The City of Reading has announced the return of the Reading Holiday Parade to kick off the 2021 holiday season. The 2020 parade was canceled due to COVID—19 safety concerns.
Traveling down Penn Street in downtown Reading, this year’s parade theme is “Christmas Around the World” and is scheduled for Saturday, November 20 beginning at 10am.
“The City of Reading is incredibly excited for the return of the Holiday Parade,” said Mayor Morán. “Our dedicated public servants have worked tirelessly to make this annual event as fun-filled and exciting for everyone.
Morán added, “In addition to the more than 75 entries and participants, it is with tremendous honor that I announce that this years’ Grand Marshals are all past and current presidents of Reading Area Community College, in celebration of their 50th Anniversary.”
The Grand Marshal’s, past and current RACC presidents are: Dr. Byron Rinehimer, Dr. Gust Zogas, Dr. Richard A. Kratz, Dr. Anna Weitz, and Dr. Susan Looney.
Organizations and individuals participating in the 2021 Reading Holiday Parade (not spectators) can follow their divisions’ check-in instructions. City Park is designated as the parade line-up staging area; as a result, all thru traffic will be restricted to only parade participants beginning at 8:30 am. After that time, participants entering City Park can access it through Constitution Boulevard & Hill Road or Constitution Boulevard & Walnut Street.
Other designated staging areas include the 1100 block of Perkiomen Avenue and the 000 blocks of North & South 11th Street, which will be restricted to residential traffic only, also at 8:30 am. Detours, No Parking signs, and additional notices will be posted in these blocks and throughout the routes, as needed. Towing will be enforced as a last resource to clear the route.
At 9:00 am, all traffic entering the City through the Penn Street Bridge will be diverted through a temporary special traffic lane going left on 2nd Street to Court Street. Please be advised that Penn Street will shut down in both directions from 9:00 am to approximately 2:00 pm; however, you will be able to drive north to south intermittently and vice versa on the following cross streets 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th, or 10th.
5th Street will shut down at 9:00 am on Cherry Street & Court Street as the main stage will be set up in the intersection with Penn Street.
Visitors and residents attending the Jazz Fest at the DoubleTree are encouraged to use the special lane to Court Street through the hotel Parking lot on 701 Court Street.
Finally, Officers from the Reading Police Department will be assigned to intersections and strategic zones. Event volunteers will also be assisting throughout the event and can be identified with volunteer staff shirts and/or staff badges.
Following the parade floats, marching bands and community organizations, Santa Claus himself is expected to make an appearance. Look for him at the end of the parade riding with the Reading Fire Department.