Reading, Pa. – Two distinguished entities in the Berks County Community – Reading Eagle Company and Reading Hospital – will be the grand marshals for the 2018 Reading Holiday Parade in recognition of their 150th anniversaries.
The parade in downtown Reading is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17 starting at 10 a.m. (please note that this is a new start time). Participants will step off at 11th and Penn Streets and proceed along Penn Street to Second Street. This year’s parade theme is “Shine Bright, Reading.” The annual event is presented by the Reading Downtown Improvement District and the City of Reading.
“It wasn’t difficult to decide who our grand marshals would be this year,” noted Charles R. “Chuck” Broad, Executive Director of the Improvement District. “With both Reading Eagle Company and Reading Hospital celebrating impressive milestones, it was only natural to honor them and their contributions to the community. I personally would like to congratulate both on their anniversaries.”
The Reading Eagle has played a fundamental role as Berks County’s essential source for news. Founded by Jessie Hawley and William Ritter on Jan. 28, 1868, the Eagle has been a family-run business for eight generations.
As times have changed, so has the Eagle, which is available in electronic format as well as print. The award-winning publication reaches an audience well beyond Berks County and continues to be the go-to source for local, state, national, and international news.
The newspaper is a division of Reading Eagle Company. Other company divisions include WEEU, REP Commercial Printing, South Schuylkill News and Pretzel City Productions. Altogether, the company employs nearly 400 people.
Reading Hospital has been the centerpiece of healthcare in the Greater Reading and Berks County region for 150 years, first opening their doors to patients on January 27, 1868, as the Reading Dispensary located at 618 Court Street. Little did they know it would become the nationally-recognized, flagship hospital of Tower Health, an award-winning, integrated health system serving southeastern Pennsylvania.
Now celebrating a century and a half of care, Reading Hospital continues its promise of Advancing Health and Transforming Lives by providing comprehensive and compassionate care to our community. Beyond what happens within their walls, which eventually moved from Court Street to their existing location in West Reading in 1926, the hospital has also been an important part of our economy and community.
Under the leadership of newly named President and CEO Bill Jennings, Reading Hospital and Tower Health are taking healthcare to new heights by empowering the people of Berks County and beyond to live their healthiest lives.
Broad said more than 2,000 participants are signed up for the parade. Included in the lineup are several high school marching bands, numerous floats, large inflatable balloons, civic and community organizations, and several dignitaries.
“We want to extend a special thanks to the Reading Area Water Authority for stepping up to be the parade’s Signature Sponsor for the second year in a row,” Broad said.
In addition to the Water Authority, major sponsors are Reading Eagle Company, BCTV, and the Reading Parking Authority. Other sponsors are Reading Hospital, Reading Area Community College, BB&T Bank, Boscov’s Department Stores, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, and Riverfront Federal Credit Union
In case of inclement weather, the parade will be rescheduled to Saturday, Nov. 24 at 10 a.m.