• Stephen D'Agostino

Lots of Community Events in Reading This Weekend

As you probably know if you read my column on a regular basis, I write in a room in my house I have labeled “the office.” My desk is right by the windows, affording much light and many distractions when I am staring at a blank screen or stumped by what to write next.

Starting this week’s column was actually easy. In fact, I had already written what I thought would be the first paragraphs when my attention was repeatedly drawn to the road as individual bikers, some muddied, whizzed by, seemingly oblivious to the ruts on the road—some of them created by me as I drove home earlier.

These crazy cyclists are part of the Vermont Overland Maple Adventure Ride, run by Reading resident Peter Vollers, that took place on March 25. This I know. What I don’t understand is why. It’s cold. The road is muddy and bumpy. I’ll wait until next month to get my bike on the road. And by road, I mean paved road.

I’m not sure these bikers will bike by the intersection of Routes 106 and 44, but if they do, they’ll pass new signs on the road that are covered by black plastic. These signs are for the truck detour that will divert the big rigs around Route 4 in Woodstock while the bridge repair is being done. Those of us who drive cars are exempt from these forty- and fifty-mile detours, signs for which you will see all over the region. In Woodstock, we can take Elm Street, which runs parallel to Central Street/Route 4, to get around the construction. The actual bridge work doesn’t begin until mid-April.

Happening much sooner—in fact, this weekend—are two great community events. First, on Friday night, March 30, at the Reading Public Library is the Community Sing-Along. It starts at 6:30pm. Tony Pikramenos, our librarian, says the first hour will be devoted to the signing and the last 30 minutes to visiting with our neighbors. This is a free event.

If you don’t like to sing in public or don’t think you have a good singing voice, you’re encouraged to come and just listen. Who knows, your favorite song or the enjoyment others are getting out of the event might unleash your inner diva (or divo). Before you know it, you may feel the urge to jump up on the table and use the chandelier as your own personal spotlight!

Tony asks that if you play an instrument to bring it and accompany our local signers. Also, if you have a copy of the book Rise Up Singing, bring that too. He has several on hand, but the more copies that are available, the better.

The bikers are still flying by. Must be the middle of the pack, because there are several together, whereas before it was pretty much one at a time. I guess misery does, in fact, love company.

If you have so much fun with your neighbors on Friday night and can’t wait to see them again, you have another opportunity the very next day. The Reading Bunny Hop happens at 10am on Saturday, March 31. Lisa Kaija and I were up at Bartley Field last week surveying the scene. She is much more optimistic than I am that the field will be suitable for Peter Cottontail’s big day in Reading.

The good news is that we have an alternate location if we can’t have the Bunny Hop there. That place is at the Reading Elementary School. The decision may not be made until the day of the event. Start with Bartley Field. If the venue has changed, someone will be there to tell you to hop on over to the school.

Hazel King asked me to pass along that Easter Services will be held at the Old Stone Church on Tyson Road at Noon on Easter, April 1. The service will be led by Reverend Christian Heubner, with music by the Bowen family. Hazel notes that no matter what your church affiliation, you are invited to join this celebration.

Jumping into the following week, if Fido wakes you up on Monday demanding his morning kibble or a walk, and you realize you forgot to license him last week, you and your four-legged friend are in luck. You actually have until April 2 to license your dog. Be sure to bring a copy of a current rabies vaccination certificate.

Finally, I am kidding about the bikers being crazy. I am impressed that they’re out there and that there are so many of them. I don’t think I will ever do an event like this, but I really cannot wait to get out on my two wheels! I’m just holding out for it to feel like, um, I don’t know…spring!

Happy Birthdays to Makiya Harkins (March 29) and Liam Jenne (April 1). Happy Passover! Happy Easter! And Happy April!

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