Carousel of Flavor underway in Pottstown now thru 4 pm!



Date : Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 from noon to 4 p.m.

100 Block of High Street, Pottstown in front of Borough Hall


Expanded wine and beer garden this year!

Over 6,000 attended last year. Featuring live bands, crafters and entertainment for children of all ages.

The Carousel at Pottstown and Carousel of Flavor website.

“When We Were Soldiers” opens tomorrow at ArtFusion 19464

I am so grateful and proud to have been part of “When We Were Soldiers,” an exhibit showcasing the stories, memories, and artifacts of local Vietnam veterans. It opens tomorrow at ArtFusion 19464, at 254 E. High Street, in Pottstown. See the Mercury’s awesome coverage here.

An opening reception and welcome home ceremony will run from 5-8 pm, beginning at the Borough parking lot at High and Charlotte Streets. There will be a motorcycle cavalcade and speakers to give the “welcome home” that these veterans never received. I, along with writer Parker Blaney, interviewed the vets this past summer and worked with them to draft narratives of their experiences, from getting drafted to their service, and their experiences coming home, re-integrating into civilian life, and the long-term effects of war. These men were brave once again to have this dialogue and agree to share it with the general public.

Cathy Paretti of ArtFusion has put their stories on homemade paper and combined them with photos and all kinds of articles that these veterans and others brought back with them. It will be a truly educational exhibit, appropriate for middle school students and older, about this time in our country’s history. Please plan to visit sometime between Sept. 20 – Nov. 9.

When We Were Soldiers: personal stories of our Vietnam Veterans

September 20-November 9
Opening reception September 20 from 5-8pm.
Please RSVP via email or by calling 610-326-2506.

ArtFusion 19464
254 E. High St.
Pottstown, PA 19464

Regular Hours

Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 10am-3pm
Closed Sunday and Monday

Register by Sept. 5th for Cycles & Cemeteries Ride

Schuylkill River Trail Bike Tour Series
Cycles  & Cemeteries Ride
Register by September 5 for Early Bird Price!

Ride on the Schuylkill River Trail from Norristown to East Falls and tour on foot two historic cemeteries, visiting burial sites of Civil War notables including Gettysburg Generals Hancock and Meade. Ride options include 14 or 28-mile rides. 


When: Saturday September 21, 2013; Check-in 8-9 a.m.


Where: Ride begins at Montgomery Cemetery, 1 Hartranft Ave., West Norriton (just outside of Norristown, PA) and follows the Schuylkill River Trail to Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia’s East Falls neighborhood.

Cost: $35 early bird price; after 9/5 cost is $40.

Optional return bike/passenger shuttle $10.

Optional  lunch and Laurel Hill Cemetery tours for non-riding guests of participants $15.

Amenities: Price includes well-marked route, catered lunch, guided cemetery tours and free t-shirt (t-shirt not available if registering after 9/5).

Visit our website for more details
Questions? Call the Schuylkill River Heritage Area at 484-945-0200; or email
Ride Details

Two options make this a great event for all cyclists!
* 14-mile one-way ride from Montgomery Cemetery in West Norriton (just outside Norristown) to Laurel Hill Cemetery in East Falls with return bike and passenger shuttle. Shuttle is $10 extra per person.
* 28-mile round-trip ride from Montgomery Cemetery  to Laurel Hill Cemetery and back.
* Both rides include lunch and guided tours on foot of two historic cemeteries where Civil War notables are buried.


Register early! Ride limited to 250 riders.

Due to the width of the trail, no bicycle trailers will be permitted on this ride. Helmets are strongly recommended. No day of event registrations accepted. Registration closes 9/20 at noon.

Slavic Sacred Music at St. John’s this Friday evening

The Theoria Chamber Choir presents

Slavic Sacred Music
Hymns & Liturgical Songs of the Eastern Church

August 23rd, 2013
7:00 pm

Free Admission

(free will offerings will be accepted)

St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church
301 Cherry Street
Pottstown, Pennsylvania

News of this free event comes to us from the founder of Theoria Chamber Choir, Andrew Skitko, a Pottstown resident and Hill School grad.

