Monday, September 5, 2011

Today's Open Doors kick-off in The Mercury

Below it the Open Doors kick-off story which appeared in today's (Monday's) The Mercury:

POTTSTOWN — It would be easy to explain the Open Doors event coming up this Saturday by just listing all of the things that will be going on.

There are so many at this point, that it would fill most of this space.

But perhaps the more remarkable thing is not that there are a lot of things going on, but that so many of them are being sponsored or run individually by so many individual organizations that call Pottstown home.

In other words, what’s remarkable is that there are almost as many organizations coming together on one day to celebrate Pottstown as there are activities that day.

At its core, Open Doors is, in essence, a festival.

What it celebrates is the town in which it takes place; and what it recognizes is all the things that go on here every day thanks to the dedication of an army of every day people who don’t require any thanks.

But beyond the philosophy of the event is the fun, and there’s a lot of it.

Thousands of people flocked to downtown Pottstown and Pottstown High School last year and organizers for this year’s event are anticipating just as many — or more.

As noted before, there are just too many things to list here.

(Look for our Open Doors special section in Wednesday’s edition for a complete listing of all events, as well as a map of where to go and how to get there. The full schedule can also be found below in a previous post.)

But just a sampling of the events gives you a flavor.

The downtown events begin at 11 a.m. with a ceremony in Smith Plaza in front of borough hall honoring military personnel, veterans and first responders — all of whom were so deeply involved with the events of 9-11 and those that followed.

Smith Plaza will then play host to a series of performances, including the Pottstown Middle School Jazz Band and other local performers.

WPAZ will host a “community dance party” and demonstrations will be provided by Swing Kat Dance; the Roller Derby Rock Stars and Pottstown Karate Club.

Open houses will be hosted by Gallery on High/Gallery School; High Street Music; Tri County Performing Arts Center; Washington Park, where the new mural will be displayed; Genesis Housing; Carousel of Pottstown; The Hill School’s Boyer Art Gallery and the Pottstown Historical Society.
Activities will take place at Smith Plaza; Pottsgrove Manor; the Community Garden at 423 Chestnut St.; the Pottstown Regional Public Library; Bentley Skateboard Shop; borough hall, where a child safety program will be held, and the YMCA where an open house will be combined with a free community swim from 12 to 2 p.m.

Throughout the day, Pottstown Urban Transit will provide free bus shuttles from stops designated on the map that will be in the center of Wednesday’s special Mercury section.

From 2 to 5 p.m., the activities move to the Pottstown High School campus between North Franklin and North Adams streets.

Opening ceremonies will also be held there at 2 p.m. and a health fair, with demonstrations, screenings and displays will be on hand.

Also on hand will be informational tables with hand outs and activities from more than 40 community groups.
There will be bounces houses, a teacher (and public official) dunk tank, classic cars, military and emergency vehicle displays; a mascot hall of fame challenge, a police bike safety program, high school drama club celebrity look-a-likes, free food in the center court, free school supplies (while they last) and an open house of the high schools career technical education facilities from 3 to 4 p.m.

Entertainment will be provided in the school auditorium from 2:30 through 4:30 p.m.

Blood donations will be collected by Miller-Keystone at both locations through the entire day.

The day caps off with a high school varsity football game — Pottstown Vs. Penn Wood — at 6:45 p.m. in Grigg Stadium.

Pre-game ceremonies there will honor military and first responders, all of whom will be admitted to the game free.

So yeah, there’s a lot going on that day and it would be a shame for you, your family and your friends to miss it. It is, after all, entirely free.

But the point of the day is to point out to people that much of that same stuff is going on almost every day in Pottstown.

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