Lititz needs your votes to be recognized for America’s best Main Street

Lancaster

LITITZ, Pa. (WHTM) — Previously dubbed “America’s coolest small town,” Lititz is now vying for the title of the country’s best Main Street in the America’s Main Streets contest. Community members can vote to help the Lancaster County town win the title.

Venture Lititz Executive Director Rebecca Branle entered Lititz in the national competition, and the town has been selected as a quarterfinalist after the first round of voting narrowed more than 250 communities down to just 25, Branle explained.

“It’s been all community voting, so that just tells you how awesome the Lititz community is,” Branle said. But the community’s help is still needed.

Until Dec. 12, individuals can vote online up to 25 times per day for Lititz to win the America’s Main Streets contest. To vote, click the “vote” button at this link. (Then click it 24 more times. Then repeat that the next day.)

“There’s a lot that’s really unique and amazing about Lititz,” Branle said. The town has a natural spring that was the foundation for Lititz Springs Park, historic buildings, modern businesses, and a host of community events.

With more than 70 merchants in the community selling items including clothes, jewelry, antiques, home decor, baked goods, books, and more, Branle said, “It’s a town where everyone can find something that feels special.”

“While we have wonderful history, architecture, shops, pubs, and cafes, it really is the people that makes Lititz so very special!” Cory Van Brookhoven, president of the Lititz Historical Foundation and life-long Lititz resident, said in an email.

“This community really knows the value of creating a place that is warm and welcoming. There is a long tradition here of both honoring the past and preparing for the future. Many downtown buildings are at least 200 years old, but the town isn’t a museum or an amusement park. It’s a living community that also welcomes visitors,” Todd Dickinson, co-owner of Aaron’s Books in Lititz, said in an email.

Kurt J. Van Gilder is the general manager of the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, which was opened in 1861 in Lititz. “Lititz is a very special place in that it has quaint shops, extremely friendly and welcoming people, and a gorgeous downtown. Just a few blocks out of the borough, you can see rolling hills dotted with farmlands with the occasional horse and buggy passing by,” Van Gilder said in an email.

“When I stand in Lititz, it feels simultaneously like I’m on vacation and I’m at home,” Branle said.

Lititz is the only Pennsylvania community in the America’s Main Streets quarterfinals.

After voting closes on Dec. 12, a panel of judges will select the final winner out of the 10 communities with the most votes. The winner will receive $25,000 to go toward its Main Street.

Branle said Venture Lititz leaders have been a bit superstitiously hesitant to finalize a plan for the prize money, but if Lititz wins, they would likely use the funds to preserve some of the historic facades in the town or to install public art in the community.

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The America’s Main Streets contest is managed by Independent We Stand, which works to support and inspire small businesses, according to its website.

The contest website also states, “Main Streets are really the heartbeat of America’s cities and towns. They play an important part in the long-term success of communities and really help build a sense of place. When Main Streets are strong, so are the communities that surround them. The goal of the America’s Main Streets contest is to help promote the importance and strong economic benefits of these Main Streets and the small businesses that help them thrive.”

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