Momentum Builds for Reading 375

As we count down to the kick off of Reading 375, several Reading 375 events are enjoying enthusiastic community support. Full details about all these events can be found at reading375.com.

A Concert for Reading

On June 1 at 3:00, come to the RMHS Performing Arts Center for A Concert for Reading, produced by William Endslow and featuring the Reading Symphony Orchestra and Reading Community Singers. According to Ace Foulds, ticket distribution has been brisk. “There’s a lot of excitement about Reading 375, and both the Reading Symphony Orchestra and Reading Community Singers have a tremendous following.” While hundreds of tickets have already been reserved, there are still tickets available. Tickets are FREE, but you need a ticket to gain entry to the concert. You can pick up your tickets at RCTV Studios, the Clerk’s Office at Town Hall, and at Whitelam Books.

Paint the Town

Beginning on May 31, approximately 40 original works of art, all created by local artists and inspired by Reading, will be on display at venues around town. You can join the artists at a reception on Wednesday, June 5 at 6 PM at the Pleasant Street Senior Center. You can also enjoy the artwork at the following venues during the two week Reading 375 Celebration from May 31 – June 15:

  • Pleasant Street Senior Center
  • Town Hall
  • Reading Public Library
  • Goodhearts
  • Caffe Nero
  • Simms Jewelers
  • Whitelam Books
  • Northern Bank
  • Fusion Café
  • Mane 565
  • RCTV
  • Atlantic Framing
  • J & B Crosby & Co.
  • Edward Jones
  • Universal Financial Corp.
  • Middlesex Animal Hospital

Tavern Events

On June 7 and 8, the public is invited to visit the Parker Tavern for two special evenings. On the evening of Friday, June 7 journey to our colonial past at Tavern at the Tavern. On the evening of Saturday, June 8, celebrate Reading 375 in style at Revelry at the Tavern. According to Reading 375 Steering Committee member Catie Robertson, “We’ve had a fantastic response to these two tavern events. A large portion of our tickets were sold in the first few days. Ticket inventory is limited. If folks want to go to these events they should reserve their tickets today.” Tickets to Tavern at the Tavern and Revelry at the Tavern cost $37.50 each and are available at reading375.com.

On the afternoon of Saturday, June 8, head to Washington Park for a double-header of Vintage Baseball – where the players will use the uniforms, equipment, and rules that would have been typical in the mid-1800s. First pitch is at noon and the game is free to watch – bring your own lawn chairs and blankets. Baseball-themed refreshments will be available for sale a short walk away under the tent at Parker Tavern beginning at 11:00. 

PorchFest

Enjoy an afternoon of free music on Saturday, June 8 on porches and front lawns all over Reading. A wide variety of music will be represented…from bluegrass to punk to rock. According to event organizers Ace and Alan Foulds, “We’re thrilled with the response. We were hoping to get 25 musical acts to perform at PorchFest. We’re up to 35 and growing every day.” 

If This House Could Talk

During the two-week Reading 375 celebration, residents will notice “If This House Could Talk” signs on lawns throughout the community. On these signs, homeowners will share an interesting tidbit or two about their home. Event organizer Sarah Brukilacchio says the response has been tremendous: “We have around 70 local homes and businesses signed up. Once people realized how easy it was to participate, the registrations started pouring in.” Signs are still available at RCTV Studios or for delivery to your home while supplies last. You are encouraged to register your home to participate today at reading375.com

Dog Parade

The Reading 375 Dog Parade will take place on Saturday, June 15 at 2:30 at the Wood End Elementary School. “We are so excited to have an event just for the dogs of Reading,” according to event organizer Marcel Dubois. Dogs will receive a commemorative Reading 375 bandana to wear and keep. Registration is required for this event and costs $10. You can register your dog at reading375.com. Proof of current rabies vaccine and dog license is required to attend this event. By registering for the 375 Dog Parade either at reading375.com or in person on the day of the event, you are certifying that your dog is registered in the State of Massachusetts and up to date on their rabies vaccine.

Reading 375 kicks-off on May 31 at 7 PM on the Town Common

Don’t be late – come see the JUMBOTRON, live music, tree illumination, and more surprises. Then head downtown and stop at all the venues with purple balloons to enjoy special events and discounts at your favorite local restaurants, businesses, organizations, and churches. Overflow event parking is available at the Train Depot.

Opening Night Friday, May 31

Opening Night Friday, May 31

Opening Night of Reading 375 is almost here! 

