The one-night version of A Taste of Lititz, which before the COVID-19 pandemic brought hundreds of people to the borough’s downtown each June for food, drink, art and music, couldn’t be held this year because of limits on outdoor gatherings.
But a transformed, two-week version of the event — designed to spread out people’s visits to Lititz restaurants and businesses — is set to begin Monday.
“It’s really about just trying to support small businesses during this time of COVID,” says Holly DeKarske, executive director of Venture Lititz — the group that organizes community programming for the borough.
Venture Lititz hopes to lure visitors to the downtown area between Monday, Aug. 17, and Saturday, Aug. 29, with live music being performed around town on several nights over the two weeks.
In addition, DeKarske says, visitors are encouraged to take photos of themselves while shopping at a Lititz business or eating at one of the town’s restaurants during the two-week event, and post them on social media for a chance to win one of 30 $20 gift cards.
To participate, those posting pictures must tag Downtown Lititz on Facebook or @LititzPA on Instagram, and use the hashtag #TasteofLititz2020.
Winners will be picked at the end of the event, DeKarske says.
“Two weeks allows everyone to spread out, social distance and get a chance to come downtown whenever it fits their schedules,” DeKarske says.
“It’s been incredibly difficult to operate (a business) and continue to survive,” she says, “so we thought if we could still find a way to encourage people to come to shop and to eat, and allow them to do it at their own pace ... and in a way they feel comfortable, it’s a benefit to downtown, and a way to experience Lititz and the things we have to offer.
“We have lots of outdoor seating at the (Lititz Springs) park, and on Sturgis Lane, if people just want to get takeout and sit somewhere downtown,” DeKarske says. “It’s a nice time to get out of the house for a little bit.”
Music and art
A Taste of Lititz also has music and art components, as it does when it’s held on one June evening, DeKarske says.
The Lititz Art Association is operating its annual Taste of Lititz Art Auction online this year, says association treasurer Donna Felton.
“It will be an online show, and an auction, by bid,” Felton says. “It’s going to span the same two weeks that Taste of Lititz does.”
The Art Association provided 8-by-8-inch panels — Aquabord for watercolors and Jessobord for acrylics and oils — to any artist who wanted to participate in the auction, Felton says.
“Our theme has always been ‘Lititz,’ so we get (artwork of) food, Lititz buildings, all kinds of things” related to the town.
As the works are being submitted, she says, they’re being photographed to be uploaded to the association’s website, lititzartassociation.com, for display and online bidding from Monday through Aug. 29.
“In addition to the panels, we have jewelry, we have pottery, we have some hand-knit pieces” and photography, Felton says.
Images of some of the artwork is already posted on the @LititzPA Instagram page, with the hashtags #tasteoflititz2020 and #standwithlititz.
The winning bids will be announced at the end of the Taste of Lititz event.
Music is being offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, DeKarske says, and will be spread out around town so people eating in different parts of Lititz and its environs can experience it.
“We’re trying to move it around, so that it can hit a little bit of everyone between the different locations we have, and then one is completely mobile, to hit the areas outside downtown,” DeKarske says.
Here’s the music schedule:
— Tuesday, Steel Radiance at Blackworth Live Fire Grill on North Broad Street, in front of the Market at the Wilbur, so it can heard by customers at Chilangos Authentic Mexican Restaurante, as well.
— Thursday, Aug. 20, Todd Fulginiti playing while sitting in a roaming truck. The truck will roll down Main and Broad streets, reach restaurants outside of the downtown area and entertain those at Appalachian Brewing Co. and Stoll and Wolfe Distillery.
— Saturday, Aug. 22 , Texas Annie at the front porch area of Tied House on East Main Street, which will carry over to the outdoor tables at nearby Slate Cafe.
— Tuesday, Aug. 25, Mocking Bird in the parking lot at Rooster Street Butcher on South Cedar Street, carrying over to nearby Isabella’s Ice Cream Parlor.
— Thursday, Aug. 27, Todd Fulginiti is back in the roaming truck, traveling down Main and Broad streets, and around such away-from-downtown eateries as Scooters on Lititz Pike and Per Diem and Fetish Brewing Co. at Rock Lititz.
— Saturday, Aug. 29, Steel Radiance on the brick patio area beside the Main Men clothing store on East Main Street, so it can also be heard outside Tied House and Slate Cafe.
For more information about A Taste of Lititz, visit the events page of the Venture Lititz website at lititzpa.com.