A Solar Eclipse Party Coming To Downtown Reading!

Check out our latest newsletter to learn all about the solar eclipse party being presented by the Reading Public Library on Monday, August 21! Also included in this edition is a call for sponsors of Pumpkin Palooza, as well as an article praising the Reading Police Department's commitment to providing a police presence in center city Reading. You'll find it all right here.

CONCERT CANCELED BECAUSE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER FORECAST!

The Go Go Gadjet concert scheduled for this Friday, May 5 in downtown Reading has been canceled because of the major threat of inclement weather. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The following is what was previously posted:

Here's your chance to see Go Go Gadjet for free in downtown Reading! The popular regional band will appear in the 500 block of Penn Street on Friday, May 5 from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m., followed by other live music. Three pop-up bars presented by Trooper Thorns, food trucks, and food stands will create a block party atmosphere during the night.

The free concert is being funded by the Berks County Arts Fund of Berks County Community Foundation and is being managed by Reading Downtown Improvement District.

This event is part of the festivities being held in conjunction with the 30th annual MDA Ride for Life, which will be held at the Reading Fairgrounds in Bern Township on May 6 and 7.

Two Public Information Sessions About Penn Street Bridge Reconstruction Planned for April 11

Find out what's going on regarding the reconstruction of the Penn Street Bridge! Two public information sessions will be held on April 11 at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, 701 Penn Street. To learn more, follow the links below:

Morning Session:

https://www.greaterreadingchamber.org/events/details/business-bridges-update-morning-2017-7878

Evening Session:

https://www.greaterreadingchamber.org/events/details/business-bridges-update-evening-2017-7879

City of Reading announces emergency planning in advance of snowstorm; Downtown Improvement District Office closed on Tuesday, 3/14 because of pending storm

The City of Reading today announced emergency plans in advance of the major snowstorm expected to hit the area tonight and into tomorrow (Tuesday, March 14)..

Also, the Reading Downtown Improvement District office will be closed tomorrow, March 14, because of the expected adverse weather.

Here is a press release issued by the City regarding its emergency plans for the snowstorm:

CITY OF READING PREPARES FOR THE STORM

Reading, Pa – March 13, 2017 – Mayor Wally Scott held the first of a series of meetings with key departments this morning to continue the emergency planning for the impending storm.

* Recycle and trash collection has been cancelled for tomorrow.  The schedule will be pushed back one day. 

*The City Public Works Department will run 20-24 trucks on 12 hour shifts round the clock until the storm ends. 

*The Reading Parking Authority will open the Parking Garages at 9:00 p.m. tonight for resident parking.  Cars may remain in the garages until 6:00 a.m. Wednesday.  Cars must be removed by 6:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.

*BARTA has not yet made a decision on it’s service during the storm.

*Another update meeting has been scheduled for 4:00 p.m. today

Listed below are some reminders for residents:

*Please do not throw snow in the street as it makes for difficult travel and creates a problem for emergency vehicles

*Please dig out fire hydrants near your property in case an emergency arises

*Reserving parking spaces on public streets is not permitted

*Please help elderly neighbors and those with disabilities with snow removal

*All property maintenance inspections scheduled for Tuesday are cancelled.  You will be notified of the rescheduled date. 

*For updates please consult the City of Reading website and social media pages

Mayor Scott would like to thank every resident in advance for their cooperation to get the City cleared as quickly as possible.  Your patience is greatly appreciated as we work round the clock to clean the snow.

Additional updates will be sent as necessary.

Dunkin' Donuts and Barato Department Store Now Open For Business in Downtown Reading

Dunkin' Donuts and Barato Department Store Now Open For Business in Downtown Reading

Please take some time to visit these new businesses that are now open in downtown Reading:

 Dunkin’ Donuts opened its newest location at 645 Penn Street in December. Owners Mark Zlocki and Kimberly Farry have six other franchise locations in the area. They expect to see robust activity at their downtown store since it’s centrally sandwiched between offices, the DoubleTree Hotel, and Santander Arena.

Approximately 40 people have been hired to work in the store, but more employees may be added if activity picks up because of events at the arena, according to the owners. The store is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., but may have extended evening hours to accommodate night-time events at the arena.

Barato Department Store recently opened at 301 Penn Street near the intersection of Third and Penn Streets. The shop offers furniture, stereos, televisions, draperies, and cell phones. The Penn Street store is the second one to be opened by Lapel Guiaro, who also has a location at 801 Oley Street. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Welcome to our new neighbors in downtown Reading!

2017 Property Assessment Payments Now Being Accepted

2017 Property Assessment Payments Now Being Accepted

Property owners in the Reading Downtown Improvement District (DID) should soon be receiving their DID assessment notices for 2017. If you do not receive your assessment notice within the next few weeks, please contact the DID office at 610-376-6424.

Full payments received by April 30, 2017 will qualify for a 2 percent discount. A flat payment will apply for payments made between May 1 and June 30, 2017. A 10 percent penalty will be applied for payments received after June 30, 2017.

Optional installments may be made in the following manner:

Installment #1 due by April 30, 2017.
Installment #2 due by June 15, 2017.
Installment #3 due by July 31, 2017.
Installment #4 due by August 15, 2017.

