A Very Reading Christmas, right down to the tree!

This month, some very special preparations for the holidays in Reading are in full swing, with the usual parades and the annual tree-lighting ceremony on the agenda, but also a unique nod to last year’s “Charlie Brown Christmas tree”, which was featured on news stories worldwide.

The annual holiday parade will take place next Saturday, November 21st at 9:00 am. It will begin at the intersection of Penn Street and 11th St, and proceed down Penn until 2nd St. In the event of rain, the parade will be postponed until the 28th of November at the same time and location.

This year’s tree, a 25-foot concolor fir, is already standing tall and proud in Penn Square. Its official lighting ceremony will be held the night before the parade, Friday November 20th, at 6:30 PM. The tree itself was donated by two Berks County residents, Barb and Pat Emmett, the owners of Godfrey’s Welcome to Dogdom in Brecknock Township, and is considered by many to be a significant improvement over its predecessor.

Whatever happened to that ugly tree, anyway? The fate of the tree, which sparked a nationwide debate over whether it was too ugly to display or the perfect way to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas, was influenced by Luke Schultz, a foreman in the city public works department, and Steve Weber, a carpentry instructor at the Reading-Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center.

Both felt that last year’s tree did a great deal to bring positive publicity to Reading, and Schultz, a former student of Weber’s, thought that his teacher could help commemorate the tree in a very special way. So, with the help of the students in the carpentry program, Weber fashioned the wood from the “ugly tree” into a commemorative bench that will be featured in this year’s holiday display.

The city itself has given a nod to the 2014 viral news event by putting up a doghouse, constructed by the Public Works Department, resembling Snoopy’s own residence, as part of its holiday display. The doghouse was placed at the corner of Fifth and Penn streets, representing the Charlie Brown story of which last year’s tree became symbolic.

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This Saturday, don’t miss your chance to witness the incredible Reading 120 Cycling Competition!

Planning a trip to Reading for the weekend, or just looking for something to do in the Berks County area? You absolutely cannot miss the Reading 120, a grueling 120-mile cycling competition playing out across the Reading area on Saturday. Those of you who have been following us for some time will remember we briefly touched on this event earlier this year, when we discussed Pretzel City Productions and their efforts to bring business and tourism to the City of Reading.
Bikers preparing for the Reading 120 face unique obstacles
Poised to become the greatest single-day road race—or Classic—in all of North, South, and Central America, the Reading 120 will host racers from across the world, including Mexico, Guatemala, Finland, Sweden, Holland, France, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and our own United States.

Starting out with a tour of 75 miles of beautiful Berks County farmland, and culminating in laps around Reading that include five climbs up Mount Penn, this race holds the distinct honor of being one of only seven International Cycling Union, or UCI, races in the entire USA. UCI races must all be sanctioned out of Switzerland, and to hold UCI status signifies the very highest standard of race quality, attracting competitors from around the world.
Bikers preparing for the Reading 120 face unique obstacles
Spectator info regarding the race’s route, the best vantage points, parking, and event times can be found on the official website here. Along with the race itself, there will also be a salsa dancing event by the finish line, children’s races and other programs for the little ones, handcycle races, and plenty of delicious food and drinks. A full list of events can also be found on the Reading 120 site here. Whether you’re excited to watch the race to beat all races, or you just want to dance at the finish line, Reading is the place to be on Saturday!