Katy Perry, Lady Gaga put Lancaster County businesses in spotlight
This past weekend was a reminder of just how closely Lancaster County's businesses are tied to the entertainment industry.
Selfies with pop star Katy Perry made the social media rounds Sunday after the "Roar" and "Dark Horse" singer took a break from rehearsals at Rock Lititz to tour Amish Farm & House on Route 30 and eat at the Olive Garden near the Park City Center.
The county received yet another celebrity bump Sunday night when "Poker Face" and "Million Reasons" singer Lady Gaga gave a shout out to her "Lancaster kids" during a performance in Philadelphia. The singer, who made regular appearances around Lancaster while dating her now-ex-fiance, was performing that night on an elaborate hydraulic stage designed by Tait Towers, which is a partner in the Rock Lititz complex.
These kinds of nods from big-name artists have a tendency, as they did the past couple days, to stir up a frenzy of social media posts from delighted locals and a spattering of "here's what this celebrity was like" interviews with fans on local media outlets. But underneath the star-struck reactions is a story of professionals from several local businesses who work with the Katy Perrys and Lady Gagas of the entertainment industry as a matter of course.
Tait Towers has done work for almost every kind of production imaginable, from Metallica's last world tour to the magic fountains display at Longwood Gardens. The Rock Lititz studio regularly hosts rehearsals for the likes of Taylor Swift, Usher, Lady Gaga and Elton John. Atomic Design has built stages for the Super Bowl trophy presentation and all sorts of big-name events. Clair Global has a long history of producing sound systems for major performances.
These businesses all live on the Rock Lititz campus in Warwick Township, which is set to grow over the coming years with the addition of a hotel that will be open to the public and include a restaurant operated by the brothers behind Lancaster's Annie Bailey's Irish Public House.
Cory Van Brookhoven, a lifelong Lititz resident, was the tour guide at the Amish Farm & House who first recognized Katy Perry under her ball cap and sunglasses Sunday. The singer, he said, didn't seem to mind when he and a handful of other people at the farm asked for selfies and autographs.
"She could not have been sweeter or more down to earth," he said.
Van Brookhoven acknowledges that not everyone gets excited about celebrity sightings, or even about having all these businesses catering to the entertainment industry situated so close to home. Still, he said, it says something about the borough of Lititz that so many big-name companies want to be close to it.
If any visiting celebrities want to get a taste of what the town has to offer, he would recommend they talk to someone from the Lititz Historical Foundation (he is the foundation's president) or Lititz Moravian archives to learn about all the ways Lititz was cool before someone called it America's Coolest Small Town in 2013.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the location of Tait Towers' headquarters. The company is a partner in the Rock Lititz complex but is not located there. The error has been corrected.