Please note that installment payments include a $5.00 administrative fee per payment. Late installment payments are subject to penalties.

Checks and money orders should be made payable to: Reading DID.Payments should be mailed to:

Reading Downtown Improvement District Authority
P.O. Box 1555
Reading, Pa. 19603-1555

Payments can also be made at the DID office at 645 Penn Street, Suite 505 (fifth floor). The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

 

A photo collage from Reading Fire + Ice Fest 2017!

A photo collage from Reading Fire + Ice Fest 2017!

We hope you made it to the annual Reading Fire + Ice Fest on January 13 and 14. But just in case you missed this fun-filled weekend, we’ve put together a collage of photos from the event in our latest newsletter. Just click here.

You can find a lot more photos on the official Reading Fire + Ice Fest website at www.readingfireandicefest.com. Click on “PHOTOS + VIDEO” at the top of the page to access photo galleries from 2017 as well as 2016 and 2015.

Reading Fire + Ice Fest is supported in large part by a generous grant from the Hawley and Myrtle Quier Fund of the Berks County Community Foundation.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support and enjoy Berks County’s premier winter festival!

Reading Fire + Ice Fest Is This Weekend!

Reading Fire + Ice Fest Is This Weekend!

Coming this Friday and Saturday — Reading Fire + Ice Fest! Berks County’s premier winter event will feature something for everyone. And it’s all in downtown Reading! Read all about it — including a list of events — in the latest edition of our newsletter right here.

We hope you’ll join us for all the fun and excitement of Reading Fire + Ice Fest!

The Chills and Thrills of Reading Fire + Ice Fest Coming Soon!

The Chills and Thrills of Reading Fire + Ice Fest Coming Soon!

Reading Fire + Ice Fest, the flagship winter festival of Berks County, will return to downtown Reading for its third year next month! Produced and organized by the Reading Downtown Improvement District, the festival will take place January 13-14, kicking off on Friday, January 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the 500 block of Penn Street.

The fest will again feature a variety of both indoor and outdoor activities, including a chili cook-off, Snowfall Ball, professional ice-carving competitions, fire performances, an ice wine bar, live music, and food trucks. All outdoor activities will again be free, and the chili cook-off and Snowfall Ball will have nominal entry fees.

The chili cook-off and Snowfall Ball will be held Saturday. Times and locations will be announced later, as will the band that will be performing at the Ball.

Following up their dazzling fire performances during the second Fire + Ice Fest will be Madeleine Belle from Philadelphia and Burning Hearts Fire & Light Theater from Allentown.  They will be performing both nights of the festival.

DID will once again be bringing on Sculpted Ice Works, located near Scranton, Pa., to create the ice sculpture displays on both days of the festival. The company will also coordinate the ice-carving competitions on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Established in 1999, Sculpted Ice Works is a full-service ice event company with several members of the National Ice Carving Association, and is owned by Mark Crouthamel, a carver with over 20 years of experience under his belt.

Several festival sponsorship opportunities are now available.
They include:

  • Signature Sponsor
  • Snowfall Ball Sponsor
  • Chili Cook-off Sponsor
  • Carving Demonstration and Competition Sponsors
  • Ice Sculpture Sponsors

Companies, organizations and individuals can sponsor custom-made ice sculptures as well as larger sculptures. Additional sponsorship details are available by contacting the Improvement Office weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 610-376-6424.

Tied into the 2017 festival will be a special event at Santander Arena – World Championship Ice Racing on Friday night at 7:30. The show will feature the toughest, fastest and most extreme flat track motorcycle and A.T.V. racers in the world.

Reading Fire + Ice Fest is supported in large part by a generous grant from the Hawley and Myrtle Quier Fund of the Berks County Community Foundation.

Look for more information coming soon to the official Reading Fire + Ice Fest website at www.readingfireandicefest.com.

Miss this year’s Reading Holiday Parade? Catch it on TV or Online!

Miss this year’s Reading Holiday Parade? Catch it on TV or Online!

Limelight Dance Studio students perform along Penn Street during the 2016 Reading Holiday Parade. Photo by Lauren A. Little/Courtesy of Reading Eagle.

Limelight Dance Studio students perform along Penn Street during the 2016 Reading Holiday Parade. Photo by Lauren A. Little/Courtesy of Reading Eagle.

Didn’t have a chance to catch this year’s Reading Holiday Parade in person? No worries! Berks Community Television (BCTV) was there to tape all the excitement and pageantry on November 19 and is airing the highlights over the next several weeks.

Here are the dates/times to catch the show:
On BCTV: November 30 at 6 p.m.; December 1 at noon; December 4 at 8 p.m.; December 14 at 4 p.m.; December 22 at 7 a.m.; December 24 at 11 p.m.

On the Municipal Access Channel (MAC):
December 6 at 7 p.m.; December 17 at 10 p.m.; December 22 at 8 a.m.; December 24 at 6 p.m.

You can also see the parade online by going to www.bctv.org and searching for “Reading Holiday Parade.”

