MidDay Cafe Cancelled for Wednesday, June 13

The MidDay Cafe scheduled for Wednesday, June 13 at the Berks County Services Center has been cancelled due to rain. We're sorry for any inconvenience. Our next MidDay Cafe is scheduled for Wednesday, June 27, at the State Office Building plaza between 6th and 7th Streets on Penn.

Go Go Gadjet Kicking Off Downtown Alive free concerts this summer!

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Go Go Gadjet, an immensely popular regional band that describes itself as “a burst of electric funk carried on the back of a thundering juggernaut of searing rock,” will open the fourth annual Downtown Alive free outdoor concert series on Wednesday, June 20. The series will include four other concerts featuring performers who will appeal to a variety of tastes.

The shows will be staged again on Penn Street by the Reading Downtown Improvement District in partnership with Illusion Sound & Lighting, which is booking the acts, and Greater Reading Chamber Alliance.

Find out more about the concert series in our May 7 newsletter.


It's Just Good Business To Recycle!

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If you own a business in downtown Reading, did you know you can take advantage of the city's commercial recycling program? It could save you money versus trash disposal and of course it's better for the environment. Learn more about the program in our latest newsletter here. You can also get the inside scoop on the Forest Inn's 10-year anniversary!

Reading Public Library's "Cocktails & Classics" Focus of Latest Show on BCTV

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Check out our latest "Downtown Alive" show on BCTV! Host Laura Reppert discusses Reading Public Library's upcoming Cocktails and Classics 2018 event with Linda Capozello, Director of Advancement and Communications for the Library. And our "Hidden in Plain Sight" segment with Berks History Center delves into the checkered history of Reading gangster Tony Moran. Also featured is a chat with Sol Colon, one of our Ambassadors. See the show here.

FYI -- Forward-Parking Only In Reading Parking Authority Garages!

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Here’s a friendly reminder for visitors coming downtown – if you plan to park in one of the Reading Parking Authority garages, do not back into a space! The garages are designed for forward parking only. Backing into a space is a liability and safety issue, according to Parking Authority officials. Motorists are subject to a fine if they disregard the forward-parking-only regulation. Signs are posted at the entrances to all the Parking Authority garages informing motorists of this regulation. A more detailed explanation can be found on the Parking Authority’s website at https://readingparking.com/park-smart-park-safe/

Latest Newsletter Focuses on Property Assessment Payments & Services Offered in District

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Our latest edition of "Destination: Downtown Reading!" has details about paying this year's commercial property assessments, as well as a rundown of services offered by the District in support of commercial property owners. Also included in this issue is an article and photos of our celebration of Valentine's Day, when we handed out free candy and stuffed animals to passersby at Fifth and Penn Streets. Check it all out here.

Catching up with RSO's New Leader and Looking Back at a Reading Landmark


The latest installment of our monthly BCTV show is now available for viewing. Laura Reppert, our Special Events Coordinator, interviews David Gross, the new Executive Director of the Reading Symphony Orchestra, and digs up some history on the Santander Performing Arts Center with the help of Rich Polityka from the Berks History Center. Check it out!


If You Missed This Year's Reading Fire + Ice Fest...

An ice carver goes head-to-head with other competitors at Reading Fire + Ice Fest.

An ice carver goes head-to-head with other competitors at Reading Fire + Ice Fest.

Check out photo highlights of Reading Fire + Ice Fest in our latest newsletter! The festival was held on January 12 and 13 in downtown Reading and attracted thousands of people looking for a winter escape. If you were there and took some noteworthy photos, enter them in our photo contest for a chance to win a great Fire + Ice prize. Entry deadline is Friday, January 26. Find out more details right here.

Check Out Our Latest Newsletter To Read About Cups of Compassion & More


The 7th annual Cups of Compassion is coming to downtown Reading on Thursday, December 21. Read about this community-wide effort to assist the homeless in our latest newsletter. And check out a photo collage comprised of pictures from our annual holiday parade and official holiday tree lighting festivities. Plus, get a sneak peek at our annual winter extravaganza -- Reading Fire + Ice Fest! It's all available right here.

Join Us For The Official Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 1!

Natalie Kolb photo/Courtesy of Reading Eagle   This doggone cute pooch showed up last year at the Holiday Tree lighting ceremony.

Natalie Kolb photo/Courtesy of Reading Eagle

This doggone cute pooch showed up last year at the Holiday Tree lighting ceremony.


Downtown Reading is abuzz with holiday activities! 

Coming up on Friday, December 1 is our official Holiday Tree lighting ceremony. There's a new twist this year, with numerous festivities being held.

Activities will kick off at 4 p.m. with free live entertainment from various local community groups. Fresh-cut Christmas trees will be available for sale, both with and without stands. The trees will be provided by Lenhart's Farm, a local tree farm. There will also be a variety of foods and refreshments for sale.

A craft table will be set up for attendees to make holiday door decorations for a nominal fee. Plus, people are encouraged to participate in a free holiday ornament exchange by bringing their old ornaments to trade in for "new" ones.

All of these activities will be in the vicinity of Fifth and Penn Streets.

At 6 p.m., our Executive Director Charles "Chuck" Broad will join Reading Mayor Wally Scott in presenting holiday greetings, followed by the official lighting of the nearly 40-foot tree at Fifth and Penn.

As part of the festivities, children are invited to meet Santa at Santa's Wonderland in the former bank building at Fifth and Penn Streets. The interior of the main bank lobby has been transformed into a magical place for kids young and old alike.