Greek for contemplation, “theoria” refers to a stage of spiritual illumination in Eastern Christian theology. Theoria Chamber Choir seeks to lead others in spiritual contemplation through a cappella choral music.

Theoria was founded by Andrew Skitko in 2010. Having grown up in the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church, his passion for the Eastern-European choral repertoire inspired the formation of an ensemble that could explore this music with other professionally trained singers, and share the repertoire of the Slavic sacred choral tradition. Theoria Chamber Choir consists of students and alumni of Westminster Choir College.

In addition to concert performances, Theoria Chamber Choir serves as the primary liturgical choir at The Assumption of The Virgin Mary Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church in Trenton, New Jersey (

Starfest this Saturday eve at Hopewell Furnace

The Chesmont Astronomical Society is a non-profit amateur astronomy club. They are holding Starfest 2013 at Hopewell Furnace National Historical Site tomorrow, Aug. 10, starting at 7 p.m.

Use this address in your GPS: 2 Mark Bird Lane Elverson, PA 19520

This annual star party includes speakers, door prizes, and a variety of telescopes to observe the night sky. When the sky is darkened, visitors can join society members at their telescopes trained on different types of celestial objects, such as planets, galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters.

The event is weather dependent, so if it’s cloudy or rainy, it will take place on Sunday, Aug. 11th. Check for updates at

The schedule looks like this:

  • 6 to 7:30 p.m.: Astronomy-related presentations
  • 7:30 to 8 p.m.: Dark sky preservation talk
  • 8 to 8:45 p.m.: Guest speaker
  • 8:45 to 9 p.m.: Drawing for telescope prizes
  • 9 to 11 p.m.: Stargazing
The event is free for all ages and free parking is available, but cash donations are appreciated. And there is a chance to win prizes, such as a 102mm Celestron refractor telescope with mount and eyepieces and a 80mm Orion telescope with mount and eyepieces, plus limited quantities of astronomy material.

Free Slavic sacred music concert to be presented in Pottstown

Due to the overwhelming success of the 2012 concert, voices from the Westminster Choir College return to Pottstown! I attended last year’s concert and it was outstanding.

A concert of sacred hymns and liturgical music of the Slavic tradition will be presented by the Theoria Chamber Choir at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 23rd, in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, 301 Cherry Street, Pottstown, Pa.  The concert is free and open to the public; a free will offering will be accepted.  Please note that the church is air-conditioned and handicapped accessible via the ramp in the rear parking lot.

The Theoria Chamber Choir features students and alumni of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J. Westminster is a four-year music college and graduate school that prepares men and women for careers as professional performers and as music leaders in schools, universities, churches, and professional and community music organizations.  Westminster choirs perform annually in venues including the Kimmel Center, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, and various groups are professionally recorded as they perform well-known composers’ new and other arrangements.

Drew Skitko, Theoria Chamber Choir Director
Drew Skitko, Theoria Chamber Choir Director

Theoria Chamber Choir is directed by Andrew Skitko, a native of Pottstown, and graduate of The Hill School.  Skitko also serves as the cantor and music director at The Assumption of The Virgin Mary Byzantine Catholic Church of Trenton, N.J., where Theoria Chamber Choir performs about once a month. Skitko also has been a cantor at St. John’s church.

In April 2012, the Westminster Slavic Choir, also under Skitko’s direction, performed at St. John’s church to a crowd that included many people who had never before heard the traditional Slavic music and asked Skitko to return to perform another concert.  Due to keen interest, Skitko was eager to return to Pottstown with the Theoria Chamber Choir, a four-part group of powerful, professionally trained voices.

“Performing in Pottstown allows us to share this beautiful music with my hometown and support Pottstown’s growing, diverse arts presence,” said Skitko.

Joining Skitko, a baritone, will be Liesl McPherrin, soprano, Lauren Delfing, alto, and Brett Avery-Lawyer, tenor.

The concert will feature sacred liturgical choral works by composers including Bortniansky, Tchaikovsky, Vedel, and Hurko. Selections will be performed in English as well as Old Church Slavonic.

The concert is expected to last about one hour.

For further information, please contact Andrew Skitko, choral director

Cell: 610-220-3479; E-mail:

POW/MIA flags to be hung in downtown Pottstown

The press release below was received from ArtFusion 19464. Positively Pottstown is proud to help sponsor the purchase of the POW/MIA flags that will soon be flying downtown. A few weeks ago I, along with writer and counselor, Parker Blaney, interviewed a dozen local veterans, who are participating in a storytelling project for an educational exhibit – When We Were Soldiers – about the Vietnam War. We are in the midst of writing up those narratives and getting further feedback from the veterans to make sure we get it right. The exhibit will open on September 20th with a one-of-a-kind “Welcome Home” for area Vietnam veterans. Please mark your calendars for September 20th at 5 pm at ArtFusion 19464, 254 E. High Street in Pottstown. ~ Sue Repko

Shown below at presentation of flags at Borough Hall: Frank Strunk, President of Pottstown Keystone Chapter 565 of Vietnam Veterans of America; Billy Worrell, of American Legion Post 244; and Mark Flanders, Pottstown Borough Manager.

In preparation for ArtFusion 19464’s fall educational exhibit When We Were Soldiers, downtown Pottstown will soon be flying POW/MIA flags. The flags will be hung the week of July 4th and be on display through Veterans Day.

This display was made possible through the support of the greater Pottstown community and beyond. Representative Mark Painter’s office donated 2 flags. Generous donations were also made by the following individuals and organizations: David Garner, Esq., Pottstown Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Positively Pottstown, Federation of Concerned Organizations, POW/MIA Forget Me Nots, American Legion Post 244 and Jack and Cathy Paretti, Theresa Orlosky, Sharon Shulby. Billy Worrell, member of American Legion Post 244 and a Vietnam Veteran, was very instrumental in getting the donations and arranging the purchase of the flags.

When We Were Soldiers will focus on the personal recollections of veterans of the Vietnam War. The show will open September 20 with a Welcome Home reception and run through Veterans Day. As part of the reception, local motorcycle clubs will be participating in a welcome home ride. The reception will run from 5-8pm. Light refreshments will be served. While this reception is free, ArtFusion will be collecting donations for a free arts program for veterans as well as to fund maintenance for the Pottstown Vietnam Memorial.

The Pottstown Keystone Chapter 565 of Vietnam Veterans meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7PM at the VFW located on High Street in Pottstown. Anyone is invited to attend a meeting.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.


Legendary Locals of Pottstown available for pre-order!

I am so excited to announce that the Legendary Locals of Pottstown is now available for pre-orders at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Arcadia Books. It will be released Oct. 14, 2013.

Arcadia Publishing, the largest publisher of local history books in the country was great to work with. They came across this blog about a year ago and asked if I’d be interested in profiling “legendary locals,” broadly defined, and things just took off from there.

This was an incredibly cool project. The photographer, Ed Berger, and I met so many amazing Pottstown people, who I can’t thank enough for taking the time to share their stories. This is my first book, so I have to keep pinching myself to make sure this is really happening.

I will keep you updated as book signings/events are held this fall so that the community can hear some of the stories of the people in the book and to get the book into your hands.


Pottstown Memorial Day Parade begins at 10 am; service to follow

Pottstown’s annual Memorial Day Parade will begin at 10 am tomorrow, May 27th. Following the parade, a Memorial Service will be held on the island in Memorial Park near the intersection of Manatawny and Third Streets.

The parade starts at 10 am in front of Goodwill Fire Company on High Street, near the intersection with Bailey Street, goes to Manatawny Street, turns right,  crosses over King Street and into the park. It lasts about 45 minutes – 1 hour. If the parade is cancelled because of rain, the service will be held at Goodwill Fire Company.

Beginning around 6 am, KYW 1060 AM will announce if the parade will be cancelled due to inclement weather.

Please come out and remember those who have served our country – that’s what this holiday is all about!

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