The two-week celebration of our town’s 375th anniversary kicks off in style on Friday, May 31 at 7:00 on the Reading Common.  Join your friends and neighbors for a special celebration of Reading.  There will be live music, a JUMBOTRON with an original video production highlighting Reading’s vibrant celebration history, an illumination of the tree lights which will stay lit for the two-week anniversary celebration, and just a couple more surprises.

After the ceremony on the Common, spend some time strolling downtown Reading, making sure to stop in every location decorated with purple balloons.  Local organizations, churches, and businesses are participating in Reading 375 Opening Night in a wide variety of ways.  Folks wearing a Reading 375 pin or t-shirt can enjoy:

    • Ice cream sundae bar
    • Discounts and specials on food at your favorite local restaurants
    • Discounts and specials on merchandise at local businesses
    • Wine tasting
    • Dance and musical performances
    • So much more

Does your downtown business want to participate?  It’s not too late.  Send an email to info@reading375.com to learn how you can join the celebration.

Get your Reading 375 t-shirt or pin before Opening Night.  Commemorative Reading 375-anniversary t-shirts are available for $20 at Reading Trophy and Shirt and RCTV Studios.  Limited edition Reading 375 pins are available at Whitelam Books, Reading Cooperative Bank, The Town Clerk’s Office at Town Hall, and RCTV Studios for $3.75.  T-shirts and pins will also be for sale at the Reading 375 Tent on Opening Night.

Also kicking off on May 31 is Roaming Reading, a two-week long app-based scavenger hunt sponsored by Reading Cooperative Bank in honor of Reading 375.  Download the free app to your phone, and start tackling the fun challenges beginning on May 31.  Reading Cooperative Bank is providing $1,500 in prizes!  For full details and rules, see: www.reading375.com/reading-day/roaming-reading/

For a full list of all Reading 375 events, check out Reading375.com

It’s time to join the party.  Reading 375 Opening Night is Friday, May 31 at 7:00 on the Town Common.  Overflow event parking is available at the Train Depot.  Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-generation event.

Reading 375 is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization whose goal is to bring our community together to celebrate Reading’s 375th anniversary in 2019.  Events will occur over a two week period, from May 31 – June 15, and will include local artists and musicians, architecture unique to Reading, and fun community gatherings.  The Reading 375 Steering Committee hopes to create a town-wide celebration of Reading’s rich history and exciting future.  To stay up to date, follow Reading 375 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and check out reading375.com.

Images of America: Reading

A Huge Success

Local authors Ginny and Everett Blodgett faced a standing room only crowd at RCTV Studios on Monday, May 13 when they released their new book: Images of America: Reading. The crowd of approximately one hundred included students, parents, local elected officials, and longtime friends of the Blodgetts.  

The authors were introduced by Alan Foulds, Vice Chair of Reading 375 and Chair of the Reading 350th celebration 25 years ago.  Mr. Foulds explained that Images of America: Reading takes its place on the bookshelf of Reading history, alongside volumes published at celebrations as early as 1844.

During a short presentation the authors shared some of the fascinating historical facts described in their new book.  Audience members, many of whom had just purchased their copy of Images of America: Reading, could be seen leafing through their books during the presentation.

The authors hosted a book signing after their short talk, and the line stretched into the next room.  Audience members enjoyed cake and socializing while waiting for a chance to meet the authors and get their signatures.

Phil Rushworth, Chair of the Reading 375 Committee, was thrilled with the turn out.  “It is so exciting to see such support for this book.  This is a town that celebrates our history. We’re more excited than ever about Reading 375, which kicks off on the Town Common on Friday, May 31 at 7:00.”

Images of America: Reading is $21.99, payable by cash or check made out to Virginia Blodgett. Payment will be accepted on receipt of the book.  Profits from sale of the book are being donated to Reading 375, the Antiquarian Society (Parker Tavern), and conservation of some of Reading’s historical artifacts.

In coordination with the Reading Historical Commission and the Reading 375 Steering Committee, there will also be a “bundle” available for $45.00, which includes Images of America: Reading, At Wood End (published in 1994 for Reading’s 350th anniversary), and a commemorative Reading 375 pin.  All proceeds from the sale of At Wood End will go to the Preservation section of the Reading Celebration Trust.

Copies of Images of America: Reading will be available for sale on Saturday, May 18 from 9 – 1 on the Reading Common at the Reading Garden Club annual plant sale, at many of the Reading 375 events, or by contacting the authors at evblodgett@comcast.net.  

