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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Reading’s Old Home Day Is This Sunday, July 1

I hope you’re enjoying these final days of June. For the most part, they’ve been nice. Though it may have ruined people’s plans last weekend, I was glad for the rain. It was good for my garden and, I’m sure, all gardens in the area. Everything’s continuing to grow nicely. I have no flowers yet on my pea plants, which are racing up their trellises. That surprises me a bit, but I’m not giving up hope.

Now, in late June, there are just a few days until Old Home Day, which happens on July 1. The parade starts at 11am, followed by the Chicken Barbecue at noon, the Ox Pull at 1pm, and the Ducky Derby at 2pm. I imagine everyone who is marching in the parade is busy getting their floats together. I also imagine people are getting their homes ready for visitors. My brother and his family are likely coming for a visit. They’re excited to partake in the Old Home Day festivities. I think their greatest satisfaction will be seeing Reading in the summer. Being skiers, they’ve only visited in the winter. Reading and our home will seem like such a different place to them!

Sue Mulder asked me to remind you of a part of Old Home Day that isn’t included in the list of events but is so much a part of the day's celebration. It is the village-wide yard sale, happening up and down Route 106 in Felchville. Also joining the group of sellers is the Reading Elementary School. Proceeds of that event go to the RES PTO. Incidentally, that is just one of two PTO fundraising events happening on Old Home Day. Keep reading to learn about the second one!

After all that bargain hunting, be sure you make two more stops before you sit down to enjoy the parade.

The first stop is the Reading Recreation Commission’s tent by the hardware store. Here you can purchase your last-minute Ducky Derby tickets. They are $5 each or 6 for $25. Also, be sure to check out the Rec Commissions Facebook page ( for a list of all the prizes available to win!

If all that bargain hunting, wishful thoughts of winning a prize, and anticipation of the parade are making you hungry, continue your trek north on Route 106 to the Seman’s house for the second part of the RES PTO’s fundraising efforts, a bake sale. Now, I know if we’re talking pre-parade, it’s before 11am. If you need a bunch of excuses why you must buy something sweet, here are a few. “I skipped breakfast.” “I haven’t had second breakfast.” “It’s hot.” “All this walking has made me hungry.” “If I don’t eat something before the parade, I’m going to pass out.”

Seriously, the only excuse you need is that you want to help out the PTO in its mission to organize and fund extra-curricular activities, after-school programs, field trips, and other enrichment activities.

It takes a community to sustain groups like the PTO and to help out in fundraising efforts that are large.

For example, reroofing the Old Stone Church. I checked the Go Fund Me Page for this effort. It's chugging along but has a long way to go to reach the goal. It's such a beautiful building, tucked away far from what is the town's present-day hub. However, it should not be forgotten. If you get the chance, be sure to go to the Go Fund Me Page ( and make a contribution.

Here’s another example, this one involves a resident of Reading, Haley Symonds, a soon-to-be junior at Woodstock Union High School and daughter of Tatiana Werner-McCarthy. Haley is active in the school’s theater program Yoh Theater, having played Truly Scrumptious in the production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She was also asked by Zack’s Place, where she volunteers, to sing the national anthem at the Turkey Trot last Thanksgiving.

The Yoh Theatre Players was accepted to perform at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland this August. The contingent heading to the festival includes nineteen students and four adults. Plus, they need to bring costumes and their set in suitcases to perform Anne Carson's translation of the classic Greek tragedy Bakkhai by Euripides.

Of course, for Haley and her fellow performers to do this, they need money. $150,000 to be exact. They’ve played the role of fundraisers well, but they are still short by $10,000.

If you want to help Haley and the Yoh Players get to Scotland, please consider making a donation. Send a check payable to WUHS (memo: Yoh Scotland) to Yoh Theater c/o WUHS, 100 Amsden Way, Woodstock, VT 05091.

As a side note, while in Scotland, Haley will turn 16! Just a little more excitement in what will certainly be the trip of a lifetime!

And finally, where would this column be without noting an event from “the happeningest place in town?” Tony Pikramenos, our librarian, tells me Reading Public Library will host a series of children's summer reading programs. The statewide theme this year is "Libraries Rock." Come hear stories about music, rocks, and animal sounds. Enjoy crafts, snacks, and giveaways. The programs will take place at 3:30pm on the following Thursdays: July, 5, 12, 19, and 26. Tony promises that there will be more information on this in the coming weeks.

Happy birthday to Olivia Boisvert (June 30), Tammy Allen (July 1), Tracy Allen (July 1), and Sean Harkins (July 2). Happy anniversary to Bill and Hope Hunt (June 30).

That’s the news from Reading! See you next week!

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