I took the above photos on October 6, 2018 when we attended “The Chocolate Walk” in a local town. This town has been known for it’s chocolate since before I was born (long before I was born), and it didn’t start in this local town. However, it’s been an icon in this town for over 100 years. The first picture above is what is left of the original Wilbur Chocolate Factory, which is now going to be turned into Luxury Condos. Wilbur still has a chocolate store in this town and still sells plenty of chocolate. However, the new store lacks the history of the original store which was housed in the building being reconstructed. The new store is modern and, in my opinion, has lost much of its original charm because of the loss of history.
The rest of the photos have a happier story. While my heart breaks at the change of such a long-standing icon, I applaud the town businesses of Lititz, PA for remaining strong and not running in fear — fear that because of the major change, the people may stop shopping, tourists may stop coming. No, this town’s businesses continue to thrive as they offer wonderful products and services. The town also continues to hold wonderful events that draw people in, like “The Chocolate Walk”. Despite traffic and parking issues, this town continues to draw crowds and its businesses continue to thrive.
I love visiting this town because it is rich in history — the majority of the buildings are historical and beautiful. The shops are beautiful and offer unique and useful, as well as beautiful and artistic products and creations. The town also offers a variety of wonderful eating establishments, whether it’s pizza or chocolate you’re craving or a more substantial meal from the historical General Sutter Inn and Bull’s Head Pub or something in between like an authentic Mexican restaurant, or the healthier fare of The Tomato Pie Cafe. There is something for everyone in this quaint town.
I did mention the rest of the photos but haven’t explained them all yet — “The Chocolate Walk” is an annual event where people purchase tickets for money that is donated to wonderful organizations that benefit children. These tickets give the ticket-holders the privilege of visiting many of the designated shops in town to taste delicious chocolate creations made by bakers, creameries, confectioners, chocolatiers, and more for six hours one Saturday a year. Photo #2 is an army of chocolate mice that were quite tasty with a maraschino cherry in their middle. Photo #3 is a pirate skeleton holding a rifle, sculpted from metal and standing guard outside one of the delightful shops. Photos #4 and #5 are some of the fall decorations — do you recognize the character in Photo #5?
Photo #6 was one of my favorite novelty clocks in a store that sells these wonderful clocks as well as some beautiful clocks, jewelry, and ceramics, which is exemplified in Photo #7.
You may wonder why I chose to show this town the way that I did, and I have to say, it is because my own town — where I was born and raised and still reside, died, to my chagrin, many years ago because Walmart got approval to build a store on the eastern outskirts of town and everyone panicked. There were protests and cries that Walmart would run all of the local businesses out of business. (We had a K-Mart on the southern outskirts of town before the Walmart, and it hadn’t affected the local businesses.) Sadly, many of the local businesses closed before Walmart was even built and open. Business owners tucked their tails and ran instead of staying and standing strong and waiting to see where customer loyalties lay.
I grew up in a town where we did all of our shopping and enjoyed it. But for many years, there are no stores to really shop in and no great eating establishments with the exception of one or two. It has become a sad town that has been fixed up to “look attractive”, but no one does anything to bring in businesses that would revive the town and make it a place people want to visit again. My heart is broken because my children will never know the kind of town I grew up in. If I knew how to do something about it, I would.
That is why I have such praise for Lititz and am thankful they are within driving distance. Stay strong Lititz!