Reading 375 Needs You!

Be a part of history. Sign up here to help Reading 375 create a celebration for the ages. Check our Events page to see if there is something specific that interests you or just volunteer your talent and time at large. We will find a role to your liking.

Get Involved

Sign up to help with the Reading Business Promotion: May 15 
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0a48a4ac2da7ff2-reading

Sign up to help with an Adopt-an-Island Garden: May 15 
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050f45a8a822aafa7-gardeners

Sign up to help with the Concert for Reading: June 1 https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050f45a8a822aafa7-aconcert

Sign up to help with the Reading 375 Dog Parade: June 15 
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e084ca9ab2ba4f49-reading

A Concert for Reading

Saturday, June 1

You are cordially invited to attend a celebration of music, song, and dance celebrating the 375th anniversary of Reading. A Concert for Reading will take place on Saturday, June 1 at 3:00 at the William E. Endslow Performing Arts Center at Reading Memorial High School. Produced and hosted by William E. Endslow, the concert features

  • the Reading Community Singers under the direction of Beth Mosier
  • the Reading Symphony Orchestra under the direction of George Orgata
  • RMHS and Syracuse University graduate and New York City Performer Stephen Gordon
  • RHMS and Salem State University Dance Major Graduate Lyndsey McGovern
  • Brother and sister folk-pop-Irish act Caitlin and Patrick Beckman
  • An amazing band representing the BeatHeart Foundation

William Endslow says, “It was such an honor to be asked to coordinate the Concert For Reading as a part of the 375th celebration. The town has been a huge part of my life after teaching here for 31 years and continuing each summer with my Five Star Theater program. Reading has so much talent and so many wonderful organizations that support the Arts. This concert is a wonderful opportunity to share some of that amazing talent with the citizens of Reading.”

This concert promises to be the musical event of the year. Tickets are free, but a ticket is necessary for entrance to the concert. Tickets are available at RCTV Studios at 557 Main Street (open Tues – Thurs 10 – 9; Fri 10 – 6; Sat 10 – 12).

About Reading 375: Reading 375 is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization whose goal is to bring our community together to celebrate Reading’s 375th anniversary in 2019. Events will occur over a two-week period, from May 31 – June 15, and will include local artists and musicians, architecture unique to Reading, and fun community gatherings. The Reading 375 Steering Committee hopes to create a town-wide celebration of Reading’s rich history and exciting future. Commemorative anniversary t-shirts are available at Reading Trophy and Shirt and RCTV Studios. Limited edition Reading375 pins are available at Whitelam Books, Reading Cooperative Bank, The Town Clerk’s Office at Town Hall, and RCTV Studios for $3.75. To learn more and stay informed, like and follow Reading 375 on Facebook and check out reading375.com.

Reading 375 Dog Parade

June 15

The Reading 375 Committee is delighted to announce Reading’s first ever Dog Parade. It will be a historic event – the largest gathering of K-9s in Reading’s history. Is your dog an important part of your family? Then you don’t want to miss out.

Event organizer Marcel Dubois is looking forward to the Dog Parade: “Dogs in Reading or any community play an important role because they can bring families closer together. Reading is a dog-friendly town. An event like the Reading 375 Dog Parade will bring dog lovers throughout Reading together to share that same feeling with other residents throughout the community.”

Lyla, a mini-Australian Shepard, sports the Reading 375 bandana that all dogs who register for the Reading 375 Dog Parade will receive. Lyla belongs to Marcel Dubois, who is organizing the Reading 375 Dog Parade.

As to what inspired the idea of including a Dog Parade as part of the Reading 375 festivities, Marcel says, “I love dogs and produce a show for RCTV Studios called K9 Tails, which you can learn more about at k9tails.com. In conversations with the Reading 375 Steering Committee, there was a lot of enthusiasm for an event just for the dogs of Reading.”

The Reading 375 Dog Parade will include group photos and interviews, a parade around the soccer field, and trail walks in the Town Forest. K-9 Tails K9Tails.com and RCTV will be there to capture the event, so your dog could end up on TV!

All dogs who register will be given a commemorative Reading 375 bandana to wear and keep. All dogs who participate must be licensed, leashed, and accompanied by their owner at all times.

