96th Annual Ephrata Fair Kicks Off Tuesday

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ninety-six years young, the Ephrata Fair takes to the streets of the borough starting Tuesday.

The county’s oldest fair fills Main Street from Lincoln Avenue to Park Avenue, and State Street from Locust to Fulton, stopping just short of the Pioneer Fire Company building.

On the midway, the fair-goer will find food stands selling everything from full meals to sandwiches and cotton candy, including the Akron Lions’ Club’s famous toasted cheeseburger, along with games of chance and rides for all age groups, provided by Houghton Enterprises Inc. In Thomas Grater Memorial Park, Lancaster County’s youth shows off the best in livestock.

On Wednesday, the 81st annual Ephrata Fair Parade takes to the streets. This year’s edition features not one, not two, but three Mummers bands from Philadelphia, the Fralinger String band, the Uptown String Band and the Quaker City String Band, first place winners in the 2014 Mummers Day Parade.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/ephrata/news/th-annual-ephrata-fair-kicks-off-tuesday/article_dc00a0aa-3ddc-11e4-95be-0017a43b2370.html

Fair Website: ephratafair.org

Pottstown Fourth Of July Committee Gets Advice From Leadership Panel

POTTSTOWN — After two consecutive years of being unable to raise enough money to pay for Fourth of July fireworks, the committee in charge of Independence Day events recognized that they needed some help.

On Thursday, they got some from the Leadership TriCounty Class of 2014, a project of the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce.

A team made up of Joyce Bagiraneza from Valley Forge Casino Resort; Rebecca Hobbs from O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei and Carrie Makoid of Barry Isett & Associates took on the challenge of revitalizing the Fourth of July Committee.

The leadership class teaches team-building through 10-month projects that have specific goals for local nonprofits. When the teams “graduate,” they present findings of their work to the nonprofits.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140613/pottstown-fourth-of-july-committee-gets-advice-from-leadership-panel

Hot Rod Stamps To Be Unveiled In York During Street Rods Event

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The street rods are returning to York in June, and this year’s event will include two new car-themed stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and Barry Meguiar, host of the TV show “Car Crazy,” will be in York to unveil the Forever stamps at 11 a.m. June 6 as part of the 41st annual Street Rod Nationals East Plus at the York Expo Center.

The stamps feature two views of the classic 1932 Ford Deuce roadster. The car is notable because it marked the first time Ford used an eight-cylinder engine, the flathead V8, said Jerry Kennedy, special events director for the National Street Rod Association. Previous Ford models used a four-cylinder engine.

Read more:  http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25843732/u-s-postal-service-unveil-hot-rod-stamps

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Scranton St. Partrick’s Day Parade, March 15, 2014

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Saint Patrick’s parade in Scranton boasts 12,000 participants, including multiple bagpipe, high school and string bands. The parade is enhanced by many floats and large balloons. Many Irish groups and societies are also represented. It has been going on annually since 1962 and is organized by the St. Patrick’s Parade Association of Lackawanna County. The parade has received national attention as being one of the better St. Patrick’s parades. The parade route begins on Wyoming Ave in front of St. Peter’s Cathedral, proceeds to Lackawanna Ave. over Jefferson Ave. then down Spruce St to get to Washington Ave. where it passes the William J. Nealon Federal building and finally the reviewing stand.

The parade is preceded by the Parade Day mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Brian Kelly Memorial race.

Click here for the parade website:  http://www.stpatparade.com/index.php

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Wilkes-Barre St. Patrick’s Day Parade Date Set

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The city of will hold its 34th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 16. The parade route will begin at South Main and South streets and will travel along South Main to Public Square, around the F.M. Kirby Center and end at the intersection of North Main and Union streets.

All ages are welcome to enjoy the parade activities and performances throughout the day. Children are invited to Barnes & Noble College Bookstore for a St. Patrick’s Day story hour at noon. Just Plain Crazy Face Art will also be available at noon on Public Square with parade themed artwork for children and adults.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1230827/W-B-St.-Patricks-Day-Parade-date-set

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Macy’s Exits As Lead Sponsor Of Pittsburgh’s Holiday Parade

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Department store operator Macy’s has pulled out as lead sponsor of Pittsburgh’s holiday parade kicking off the Christmas season, ending a 32-year relationship with the event.

The change was announced this morning by WPXI-TV, which said it is seeking a new sponsor to help support the event.

“We will do everything in our power to keep this parade alive, and we fully expect to,” said Ray Carter, vice president and general manager of the station, in a prepared statement.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/27/Macy-s-exits-as-lead-sponsor-of-Pittsburgh-s-holiday-parade/stories/201402270254#ixzz2uYsJr8AQ

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Pottstown Residents Want Fireworks For Fourth Of July Celebration

images

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.

Chief among them was a desire for the return of the fireworks.

Mother’s Day Second-Line Shooting In New Orleans Injures At Least 17 People

English: The USS New Orleans (LPD-18) passes b...

English: The USS New Orleans (LPD-18) passes by downtown New Orleans on the Mississippi River (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.”

Read more:  http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/05/mothers_day_second-line_shooti.html

Scranton To Host ‘The Office’ Wrap Party

English: Logo of the fictitious Dunder Mifflin...

English: Logo of the fictitious Dunder Mifflin paper company. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The paper-pushers of Dunder Mifflin will make one last stop in Scranton before closing their doors next month.

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.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-to-host-the-office-wrap-party-1.1468059

Lights Go Out On Pottstown July 4th Fireworks

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.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130225/OPINION01/130229704/lights-go-out-on-pottstown-july-4th-fireworks#full_story

First Night Pittsburgh Brings Downtown Alive With More Than 100 Events In 45 Venues

English: Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/first-night-pittsburgh-brings-downtown-alive-with-more-than-100-events-in-45-venues-667932/#ixzz2GIiKJiQF

Pittsburgh Ready To Light Up The Night

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/city-ready-to-light-up-the-night-662359/#ixzz2CP2kXJyz

More Light Up Night info here:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/downtown-will-be-packed-again-for-light-up-weekend-662083/

Masons Make Friday Another $1,000 Day For Halloween Parade Donations

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121013/NEWS01/121019714/masons-make-friday-another-1-000-day-for-halloween-parade-donations

 

Pottstown Halloween Parade Is Back On After Council Waives Half The Fee

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.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121009/NEWS01/121009362/pottstown-halloween-parade-is-back-on-after-council-waives-half-the-fee

Pottstown’s Fourth Of July Event Schedule

This year the 4th of July activities span three days starting Monday evening, July 2nd and culminating with the fireworks display on Wednesday, July 4th at 10:00pm!

Click here to see the entire three day schedule of events:http://pottstown4th.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/july-4th-2012-schedule.pdf

Downingtown Christmas Parade And Coatesville Historic District House Tours This Weekend

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Image via Wikipedia

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.

City Of Wilkes-Barre Christmas Parade, Saturday, November 19th

Christmas in the post-War United States

Image via Wikipedia

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 12:30pm, for those who aren’t in the mood for a concert, there is Storytelling at Barnes & Noble.  You can meet Mrs. Claus and enjoy a Christmas story.

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!

Pottstown Fourth Of July Celebration

A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Wash...

Image via Wikipedia

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.

Sigh…