Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Distinctive INDIE Lititz

Today was a pretty big day in our little hamlet. The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced Lititz as one of its Distinctive Destinations of 2009. Those of us that live and work here of course said "duh" :) So here is a little blog of town gloating.

Todd and I are still viewed by some locals as "outsiders" since we've only been here for 4 years... but we CHOOSE Lititz. We picked up our family and moved TO Lititz, BECAUSE of Lititz. We love this town. As an Army Brat growing up on military bases and small German towns, I fell in love with this town. Why? For the very reason that was mentioned by every speaker at the press conference today: community. Around this nation developers are killing trees, moving wild animals, and buying up farms to create new "false" communities, while towns like Lititz have it naturally. When people watch re-runs of Leave It to Beaver & Andy Griffith, some long for that town life where kids can walk to the corner store owned by "Mr. Jones" and get candy on their way home from school. Where they can freely ride their bikes to the park to play and feed the ducks, without having to check in with mom on the cell phone every 10 minutes, or having a parental escort. Where you can sit on your front porch and say "howdy" to all that walk past (and know at least half of them). Well, folks I have that... here in Lititz; and I wouldn't change it for the world. (yes, this is the same city gal Sam from a few years back, commuting and working in DC!).

What makes Lititz distinctive though is not it's history as observed by the Historic Trust (and yes, we do have our history, from it's Moravian roots 250+ years ago), but it is what makes up the town now- INDIES. This town only has one non-locally owned business.. and that one "chain" kept their building to match the historic nature of the town, and has no glaring neon signage... so unless you know it's there, you would miss it. This is a true INDIE town, even on the outskirts of town, you'll find vibrant indie groceries and hardware stores. Not to mention farms, service businesses, and restaurants. If we truly want to build better communities across America, we really need to look no further than Lititz, and not at some developers planning board.

So while the Historic Trust gives us this great title for our historic preservation, we need to toot our INDIE horn as well. What makes Lititz distinctive is the history... what makes the history is the community.... and what makes the community is our support of local independent businesses!

Below are pictures from the press conference, including the actual award and a citation from the PA House of Representatives acknowledging Lititz in all it's distinction :)

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