An American Salute," will begin at 7:30 p.m. The rain date is Tuesday, July 4.

Complimentary water and ice cream will be provided by the Medical Center. Food and beverages for purchase will be offered by eight food trucks parked along the perimeter of the crowd beginning at 6 p.m. Wellness activities for children will be available from 6 to 7 p.m. on the front lawn.

The first half of the concert will feature selections from the Broadway show "Hamilton"; a few John Williams pieces, including "Star Wars"; other movie themes; a medley of Sinatra hits; and light classics. During the second half of the concert, the orchestra will present "A Salute to America," accompanied by Hershey Symphony Orchestra vocalists. The selections will celebrate America and provide a special tribute to the military.

The concert will be directed by Bob Sproul. Parking is free, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. A freewill offering will be received to benefit the orchestra. For more information about the Hershey Symphony Orchestra, readers may visit www.HersheySymphony.org and search for "Hershey Symphony Orchestra" on Facebook or "Hershey Symphony" on Twitter.

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Dan Welch: "The Last Road North: A Guide to the Gettysburg Campaign"

The Lancaster Civil War Round Table will sponsor a program by historian Dan Welch, "The Last Road North: A Guide to the Gettysburg Campaign," on Thursday, July 13, at 7 p.m. at the Lititz Public Library, 651 Kissel Hill Road Lititz.

Welch will share how the two armies cat-and-moused their way northward before clashing at Gettysburg. Welch is finishing his Master of Arts in military history with a Civil War concentration at American Military University. He previously served as the education programs coordinator for the Gettysburg Foundation and was a seasonal park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park.

The program is open to the public. Preregistration is suggested but not required by calling the library at 717-626-2255 or emailing register@lititzlibrary.org. For details, email lancastercivilwarroundtable@gmail.com.

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Deep Sky Observing Techniques With Your Telescope"

Tom Lugar and the Astronomy Enthusiasts of Lancaster County will present the program "Deep Sky Observing Techniques With Your Telescope" on Wednesday, July 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lititz Public Library, 651 Kissel Hill Road, Lititz.

Lugar will present techniques for finding galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and double stars with telescopes. Inexpensive star atlases will be discussed, and there will be a short presentation on details for the September Black Forest Star Party at Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County.

The club also holds monthly observing sessions at a local dark sky site when the weather permits. For more information, visit www.aelc.us.

The program is open to the public. Readers are encouraged to preregister for the program by calling the library at 717-626-2255 or by emailing their name, phone number, and number attending to register@lititzlibrary.org.

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Movie and a Craft

Hershey Public Library, 701 Cocoa Ave., Hershey, will offer the Movie and a Craft program for children in kindergarten through grade five. Participants will make a craft while watching "The Lego Movie," rated PG, on Friday, June 30, at 10 a.m. The program will be offered again at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 14, featuring "The BFG," rated PG.

No registration is required. For more details, readers may call the children's desk at 717-533-6555, ext. 3708, or visit www.hersheylibrary.org.

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Conquer Run 5K

The Conquer Run 5K, a competitive run and fun walk that benefits Four Diamonds at Penn State Children's Hospital, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23. Registration is now open for individual runners and teams interested in participating in the event, which will take place at Hersheypark, Hersheypark Drive, Hershey.

Runners and walkers will join Donovan, a Four Diamonds child and the 2017 Conquer Run Hero, on a 5K adventure through Hersheypark. Participants will help this 7-year-old conquer childhood cancer by collecting each of the four diamonds - courage, wisdom, honesty and strength - along the course.

Runners and walkers of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate. Discounted registration is open through Monday, July 31, at www.conquerrun.org. Hersheypark Stadium will be open to spectators free of charge on the day of the event. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

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Benefit Event with Billy Porter

Broadway star Billy Porter will come to Lancaster to benefit PRiMA Theatre in July. PRiMA Theatre will present Porter at Willow Valley Communities Cultural Center Theatre, 900 Willow Valley Lakes Drive, Lancaster, at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 14. The special event will feature a gourmet dinner on the concert stage, with a preview performance by Porter. Porter will also perform a solo concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 15.

Porter is a Tony and Grammy Award-winning singer. From Pittsburgh, Porter rose to the heights of Broadway fame in shows such as "Miss Saigon," "Grease," "Smokey Joe's Cafe," "Dreamgirls," "Shuffle Along," "Jesus Christ Superstar," and others.

Each event requires a separate ticket. Individuals may also purchase an opportunity to win an exclusive Billy Porter New York City excursion. Tickets and details are available by calling 327-5124 or visiting www.primatheatre.org. Proceeds will benefit PRiMA Theatre.

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Piano Recital

St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 301 St. Thomas Road, Lancaster, will host a solo recital by pianist Maria Thompson Corley on Sunday, July 9, at 4 p.m.

Corley, who is Juilliard-trained and also a professional voice actor, will present "Moonlight and Love Songs," a program of soothing pieces for solo piano by Debussy, Beethoven, Grieg, Liszt and others, along with an occasional associated poem.

A freewill offering will be received.

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