Down by the Riverside

One of the more pleasant things about this space is it allows me to encourage citizens to attend arts and culture events that strike me as significant. By now you know what is significant to me may be quite different from what is significant for other promoters of culture.

I like most the smaller-scale free public events in which all members of the community can participate equally with no barriers of economics, social rank, and so forth. Call me a populist in that sense and I shall not deny it.

I’ve previously indicated here that the free Bandshell Concerts in City Park are some of the best cultural events of the year here. However when asked for the number one venue of the city’s cultural calendar, I say it is Reading’s Riverfest.

This year’s Riverfest, bearing the poetic subtitle “The River Sings” may well be the final “old-style” version of this event. Next year, we’re expecting the Riverfront Project involving new lighting along the river, upgrading of the RACC Bridge to West Reading and an amphitheatre along the river. We’ll be losing a bit and gaining a lot. And I predict Riverfest will live on in some form in the new riverfront area and continue to get better every year.

Do yourself and your loved ones a favor. Come on down to where the town meets the river and enjoy “The River Sings”

I’ll see you there!

Here’s some of the info you’ll want to know to make the most of your visit.

Come and enjoy two days of fabulous FREE music at Riverfest – 2007 – The River Sings along the Schuylkill River on Riverfront Drive in Reading, PA on Friday and Saturday, 9/21 & 9/22.

One of the featured bands will be East Side Dave & The Mountain Folk Band with East SIde Dave, Dane Kline, Bob Entler, Mike Hertzog and Ted Fenstermacher.

Parking is free, all concerts are free; pay as you go for delicious fresh grilled food from the GTV Edelweiss Folk Dancers and refreshing beer from Stoudt’s Microbrewery, Spaten and other quality brands. Soft drinks will be served as well. Stoudt’s fresh brewed beer is delicious and a favorite of festival participant East Side Dave & The Mountain Folk Band!

You must have proper ID to consume beer, but people of all ages will be allowed to come and enjoy the concerts.

Concerts on Friday and Saturday will run from 4 to 10 PM in a gorgeous Beer Garden Tent, rain or shine. There’ll be plenty of seating, professional lighting and sound. There will also be a dance floor.

Friday’s theme is Bluegrass & Celtic Music Night featuring The Blue Mountain Junction Band, the high-energy of East Side Dave & The Mountain Folk Band, the fabulous Celtic fun of Canada’s Tartan Terrors, and the amazing music of Canada’s Tanglefoot Band.

Saturday’s theme is Oktoberfest & Polka Night; which also happens to be the same day that the huge Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany opens! Bands will include The Golden Tones Polka Band, The Rhinelanders and Joe Stanky and the Cadets Polka Band.

On Friday, East Side Dave & The Mountain Folk Band will be ushered across the river to the stage from the West Reading side of the Schuylkill to the Reading side in a symbolic crossing showing the unity of both sides of the river and the band will be singing while being escorted across the river so that the river truly will “sing” on this historic night! Dave and the band will be paddled across the river by members of the local canoe and kayak club with Don Moll at the helm of the lead boat!

More info here:


While you’re at it, take the free BARTA bus on Saturday between Riverfest and Fall Festival on the Avenue!

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