Reading 375

Dog Parade

Saturday, June 15 2:30 pm

Wood End School

IMPORTANT: REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS EVENT

Register online at reading375.com/dog-parade/

Registration Fee: $10

***Proof of current rabies vaccine and dog license is required to attend this event.  By registering for the Reading 375 Dog Parade either here or on the day of the event, you are certifying that your dog is registered in the State of Massachusetts and up to date on their rabies vaccine.***

Local Authors Publish New Book In Honor of Reading 375

Ginny and Everett Blodgett, longtime Reading residents and authors of Images of America: Reading.

by Jeanne Borawski on behalf of the Reading 375 Committee

As part of the Reading 375 Celebrations this spring, local authors Ginny and Everett Blodgett have written a new book:  Images of America: Reading.  The book, which took over a year to compile and write, is published by Arcadia Publishing Company and will be on sale beginning May 13.

Ginny and Everett are well known in Reading.  Both retired teachers, they have been married for 47 years.  They have been collecting Reading maps, photos, objects, books, town reports, and street lists for decades.  According to Everett, they’ve been thinking about a book for a long time.  The upcoming Reading 375-anniversary celebration prompted them to action.

Everett and Ginny were involved with a team in the writing and publishing of At Wood End, which was published in 1994 to coincide with Reading’s 350th celebration.  Ginny notes that “this new book has a format of images and captions, with over 200 photographs that do not repeat from At Wood End. We included photos of historic items we have collected as a jumping off point to discuss various historically important and interesting people and events in Reading.”  Everett adds, “Images of America: Reading is the kind of book you can flip through and enjoy in sections or even just a picture at a time. It doesn’t have to be read all at once.”

When asked what prompted them to become so interested in local history, Ginny says, “We’ve always been interested in learning more about the town in which we live.”  She adds that she knows people in town drive by fascinating, historically important areas and don’t realize what they are looking at.  She feels the new book will help educate other Reading residents about our town’s history.  She adds that local history is “just so interesting.”  Everett knows that many parents in Reading are invested in education and travel.  “They bring their kids all over the world and to historically important sights around our country.  We want to make sure they realize there are fascinating, important historical areas right here in Reading.”  He points to Parker Tavern, Reading’s oldest structure built in 1694, as a prime example.  Ginny and Everett have tremendous gratitude for the local history buffs who have come before them.  “People handed down so much important historical knowledge to us,” Ginny says.  “We feel the need to pass it along to other folks in Reading.”

When asked what the most interesting tidbit they learned while writing the book, the Blodgetts are coy.  Ginny explains, “We made a fascinating new discovery about what is commonly referred to as the 1795 Reading map.”  Everett jumps in, “But if you want to know what it is – you have to read the book!”  Both Blodgetts agree that working with a proof editor, and getting the language just right, was the most challenging aspect of writing this book.  Disagreements over capitalization and punctuation were not uncommon throughout the process.  Everett says the best part of writing the book was, “the years we spent collecting important historical artifacts from Reading and finding new history to share.”

Asked how the world has changed over the twenty-five years since the Reading 350th celebration, Ginny muses that people seem busier.  With so many people working outside of Reading, and family responsibilities, it can be hard for people to find the time to learn about, and therefore support, local history.

After more than a year of work, the Blodgetts are hoping for a positive reaction from the Reading community.  Images of America: Reading includes a variety of stories, photographs, and historical artifacts.  “There’s something for everyone,” according to Everett.  Ginny believes it would be a great book for someone new to town, to help them understand the history of the community they are joining.  There’s another important motivation for people to purchase this book, Everett explains: “We are dedicating the profits from sales of this book to the Reading 375 celebration, Parker Tavern, and conservation of some Reading artifacts.”  Both authors are hopeful that Reading residents will be motivated to purchase this book as a way of supporting these important causes and continuing their tradition of promoting and protecting Reading’s history.

We concluded our interview with a question.  What makes Reading special?  Ginny doesn’t hesitate.  “It’s the people.  We love Reading and its history, but what makes Reading Reading is the people who live here.”  Everett adds, “we’ve been so fortunate to make so many friends in Reading over the years.  We love it here.”

Images of America: Reading, by Ginny and Everett Blodgett, will be on sale beginning May 13.  It costs $21.99, payable by cash or check made out to Virginia Blodgett.  You can reserve a copy by emailing evblodgett@comcast.net.  Payment will be accepted upon receipt of the book.  Profits will benefit Reading 375, Parker Tavern, and local conservation.  

Images of America: Reading will be on sale beginning on May 13 with a book release event at RCTV (see Reading375.com to sign up), at the Garden Club Plant Sale on May 18, at Reading 375 events between May 31 and June 15, and by contacting the authors.