Pa. families break out red, white and blue for contest

July 05, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - It was clearly the red, white and blue felt hats three of the Lutz children wore Thursday that gave the family an edge in the "Most Patriotic Family" contest at Greencastle's Fourth of July celebration.

Four families decked out in red, white and blue from head to toe competed for a $25 gift certificate to Mikie's, a Greencastle ice cream shop.

The Lutz family was declared the winner based on audience applause.

Emily, 9, Daniel, 6, and Matthew, 4, wore hats with felt stripes and stars. They made the hats, which double as windsocks, at church.


Katie, 11, and the children's mother, Beth Lutz, stuck small American flags into their ponytails.

The family all wore blue shorts and alternated red and blue shirts.

Beth Lutz said she didn't come to the Fourth of July event with the intent to enter the contest, but when master of ceremonies Greg Hoover asked for volunteers, her family jumped up.

"We always dress up for the Fourth of July. It's not like me to enter something, though," she said.

Emily Lutz said she was nervous standing in front of the crowd of abut 300 people at Jerome R. King Playground band shell, but she was excited when she realized they won.

While Beth Lutz said the gift certificate will be saved for a treat later in the summer, Emily said she was looking forward to her usual Italian ice or swirled ice cream with sprinkles. Katie said she was craving mint chocolate chip ice cream.

"It was fun, and we're not sad at all," said Lisa Crawford of Greencastle whose family was one of the three that lost out to the Lutzes.

Crawford and her husband, Stacy, and their children, Sallianne, 9, Maggie Rose, 7, and Olivia, 4, were a sea of red, white and blue and wore baseball-style caps on which Lisa Crawford painted American flags.

"My husband and I are singing (in the program), and we figured we'd be dressed up so we dressed up the kids," she said.

Sallianne even had stars and stripes painted on her fingernails.

Organizer Bonnie Shockey said the contest was a throwback to Fourth of July celebrations Greencastle hosted in the 1940s.

"From what I understand it was like a July 4 Halloween parade. Kids would come dressed in costumes like the Statue of Liberty and things like that," she said.

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