Update: The event has been canceled due to the potential of severe weather.
The Foundation for the Reading Pagoda and the City of Reading are inviting the public to a special Flag Day celebration Sunday, June 12, 2022 from noon to 3pm at the Reading Pagoda. The event precedes Flag Day, which is on Tuesday, June 14.
The event kicks off at noon featuring live music by the New Ringgold Horizons Band. At 1pm, a flag-raising ceremony will be held at the Pagoda Flag Pole in conjunction with the National Patriotic Order Sons of America, the organization which generously provides a new American flag each year.
Elta Jackson-Henry, vocalist and chair of the Religious Affairs Committee of the NAACP Reading Branch, will sing the Star-Spangled Banner acapella during the flag-raising ceremony.
The gates at the Pagoda will be closed to traffic for the event. Free parking will be available at the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower, with a complimentary shuttle to the Pagoda. Event organizers encourage guests to bring lawn chairs to enjoy the free outdoor concert.
Those who have recently visited the Pagoda are aware that the building remains closed to conduct restoration analysis prior to being able to establish a scope of work and afterwards safely reopen. During the Flag Day event, the lower level bathrooms, accessible from outside of the Pagoda, will be open to the public.
About the eventual reopening of the Pagoda, Councilwoman Donna Reed said, “The Pagoda has been the symbol of our City for over a century. We have started the process of assessing what we need to do to preserve our historic architectural treasure. There’s a tremendous amount of work going on behind the scenes.”
The Foundation has contracted professional cleaning of the interior by Stubbs Cleaning, to address debris that has built up during the pandemic closure.
Preparations for the removal of outdated refrigeration equipment and furnishings are also being made. Additionally, the city has been working with the Fire Marshal and other local authorities to put plans in place that augment the safety and security of the property.
“Please remember that the Pagoda was struck by lightning, which is why we still have that one band of lights out around the outside”, said Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz.
“The city is working on another Request for Proposal to have our electrical service assessed for a scope of work to get the necessary upgrades for the lighting system, along with other mechanical and HVAC replacements.”
Although the interior of the Pagoda is closed for repairs, the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower will be open during the event for guests to enjoy a scenic view of Berks County.