A special thanks to BCTV for taping the parade and making arrangements to air it. And, of course, thanks to all the parade participants and to those who came out to see the annual event in person.

And the Reading Holiday Parade Winners Are…

And the Reading Holiday Parade Winners Are…

Santa greets boys and girls along Penn Street during the 2016 Reading Holiday Parade.       Photo by Lauren Little, Reading Eagle

Santa greets boys and girls along Penn Street during the 2016 Reading Holiday Parade.       Photo by Lauren Little, Reading Eagle

We’re pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Reading Holiday Parade!

Bands
1st:  Reading High School Marching Band
2nd:  Exeter High School Marching Band
3rd:  Tulpehocken Jr./Sr. High Marching Band

Youth Groups
1st:  Dance Expressions
2nd:  Olivet Boys & Girls Clubs
3rd:  Girl Scouts of Eastern PA

Floats [Not-for-profit Organizations]
1st:  Reading-Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center
2nd:  Olivet Boys & Girls Clubs
3rd:  Berks County Parks & Recreation

Floats [Business]
1st:  Dance Expressions
2nd:  Lowes
3rd:  Customers Bank

Thanks to everyone who participated in the parade and to those who came out to enjoy this annual holiday tradition in downtown Reading!

Tree Lighting and Parade Kick Off the Holiday Season in Downtown Reading

Tree Lighting and Parade Kick Off the Holiday Season in Downtown Reading

This is one of several giant helium balloons that will be part of the Reading Holiday Parade this Saturday.

This is one of several giant helium balloons that will be part of the Reading Holiday Parade this Saturday.

We’re just days away from ushering in the holiday season in downtown Reading!

The festivities kick off on Friday (November 18) with the holiday tree lighting ceremony starting at 6 p.m. at Fifth and Penn Streets. And the following morning our annual Holiday Parade will entertain thousands as it makes its way down Penn Street starting at 9 a.m.

Get all the details about each event in our latest newsletter here.

We hope to see you this weekend in downtown Reading!

Deadline extended to be part of the Reading Holiday Parade!

Deadline extended to be part of the Reading Holiday Parade!

Great news! The deadline to participate in this year’s Reading Holiday Parade has been extended to Nov. 8! Here are application forms for parade participants and sponsors:

Click here for a band application form and related information. Click here for a general application form and related information. And click here if you’re interested in being a parade sponsor.

Participants being sought include marching bands, floats, civic and athletic groups, schools, and similar organizations. Sponsorships are being sought for the following: title sponsor, division sponsors, banner sponsors, helium balloon sponsors, and band sponsors.

The parade is scheduled for Saturday, November 19 starting at 9 a.m. at 11th and Penn Streets and proceeding along Penn Street to Second Street. This year’s parade theme is “A Storybook Holiday.”

The Improvement District is presenting the parade in cooperation with Reading Mayor Wally Scott’s office.

winners of our Scarecrow Contest!

winners of our Scarecrow Contest!

Congratulations to the winners of our annual Scarecrow Contest! We had several creative and colorful entries this year and want to thank everyone who participated.

Here are the top three finishers chosen by our judges:

First Place – Reading Public Library, Fifth and Franklin Streets

First Place –
Reading Public Library, Fifth and Franklin Streets

Second Place – Destination Realty, 108 South Fifth Street

Second Place –
Destination Realty, 108 South Fifth Street

Third Place – DMA Pizza, 555 Penn Street

Third Place –
DMA Pizza, 555 Penn Street

Free Concert and Fall Festival in Downtown Reading!

Free Concert and Fall Festival in Downtown Reading!

The Downtown Alive free outdoor concert series wraps up this weekend with a performance by The Pat McGee Band, a rock ensemble that will pump up the crowd right before the Reading Royals ice hockey home opener at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The concert starts at 4 p.m. outside Santander Arena in the 700 block of Penn Street.

And the following Saturday, October 22, join us for a new fall festival — Pumpkin Palooza! This family-friendly event will be held in the 500 block of Penn Street between 1 and 7 p.m.

Find out more about this fun-filled autumn fest and the concert, too, in our latest newsletter right here.

Dancing On The Streets (D.O.T.S) October 8th

Dancing On The Streets (D.O.T.S) October 8th

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For the fourth year in a row, Dancing on The Streets (D.O.T.S. Fest) will be held in downtown Reading on Saturday, October 8, beginning at noon. You’re invited to be part of this free, family-fun dance festival at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel, 100 North Fifth Street. The event, in celebration of the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, will include an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records for salsa dancers on the street.

New this year will be a carnival kickoff with multicultural costumes. And topping the list of musical entertainment will be Oro Solido, a New York-based merengue group. Formed in 1994, Oro Solido has shared the stage with artists such as 50 Cent, LeAnn Rimes, Marc Anthony, Tito Puente, Johnny Ventura, and The Temptations, according to Wikipedia.

Also performing at the festival will be Tony Sunshine, G5, Pancho Bongo, TRNDSTTRS, and several dance groups.

To register for the event or for more information, go to www.rizeprogram.com.

Dancing on The Streets is organized by RIZE, a non-profit youth arts organization in Reading.