POTTSTOWN — Historic re-enactments, a mini balloon festival, cook-offs, a beer tent, local musicians and, of course, fireworks.
Lots and lots of fireworks.
Memorial Day has arrived and thus, the unofficial arrival of the summer season.
Thoughts turn to barbecues, swimming pools and, of course, the Fourth of July.
Last month, we asked people for their thoughts on ways to improve, enhance and better fund Pottstown’s signature summer event and we thought the first unofficial day of summer would be a good day to let everyone know what suggestions we received.
A Mother’s Day second-line shooting on Frenchmen Street in the 7th Ward, on Sunday about 2 p.m., left about 17 people injured, according to changing NOPD numbers. Earlier Sunday afternoon NOPD Superintendent Ronald Serpas said that about 12 people had been injured, but NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden said at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday that the toll had creeped up to 17 people as some victims initially hadn’t reported being injured.
The shooting, in which a girl allegedly was grazed on her side by a bullet, occurred in the 1400 block of Frenchmen Street at the intersection of North Villere Street. The girl, who was 9 or 10 years old, appears to be in stable condition, Braden said.
“In fact, many of the victims were grazed (some by bullets that ricocheted),” Braden said in an email. ”At this point, there are no fatalities, and most of the wounds are not life-threatening.
“But all medical conditions are not known at this time as victims were rushed to nearby hospitals,” Braden continued. ”Detectives are conducting interviews, retrieving any surveillance video in the area and, of course, collecting all evidence. This is an extremely unusual occurrence, and we’re confident that we will make swift arrests.”
“The Office” Wrap Party will celebrate the upcoming conclusion of the Scranton-set television show with several activities throughout the city on Saturday, May 4. The event was announced between the seventh and eight innings of Thursday’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders game.
A group of cast and crew members from the show – which ends its nine-year run on NBC on Thursday, May 16 – are expected to attend. An official announcement about who will participate will come next Thursday, said Timothy L. Holmes, regional director of marketing & events for Times-Shamrock Communications.
“We do know there’s definitely a strong contingent of writers and cast members coming out,” he said.
Editor’s note: This day has been coming for a while now, but it makes the reality no less sad.
The ax has finally fallen on the Pottstown Fourth of July celebration.
The committee that plans the annual event announced last week that the fireworks have been canceled for this year. The parade will go on, but most events in Memorial Park including the popular evening fireworks display will not be held. The decision was made in December because a $30,000 three-year contract with the fireworks company requires early notification and a sizeable deposit of $23,000.
Marcia Levengood and Chip Smale, co-chairs of the planning committee, said the group is hoping to raise $20,000 to stage the parade. If they can get more, an expanded celebration will be resurrected in 2014.
The news comes after several years of struggle to raise the $60,000 needed for a two-day celebration including a parade and fireworks that has become a tradition in Pottstown since it started 34 years ago. The celebration has always been funded entirely through community donations, with no tax dollars allocated for the event. In recent years, donations have been hard to come by and slow to come in, creating a last-minute plea each year to keep the celebration afloat.
You can ring in the new year at home with Ryan Seacrest — sadly, we lost Dick Clark this year — or you can join the crowd at one of the city’s most festive celebrations, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh.
As Stefon would say on “Saturday Night Live,” it has everything: Bollywood dancers, Japanese sword dancers, rockers, hip-hoppers, puppet paraders, treasure mappers, unicycling jugglers, human pinatas — no, not really pinatas, but that’s about all it doesn’t have.
It begins at 6 p.m. Monday with a Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks Display and a performance by Adam Brock & The Soul Band on the Dollar Bank Stage at Seventh Street and Penn Avenue.
The evening concludes with a performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a New Orleans jazz/R&B institution since 1977, and then the Countdown to Midnight and Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale atop Penn Avenue Place and Fifth Avenue Place.
Pittsburgh police are hoping Light Up Night revelers will avoid the buzz kill of a parking ticket or trip to the tow pound.
They are recommending extra caution tonight for those who drive to the festivities. Because several parking meters have been removed and replaced with kiosks, the temporary “no parking” signs might not be as in-your-face as when they were attached to each meter. They recommend that visitors park in lots or garages rather than on the streets.