Speaking of Santa, he of course made his annual appearance at the Reading Holiday Parade on Saturday, November 18. If you missed this colorful spectacle, not to worry. BCTV was there to videotape the parade and will be presenting replays. Here's the schedule:


Thursday, November 23rd @ 12:00 p.m.

Friday, November 24th @ 11:00 a.m.

Sunday, November 26th @ 11:00 p.m.

Monday, November 27th @ 2:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 29th @ 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 3rd @ 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 14th @ 7:00 a.m.

Tuesday, December 19th @ 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 23rd @ 11:00 p.m.

Monday, December 25th @ 2:00 p.m.


Municipal Access Channel (MAC):

Thursday, November 23rd @ 9:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m.

Friday, November 24th @ 9:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 25th @ 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 28th @ 12:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 2nd @ 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 9th  @ 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 16th  @ 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 23rd  @ 7:00 p.m.

Monday, December 25th  @  10:00 a.m. 


And here are this year's parade winners:

Corporate Floats:

1st:       Skateaway

2nd:      Christmas at FirstEnergy Stadium

3rd:       Carpenter Technology Corporation


Community/Civic Floats:

1st:       Dance Expressions

2nd:      Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center

3rd:       Superheroes for Autism


Youth Groups:

1st:       Dance Expressions

2nd:      Olivet Boys & Girls Club

3rd:       Muhlenberg High School Air Force JROTC



1st:       Reading High School Band

2nd:      Fleetwood High School Band

3rd:       Exeter High School Band


We wish you the happiest of holidays!

Dr. Anna Weitz Will Lead This Year's Reading Holiday Parade!

Photo by Lauren Little/Courtesy of Reading Eagle

Photo by Lauren Little/Courtesy of Reading Eagle

Dr. Anna Weitz, President of Reading Area Community College (RACC), has been chosen to lead the annual Reading Holiday Parade in downtown Reading on Saturday, November 18. Dr. Weitz, who is retiring in June of 2018, was selected as this year’s Grand Marshal to celebrate her long-standing commitment to the Berks County community.

You can read more about Dr. Weitz and the Parade in the latest edition of our newsletter right here. Also in this edition are highlights of our annual Scarecrow Contest as well as photos from Pumpkin Palooza at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, which was held in mid-October. 

And the Scarecrow Contest Winners are...

Congratulations to our Scarecrow Contest winners!

1st Place -- A tie between YMCA of Reading and Destination Realty
2nd Place -- I-LEAD Charter School
3rd Place -- Council On Chemical Abuse

A special thanks to this year's judges - Levi Landis, Executive Director of GoggleWorks Center for the Arts; a class of pre-school students at the YMCA of Reading; and Christian Vazquez, a sixth-grade student at Southern Middle School.

And thanks to the other businesses and organizations that submitted entries: Abilities in Motion; Children's Home of Reading; DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel; Liberty Environmental; Olivet Boys & Girls Club; Prospectus Berco; Reading Recreation at 11th and Pike and Third and Spruce; and Reading Public Library.

The scarecrows are still up, some come down to the 400 and 500 blocks of Penn Street to check them out!

1st Place Tie -- YMCA of Reading and...

1st Place Tie -- YMCA of Reading and...

Destination Realty!

Destination Realty!

Our Scarecrows are out and about downtown!


You're invited to check out all the fantastic entries in our Scarecrow Contest! You can see them in person in the 400 and 500 blocks of Penn Street. Can't make it downtown? Then here's a peek at all the creative submissions. We want to thank everyone who participated. And we regret to say that two scarecrows -- one from the Reading Public Library and another from the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel -- were vandalized and had to be taken down. We appreciate all the hard work that the library and the hotel put into creating their scarecrows. And we thank everyone who participated in this year's contest! 

Our latest newsletter features Pumpkin Palooza and Harvest Fest!


Check out our latest newsletter to find out about Pumpkin Palooza, a family-fun event at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts on Saturday, October 14 from noon to 4 p.m. And read about Harvest Fest, a celebration of the end of Penn Street Market on Friday, October 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Oakbrook Brewing Company. All this and more right here!

First-Ever Reading Blues Fest Coming Up!

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Kick the post-summer blues with a new kind of blues -- Reading Blues Fest! This first-ever blues festival is coming to Reading October 6-8. Featuring big-time blues acts -- with nearly all the musical venues in and around downtown Reading -- this is going to be BIG. Read all about Reading Blues Fest in our latest newsletter right here. Also highlighted in this edition is Pumpkin Palooza at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts on Saturday, October 14, and info for entering our annual Scarecrow Contest. Check it all out today!

Tap Into Your Creativity -- Enter Our Scarecrow Contest!

Tap Into Your Creativity -- Enter Our Scarecrow Contest!

Just in time for the start of fall -- our annual Scarecrow Contest! We're looking for entries from businesses, organizations, clubs, families, schools and churches. Entrants are encouraged to create whimsical, humorous, mischievous or lovable scarecrows, which will be put up for display the week of October 9 along Penn Street in downtown Reading.

To be part of this free contest, participants must register by October 4. Registration information is available here, and additional information about the contest can be found here. For questions, contact the Improvement District’s office at 610-376-6424.

The scarecrows will be judged the week of October 9 and first, second, and third place ribbons will be awarded.

Free Upcoming Performance of "Dreamgirls" Highlighted in Latest Newsletter

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Read all about a free performance of "Dreamgirls" by Genesius Theatre on Sunday, September 17 in downtown Reading in our latest newsletter here. Also in this addition is information on the upcoming Reading Blues Fest in early October, as well as an article on a new Caribbean barbecue restaurant in the 1000 block of Penn Street.