What's happening in and around Phoenixville, PA.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kiwanis Children's Plaza set to open tomorrow

The Children's Plaza I first mentioned last September is set to open tomorrow evening with a ceremony that is to begin at 6:30pm. The Plaza, which is a joint effort between the Phoenixville Kiwanis and the Main Street CDC, is located at Bridge and Bank streets and will be a focal point for families for years to come.

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"It's great to see an idea turn into reality with the help of dedicated people," said Hubler. "This plaza will be a gift to the children of Phoenixville for years to come. I look forward to having my own children spend time there."
Barry Cassidy, executive director, Main Street-CDC, who secured the funding for the construction of the plaza, said he hopes the children's area will draw parents of young children to the downtown.
"During the day, it could be a place for mothers to come with their young children by the fountain, and on Saturday mornings, we'll do little story hours," said Cassidy. "At night, when children aren't there, there will be silent movies being shown, from dusk to about 11 p.m. It's a way of making the downtown more of a destination."
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For those who are interested, The Kiwanis Club is currently offering bricks for sale that can be inscribed with the names of loved ones or businesses as a means of raising funds. For more information on the plaza or how to purchase a brick, please see the Phoenixville Kiwanis website.


Source: The Phoenix - 5/31/07

Four New Business Slated to Open During First Friday Festivities

Tomorrow's First Friday will be the first time Phoenixville residents and guests will get a chance to see four new businesses in the downtown area. The four, Armadillo Book Store at 214 Bridge St., Fashionista's Salon at 219 Bridge St., Artifaqt at 15 S. Main St., and Hipster Home at 22 S. Main St. will all be having grand opening celebrations that are open to the public.

If you are planning to attend First Friday stop in and say hello to our new neighbors. And to the owners of the various shops, best of luck!


Source: The Phoenix - 5/31/07

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Summer Music Series Schedule Announced

The schedule for this year's Summer Music Series has been announced. As with the past two years, music and street performers will fill Bridge Street every Friday night from June 1st till September 7th. In addition, this year will see the introduction of non-food vendors as well as a 'soapbox' which will allow festival goers the ability to voice their opinion on any and everything.

For more information, please see the Main Street Phoenixville website.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vendors to be added to non-First Friday events

In a move to help attract more people to downtown Phoenixville on Friday nights during the summer, the CDC has announced the plan to add vendors to the mix. Last year the festivities were mostly limited to bands and other artists but this year non-food vendors will also line Bridge St.

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Corporation (CDC), the streets are open for non-food vendors this summer.
"I thought we would open it up a little this year," said Cassidy. "The first year we did only artists. The second year we did music along with some arts and crafts, but this year we'll open it up to non-food vendors.
"Last year, we had a couple of memorabilia vendors, and later someone sold some jewelry, so we did not stick with arts and crafts. I guess this year we are just not making that distinction."
Cassidy said that he's received a lot of requests for massage therapists and medical practitioners wanting to distribute literature concerning good health practices.
"Up to now, there hasn't been a category that would allow this kind of activity," he said. "Now the only rules for being able to display is my good judgment, which is probably kind of scary in its own right. We will not allow anything with drug references nor any kinds of profanity."
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In addition to the vendors, attendees will be able to voice their opinions on any and everything via a new 'soapbox' which will be located at the corner of Bridge and Main streets.

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"The fact that this is available is good," he said. "This is an opportunity for people to get things off their chests. I'll judge the appropriateness. It'll be an open forum. They can stand up there and say things about me if they like. This is an election year, so we'll have some of them stop by to say something."
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Details on the bands that will be performing and other scheduled events have yet to be released.

Source: The Phoenix - 5/29/07

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Foundry renovations to begin next month

Renovations intended to turn the Foundry building into a large banquet hall and visitors center will begin next month. When all is said and done, the building will be transformed into 'a multiuse, flexible space with partitions to divide the 15,000 square foot open space...'.

In addition to the space used for banquets, the Foundry will also house the Schuylkill River Heritage Center. The center will open to the public on Sept. 28th.

No word on when the rest of the space will be open but talks are apparently being held regarding a wedding in August of 2008 and the Hankin Group, who own the building, plan to hold their company holiday party there this December.

For more information, please see the article in today's (5/27/07) Philadelphia Inquirer.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

BlobFest 2007 set for July 13th and 14th

The annual BlobFest, hosted by The Colonial Theatre, returns to Phoenixville on Friday July 13th and Saturday July 14th. This year's festival marks the 50th anniversary of the filming of 'The Blob'.

For a complete schedule of events as well as information on special contests that are being held, please see the BlobFest website.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Summer Music Festival moved to October

The Summer Music Festival Preview, originally slated to take the place of the cancelled F.A.M.E. festival on June 2nd and 3rd, has been postponed until October. