Another fun First Saturday!

This past weekend, another First Saturday (brought to you by the Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance) brought the downtown to life with music, community-building and classic cars.


This was the first time I set up a table, and I sure was grateful to get an iced mocha from Churchill and to get a spot under a canopy from Erica Hornburg-Cooper from The Gallery School. When kids stopped by to do art projects, they usually grabbed a bottle of bubbles and a Positively!Pottstown re-usable bag from my table.

It seemed like lots of people were getting great book bargains from the Pottstown Public Library sale. As they kept making their way to my table, it became obvious that I should just turn my bags over to the folks at the library so people could put their books directly into them there! Since the 4th of July, 250 Positively!Pottstown bags have infiltrated the community, bringing day-glo orange cheeriness to shopping carts throughout the region. Can a world dominated by positivity be far behind??

Another cool thing about hanging out at Smith Family Plaza on First Saturday is that the world comes to you, bringing ideas for future blog posts. I met Louis Rieger of High Street Music. And Ross Landy of WPAZ Preservation Association. And when lunchtime rolled around, my mom brought a delicious and filling sandwich from Grumpy’s, who will be featured in an article later this week.

Rounding out the music for the day was “Maggie Spike,” the duo of Eric and Peggy Gernerd. These Berks County natives play a very enjoyable, foot-tapping mix of acoustic folk, rock, jazz and reggae that has you humming along in no time.

Maggie Spike and Mike Holliday (courtesy of Maggie Spike)

And, finally, since I really had to get home, I could only glimpse the beginning of the Pottstown Classics Car Club Nostalgia Night and make plans to spend some more time there next month. The next First Saturday, which will be the final one for 2010, will take place on September 4th – hope to see you then!

Preservation Pottstown’s July 4th Activities

Preservation Pottstown is a non-profit group that undertakes a host of activities to support and celebrate what’s awesome about Pottstown.

One of their premier events is the Patriotic 5K Run, which will take place this year on Saturday, July 3rd. Parking is at The Hill School‘s Center for the Arts at Beech & Sheridan Streets, Pottstown, PA 19464.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. at The Hill School, and the gun goes off at 8 a.m. See the 5K Race page at the July 4th website or download an entry form here. For more information, call 610-970-6607/6608 or 610-970-6618.

Preservation Pottstown is also a sponsor of Bike Pottstown, the free bike program run by Tri-County Bicycles at 256 High Street. They are rallying a contingent of bikers for the July 4th Homecoming Parade. Tri-County Cycles has 3o bikes in their fleet, available to the first 30 riders who show up. Kids and adults are encouraged to bike into town or bring their bikes, if you’re from out of town, and meet up at the bike shop around 9:45. From there, all bikers will go together to High and Keim Streets to wait for their turn to join the parade, which starts at 10:15.

Bikers will get to see everyone in front of them and, then, when they reach the end of the parade route, they will get to see everyone behind them. Bikers will not miss a thing! So, tape a few streamers to your handlebars, put on your red, white & blue and bike over – I will see you there!

July 4th in Pottstown!

Plans & schemes are heating up for fun & games at The Pottstown July 4th Homecoming Celebration, now in its 32nd year !

Positively!Pottstown is teaming up with Code Blue on a 50/50 raffle, where 50% of proceeds goes to the July 4th Committee and 50% will be split between two lucky winners. Tickets are $5 each; or 3 for $12. Code Blue volunteers & lil ‘ol me will be selling tickets on Friday evening and all day Saturday at the main tent (near the sound booth), throughout the park, and along the parade route. We’ll be trying to sell 1,000 tickets. Support Pottstown’s 4th and you could win big!

A huge thanks to Smale’s Printery on Charlotte Street for the good price & quick turnaround!

Tomorrow: Preservation Pottstown’s 5K Race and calling all bike riders for the parade!


50% split by 2 lucky winners

50% for Pottstown July 4th Committee

Drawing held before the fireworks.

$5/ticket ● $12/3 tickets

The Centennial Illumination

I was cruisin’ around Pottstown’s 4th of July Homecoming Celebration blog, and came across the fascinating published account of the 1876 Centennial Celebration, held in honor of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. (You can click on the link at the bottom right of their page or go here.)

I was especially intrigued by the description on pages 12-13 of the event known as “The Centennial Illumination.” Basically, Pottstown residents and businesses were encouraged to decorate their buildings and, between 9-10 pm on the evening of July 3rd, they were to light up their properties.

“As the hour of 9 o’clock in the evening was tolled out upon the air by the town clock, gas burners, transparencies, lamps, candles, Chinese lanterns, balls of fire and all other means of illumination, were fired up, and a brilliant flood of light thrown upon the streets, presenting a scene of beauty, the like of which is unrecorded in the annals of the town.”

I get chills every time I read that.

So this got me to thinking… is an “illumination”, even for just a few hours the night before the parade, maybe even only in the downtown, possibly a way to further distinguish Pottstown as THE BEST place to observe the 4th? As more restaurants and stores open up downtown – think people dining outside at Juan Carlos & Funky Lil’ Kitchen & Martha’s Famous & other restaurants & cafes, people browsing in galleries and shops, music in Smith Plaza, music in the lot between the former Amy’s Attic & Ranieri’s – I’m imagining the magic that could happen when all the church bells start to ring and those lights pop on for just a couple hours on that one night. (You miss it, you gotta wait til next July.) And it’s something that the town has already done, it’s already part of its story.


I guess I have to get back to work. Writing deadline looming. Just procrastinating and daydreaming out loud on a Wednesday morning…

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