As an added precaution, they are urging visitors not to leave valuables like iPods, laptops or GPS devices within sight in their vehicles.
“The holiday season is upon us and there are predators who seek the opportunity to vandalize vehicles when they observe unsecured valuables left in plain view,” said police spokeswoman Diane Richard.
More Light Up Night info here:
Editor’s note: Three cheers for the Masons!
POTTSTOWN — There was no shortage of generous donations toward paying police overtime costs for the Halloween Parade Friday, and it included another generous $1,000 contribution, this time from the local Masons lodge.
Matching their friends over at The German Club, who also gave $1,000, the members of Stichter Lodge No. 254 F.A.&M., also ponied up $1,000.
Editor’s note: Some of the council’s logic here is frightening. The reason Pottstown is going broke can hardly be attributed to the costs associated with a couple of parades and fireworks. It’s the protuberant budget! $38,000,000.00 for a town with 22,377 people is absurd. Again, these few activities combined account for less than 1% of the budget. The tax base can’t support a budget this size and cuts need to be made, but council is unwilling to do so (as they have demonstrated year after year). Then, out of the blue they want to “tighten the purse strings” over a couple thousand lousy dollars that don’t make a hill of beans difference in the grand scheme of things. I would be far more impressed with more substantive belt-tightening that would actually make a dent.
POTTSTOWN, PA — Borough council Tuesday night voted unanimously to waive half the fees for the annual Halloween parade, allowing the organizers to proclaim that they would raise the remaining $2,660 somehow and that the parade will go on as planned.
It is scheduled for Wed. Oct. 24, 7 p.m. on High Street.
“It’s such a good thing for Pottstown,” said Aram Ecker, speaking for the AMBUCS. “There are a lot of organizations involved and there is a lot of time put in for the costumes and floats. It’s been such a legacy and tradition in Pottstown, I don’t want to see it die.”
“The middle school marching band is so excited, they bought sweatshirts for the event. Their debut this year will be the Halloween parade and they’ve been practicing since the first day of school,” Ecker said.
Click here to see the entire three day schedule of events:http://pottstown4th.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/july-4th-2012-schedule.pdf
The Downingtown Christmas Parade will start at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 10th and will run along Lancaster Avenue. For more information, call 610-269-4203 or visit their website www.dtownchristmas.com
The Coatesville Lukens Historic District Holiday House Tour will take place today, December 9th from 4pm to 7pm. The event is free. Donations are requested. For more information, call 610-384-9282 or check out their website www.lukensnhd.org.
If you love Christmas, and all things associated with it, the place to be tomorrow is Wilkes-Barre. Saturday, November 19th is the Wilkes-Barre Christmas parade plus a fun-filled day of holiday activities in the city. The best part of all is that it is FREE!
The fun starts at 10am with the showing of A Christmas Story at Movies 14, downtown. If you bring an unwrapped toy to benefit Toys for Tots, you get in FREE!
From noon until 1pm, you can enjoy a free Christmas concert by the King’s College Cantores Christi Regis Singers in the lobby of the Ramada, also downtown.
At 1:30pm there is a concert at the F.M. Kirby Center. The YOUniveristy Suzuki Strings will be playing in the lobby. Come out and show your support for these young people!
At 2:00pm there is a Christmas Carol sing-a-long on Public Square.
From 2:00pm until 6pm there will be holiday face painting on Public Square. That will cost you $5.00 per face
At 3:15pm the main event begins. The Christmas Parade featuring Santa, floats, music and tons of fun begins at South and S. Main Street. There are four divisions this year.
Immediately after the parade, there will be a tree lighting ceremony on Public Square. There will be photos with Santa for $5.00 to benefit Valley Santa, courtesy of Boscov’s. There will also be complimentary (free) hot chocolate from the Salvation Army and the Wilkes-Barre Lion’s Club.
The Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association sponsored a window decorating contest this year (Window Wonderland) and over 40 businesses have decorated their windows to add even more holiday spirit to this year’s event!
It’s Christmas time in the city!
I just read the yearly depressing article about our Fourth of July celebration’s funding shortfall in the local print media. Then I read the comments. I was not sure whether to laugh or cry.
