Partying with ponies

By on July 20, 2016
Delaware beat Lancaster 8-7 Sunday at the Rothsville polo field. The game was played during the annual tailgate competition. (Photos by Laura Knowles)

Delaware beat Lancaster 8-7 Sunday at the Rothsville polo field. The game was played during the annual tailgate competition. (Photos by Laura Knowles)

Tailgaters go all out in Rothsville

Some people tend to get a little carried away when they hear that Lancaster Polo is having its annual tailgate competition.

It might have something to do with the word “competition.”

At Sunday’s tailgate festival at the Rothsville polo fields, there were cowboys and Indians from the Wild West, cute little hula girls from Hawaii, Christmas in July with wreaths and stockings, seafaring Finding Dory characters, and New Orleans revelers with hurricanes and gumbo.

One fierce competitor even ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Well, not on Sunday. But Mark Stickler, eight-time top prize winner over the past 10 years, drew on his experiences at the real Running of the Bulls in Spain back in 2002.

 

(Left to right) Kathleen Hickes, Cali Burkholder, Bria Burkholder, and Samantha Hickes helped transform the Rothsville polo field into a tropical paradise during Sunday’s tailgate competition.

(Left to right) Kathleen Hickes, Cali Burkholder, Bria Burkholder, and Samantha Hickes helped transform the Rothsville polo field into a tropical paradise during Sunday’s tailgate competition.

 

“I was going through my old photos and that gave me the idea,” said Stickler, who cooked up a feast of Spanish cuisine for the tailgate competition.

He was cooking all night, through morning, to come up with a feast of tapas like queso manchega, tortilla Espanola and almendras al pimenton. He made fresh chilled gazpacho, calamares a la plancha, bacalhau a gomes de sa and lomo de cerdo. By the way, that’s squid, cod stew and grilled pork loin.

“I get really into this. Now I’m ready to relax with some sangria,” he said.

 

Sutter’s Strutters won first place for food at Sunday’s tailgate competition. Their New Orleans theme included refreshing hurricanes, the famous cocktail, and delicious lobster po’ boys. (Seated, left to right) Marie Beima, Roxanne Glouner, and Brenda Hess. (Standing, l-r) Phil Barry, Kathy Kephart, Alex Pavlek, John Slovak, and Shirley Flickinger.

Sutter’s Strutters won first place for food at Sunday’s tailgate competition. Their New Orleans theme included refreshing hurricanes, the famous cocktail, and delicious lobster po’ boys. (Seated, left to right) Marie Beima, Roxanne Glouner, and Brenda Hess. (Standing, l-r) Phil Barry, Kathy Kephart, Alex Pavlek, John Slovak, and Shirley Flickinger.

 

Stickler displayed Spanish flags, a tee shirt with Espana on it, and his outfit from running with the bulls in the insane race through the streets of Pamplona with bulls hot on his heels. He called the experience “invigorating,” admitting that he was inspired by reading Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises.” He also got some tips from a college professor on how to run the race and not get killed.

Stickler’s Running of the Bulls theme earned him second place for best food in the competition.

First place for food went to Sutter’s Strutters, a party from Lititz who turned the polo sidelines into a Mardi Gras celebration with king cake, dirty rice, gumbo, lobster po’ boys, a shrimp boil, bread pudding with hard whiskey sauce, and fruity hurricanes.

 

The Seda, Teller, and Morrison families teamed up for a tailgate picnic that included a watermelon shark.

The Seda, Teller, and Morrison families teamed up for a tailgate picnic that included a watermelon
shark.

 

Marie Beima donned a beaded headdress to get into the spirit of New Orleans while jazz played in he background. Beima was the only one in the group who has been to the real Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

“It’s something you want to do once, but not twice,” she laughed. “It’s crazy.”

The judges were Annelise Reinhart and Michele Weiss, and they agreed it was a tough competition.

“Everything is so delicious,” Reinhart said.

The judges had no trouble choosing the group with the best curbside appeal. The four little hula dancers from team Hawaii claimed their prize for the best display of grass skirts, flowered leis, umbrella pineapple drinks, fruit kabobs and adorable hula girl rice crispy treats.

 

Every day should be Christmas as far as Rebecca Millen’s concerned, including tailgate parties at the polo grounds.

Every day should be Christmas as far as Rebecca Millen’s concerned, including tailgate parties at the polo grounds.

 

The youngest members of the team, Katelyn and Samantha Hickes, and Cali and Bria Burkholder, helped to make the decorated treats, while their mothers, Lanie Hickes and Jamie Burkholder, prepared the rest of the feast for the Hickes, Burkholder and Hosler group from Ephrata.

Second place for best curbside appeal went to Christmas in July, planned by Rebecca Millen of Akron. She explained that she loves Christmas and wanted to celebrate the season with holiday decorations, Christmas lights, boughs of holly and all that.

“I was going to make Christmas cookies, but I thought they might melt in the sun,” said Millen, who also skipped the hot chocolate on the steamy Sunday afternoon.

The best drink winner was Patty Ritz’s mangotini, made with mango, vodka, triple sec and fresh lime. Finding Polo (as in “Finding Dory”) took second place honors for their deep blue ocean punch.

 

(Left to right) Dylan, Rich and Linda Herschaft donned a Wild West theme for their polo party.

(Left to right) Dylan, Rich and Linda Herschaft donned a Wild West theme for their polo party.

 

Winnie Seda made a clever watermelon “shark” carved from a fresh melon with jagged teeth and blueberry eyes. The Seda, Teller and Morrison families enjoyed a picnic theme with fried chicken, mac and cheese and a perfectly baked frittata.

Then there was the Wild West, with Rich Herschaft showing off his Boy Scout craft projects, from more than 50 years ago. Herschaft wore a full Indian feathered headress he had made as a Boy Scout when he was 11. He had kept it, possibly knowing it would be just the thing for a Rothsville polo tailgate. His son Dylan donned a cowboy hat and bandanna, while Linda Herschaft wore cowboy boots and a beaded bracelet for a more low key look, and whipped up a chili bean dip with chips.

“Everyone is so clever with their ideas,” said judge Reinhart.

The polo game, by the way, was won by the Delaware team, 8-7.

Upcoming events include Vineyard Wine Tasting Day Aug. 7, the Aiken’s Cup and White Out Day Aug. 14, Caribbean Cup Aug. 21, Lanco MG’s Taste of Britain Cup Aug. 28, and the Chili Cook-Off Sept. 18.

Lancaster Polo matches are held Sundays at 2:30 p.m., with gates opening at 1 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, with children under 12 free, going to support polo in Rothsville. For more about Lancaster Polo and becoming a sponsor, visit the club’s website at lancasterpolo.org, or Facebook.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She welcomes reader feedback at lknowles21@gmail.com.

 

Mark Stickler participated in the famous Running of the Bulls in Spain in 2002, which was the inspiration for his tailgate theme. He took second place for food in Sunday’s competition. (Photos provided by Mark Stickler)

Mark Stickler participated in the famous Running of the Bulls in Spain in 2002, which was the inspiration for his tailgate theme. He took second place for food in Sunday’s competition. (Photos provided by Mark Stickler)

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