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May 16, 2017

Will the KKK really burn crosses in Lancaster County on Saturday?

Will the East Coast Knights of the Ku Klux Klan start its “year of (sic) by holding a cross lighting in Lancaster, Pa. on May the 20th”?

If you’re the type of person who reads and other white-supremacist websites, you’d be inclined to think so. But officials in the area are not necessarily buying it.

A listing for the “family event, most Klans and WNist are invited” event first popped up online in early March. 

By month’s end, the “family friendly event” and “one of the biggest cross lightings in a long time” was apparently moved to Quarryville, Pa., a borough of some 2,000 residents not far from the Pennsylvania/Maryland border

Over the course of the past several weeks, message boards continued hyping the event. The Rising Sun, Maryland-based “East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire” did not respond to inquiries from PhillyVoice for details this week.

Chief Kenneth Work of the Quarryville Police Department did, however. 

He said there’s very little likelihood that the event will occur as hyped this Saturday. This, despite the fact that the group is headquartered about 20 miles away from his Lancaster County municipality.

For one thing, Quarryville’s two parks – Huffnagle and Legion Memorial – have been booked for months in advance, said Work, noting that he’s loathe to even give them the attention they yearn by advertising such events.

For another, the group that often seeks proper permitting for its events across the country has done nothing of the sort so far in Quarryville four days before an event whose location and time haven’t appeared on public websites.

“I’ve been in touch with the State Police, county and other officials about this,” he said. “We don’t have any reason to think this is happening.”

At least in a public sense.

Work explained that saying “Quarryville” could cover anything in the southern end of Lancaster County and not necessarily the borough itself, which he termed as quiet and conservative.

“Over the past 30 years, they’ve had private gatherings that, if you drove by, you wouldn’t know anything was going on there,” he said. “I’d sooner believe that if there’s anything going on, it’d be on a private farm where nobody can see it.”