If I had to describe 2020 as a person, I'd call it a curmudeonly hermit who, without fail, hails from a "place of no." No festivals, no congregating, no hugging, no singing, no bare faces, no smiles, no fun! So when I heard that the small town of Lititz was going to break rank and host an "ice walk" this year, I knew I just had to attend.
Granted, it was was a little more spread out this year than in year's past, when its main gathering place/focal point was the park. Gone were the food vendors, rides, children's activities and the chili cookoff, but it was still nice to be able to get out and patronize the small businesses that have taken the brunt of this pandemic.
The sculptures were varied and interesting, with my favorite being the girls playing jump rope. To add to the appeal, the jump rope was lit up at night with twinkly lights. I think this was the largest sculpture I'd ever seen at an icefest.
Other interesting sculptures included depictions of a rooster, the Penn State Nittany Lion, a martian, a parrot and Lady Liberty, to name just a few.
(The Nittany Lion Mascot)
I've visited other Pennsylvania ice fests, both in Carlisle and Chambersburg, and this is the first time I've seen color used in any of the sculptures.
(A cute "rubber" ice duck with Lititz in pink and yellow)
(This sculpture was sponsored by Johnson and Johnson)
If you missed this year's "Ice Walk" there's always a possibility that the full-blown IceFest will be held next year. In the meantime, there are plenty of other things to do and see in the area.
A Shopper's Paradise
Downtown Lititz is home to more than 60 boutique shops downtown, featuring everything from apparel, to gourmet food, candy and home decor.
And if you love steampunk, you'll find a nice selection at Cherry Acres and Kirsch's Antiques
My husband bought me one of my choosing on Valentine's Day. It's a carburetor topped with an air filter. Here is a picture of it in my house.
(My new steampunk lamp)
I also enjoyed browsing the products at The Savory Gourmet
, which carries an array of sauces, cheese and exotic meats, ranging from camel, to kangaroo. I've eaten buffalo, elk, venison and wild boar, but I can't say I've ever been tempted to taste camel. I just can't get over that hump.
(The Savory Gourmet offers an array of exotic meats, cheeses, sauces and more)
Another "foodie" destination is Zest!
located at 30 E. Main Street. Zest! offers spices, gourmet foods, kitchen gadgets, cookware and more. If you have a friend who enjoys cooking and seems to have everything, you're likely to find a unique gift there.
(Zest sells gadgets, cookware, spices and more)
(Who has pasta shaped like little Eiffel Towers?)
Kids, in particular, enjoy visiting Candyology. Candyology offers a cornucopia of candies, soda, puzzles and unique gift items sure to be a hit with the little ones. I took a picture of one of the unique sodas that they offer and overheard the owner saying they had just sold an enchilada flavor. This one is almost as unique. Grass anyone? (Candyology sells a variety of puzzles, candy and unique sodas)
The Wilbur factory in downtown Lititz closed in 2016 and the candy is made in other, more modern plants now, including a Lititz plant on West Lincoln Avenue. The retail store, however, is still open in the downtown area and continues to do a brisk business. I was able to take home a box of my favorites: dark, sea salt caramels.
(The Wilbur Chocolate Retail Store was doing a brisk business on
Valentine's Day weekend)
Before I left, I was able to snap a few shots of antique chocolate pots that were on display there.
(Antique chocolate pots on display at the Wilbur retain store)
Another shop with a rich history is the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Factory.
In 1861, at the age of 26, Julius Sturgis purchased the home at 219 E. Main Street in Lititz, where he opened the first commercial pretzel bakery in America. The house dates back to 1784 and is one of the oldest structures in Lititz.
(My hustand stands for the mandatory picture in front of the Sturgis building)
Today, families visit to view historical artifacts, purchase a variety of pretzels and try their hand at making their own.
(A variety of pretzel products for sale at the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery)
(Artifacts on view to the public at the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery)
(Families learn how to twist pretzels at the Sturgis Bakery)
The Historical Foundation and Museum
Just a few steps from the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, is the Lititz Historical Foundation & Museum, which is generally open from Memorial Day through October. I suggest visiting their website closer to Memorial Day to discover what their plans are for this year. I visited the museum about two years ago and snapped a few shots at that time. You'll see a variety of artifacts relating to Lititz area businesses, craftsmen and people.
(The Lititz Historical Foundation and Museum is located at 136-145 W Main Street)
(A fan that belonged to Mrs. Lincoln)
(A day in the life)
(Artifacts from the Lititz Springs Whiskey Company)
(Before the movies, there was the "Magic Lantern". This one dates back to the 1800s)
Linden Hall, located across the street from the Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, is an all-girls school, founded in 1746 and still operating today. Below are artifacts from the school and a shot of the school campus.
(Linden Hall artifacts at the Lititz Historical Foundation and Museum)
(The Linden Hall Campus)
Lititz Springs Park
Located near the old Wilbur Factory is Lititz Spring Park, owned by the Lititz Moravian Foundation and maintained by the churches of Lititz for public use. Prior to Covid, there would often be live entertainment and a popular Fourth-of-July celebration. Today kids can run through the park and also buy pellets from dispensers to feed the ducks for 25 cents.
(The Welcome Center across from the Wilbur Factory-turned hotel)
(Children and adults enjoy feeding the ducks at Lititz Springs Park)
Lodging and Eats
The Wilbur Factory now exists as condominiums and The Wilbur Lititz
, which is part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton.
We enjoyed being so close to downtown and our room was comfortable. The only issues we had was a wonky door that was hung wrong and wasn't flush with the jamb, which concerned us a bit, but it seemed to lock okay. We also had a great deal of difficulty using the phone app to get in and out of the hotel. I think they need to work on that.
(A comfy room at the Wilbur)
(Vintage ads decorate the walls)
(A shot taken from the upstairs level)
During the evening, we enjoyed a delicious meal onsite at the Blackworth Live Fire Grill. The decor was attractive and the place was buzzing when we visited.
It took quite awhile to get our food, like about an hour, so if you visit, be prepared to wait a bit. I have to say it was delicious though.
(Shrimp at the Blackworth)
(A delicious strip steak at Blackworth)
If you'd prefer a more casual setting, I recommend Scooters, located at 921 Lititz Pike. Scooters serves burgers, steaks and pasta. The service was good, the food was terrific and the owner was onsite to offer a hearty, friendly greeting to the customers.
The Wilbur offers fantastic ham or bacon breakfast sandwiches during the breakfast hour, which my husband enjoyed. I, on the other hand, wanted to see what was happening at the Market at the Wilbur and chose to grab a cup of coffee at Whiff Roasters
and an acai bowl at Oola Bowls.
(Whiff Coffee Roasters at the Market at the Wilbur)
(Food selection at the Market at the Wilbur)
(Oola bowls are a delicious breakfast option)
If you visit Lititz, I highly recommend the Oola Bowls
and do hope they expand into other areas. I ordered the "What the Flax," containing acai, pineapple, granola, blueberry, flax and honey.
My two-day stay in the quaint and interesting town was enough to become familiar with just about everything downtown Lititz had to offer. If I could recommend a better time to stay, it would be the summer, because everything's better when your surroundings are lush and green and the temperatures are comfortable, but there's no denying that Lititz offers a little something for everyone all year round.