Every year we learn that the committee is seriously short of money and that this could be the last year etc… This year they are so far in the hole who knows.
So I have to wonder…since we have the same problem every stinkin’ year, should we consider doing something different? Either take a year off and let people “miss it” or figure out better ways to do fundraising.
If everybody would just “give a dollar”…unfortunately, that never happens. The only way to make sure there is adequate funding is to request money from corporate sponsors earlier and charge a small fee to get into the park. People collecting money at the parade should be more official looking so there is no doubt where the money is going.
Maybe Mr. Hylton would dust of some of his moldy advertorial money and make a nice donation to help the citizens of Pottstown? Oh wait…my bad. Mr. Hylton is saving his pennies for another glossy postcard blitz for the November elections.
The annual Wilkes-Barre Christmas parade will take place this Saturday, November 20th. The parade, which is part of a day full of activities, will start at 3:15 p.m. at the corner of South and South Main Streets.
Other events include a Christmas Carol sing-a-long, story-telling for kids and the tree lighting ceremony on Public Square after the parade.
It’s Christmas time in the city!
A Victorian Christmas in Williamsport is not a one trick pony. The event spans three days and includes a Holiday House Tour, a Holiday Parade downtown, Millionaire’s Row mansion tours, church tours, Williamsport Growers Market, carriage rides at Park Place, a Toy Train Expo, museum tours, a Victorian Soup Luncheon, a Victorian Buffet, a Victorian Tea and a Living Nativity!
A Victorian Christmas in Williamsport starts this Friday, November 19th and concludes on Sunday, November 21.
For more information and details see their website:
The annual Harrisburg Holiday Parade will take place in downtown Harrisburg on Saturday, November 20th.
The parade starts on City Island at 10 a.m., then travels over the Market Street bridge into downtown Harrisburg.
The parade, which marks the beginning of the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Day holiday season, will feature an appearance by Santa Claus, commercial floats, marching bands, giant helium balloons and specialty units.
If you are looking for some family fun this Saturday, check out the Harrisburg Holiday Parade.
After reading SavePottstown’s latest post on the 4th of July events and the difficulty raising money to fund these events, I feel moved to comment.
We support the 4th of July events here in Pottstown and have for over 25 years. When my parents were still alive they enjoying coming here for the big weekend of fun. However, SavePottstown makes some good points. I see that their comments ruffled some feathers, including the 4th of July Committee. Maybe we should all take a step back and look at this more objectively and from a distance. Make it less personal.
SavePottstown is correct. Another polka band or oldies group etc… is boring. I am over 50 and listen to Wired 96.5, Q102.1 or 96.9 WLAN in Lancaster. They all play a variety of current music. Personally, I don’t want to listen to music from when I was in high school. I graduated 35 years ago. The world has moved on. Not interested in being stuck in a time warp. Consequently, younger people aren’t generally interested in listening to music from the 60′s. 70′s and 80′s either.
Polka music is not going to generally appeal to younger people or people who are of a different ethnic group. Oldies are okay, but again, new music is always being written. After attending last night’s PHS Baccalaureate Service, the music those kids are listening to is neither polka or oldies, based on the Power Point presentation a student created. The music was very current. I knew all the songs.
I do realize that the 4th of July Committee engages in fundraising and they outlined some of the ways they do that in a post on SavePottstown. However, trying new things, expanding our horizons and thinking outside of the box is never a bad thing. We’ve always done it that way before is something that is said too much around these parts. Again, the world has changed and moved on. Is it wrong to consider, in addition to what you are already doing, maybe adding some new fundraising strategies into the mix?
SavePottstown refers to themselves as:
A blog for progressive-minded individuals who want growth and success for the Borough of Pottstown, PA!
That being said, they are staying true to their mission statement and core principles. I don’t think they are trying to offend people, just open some eyes to new ways of thinking and possibilities.
Our 4th of July Committee is awesome and provides a great service to Greater Pottstown with their efforts. We support and applaud your efforts. Incorporating some new ideas into the existing frame-work and listening to the pulse of the community can’t hurt either.
I respectfully request that we try to take what SavePottstown says as constructive criticism and not take it as a mean-spirited attack etc… They mean well and only want the best for our community. In the end, isn’t that what we all want?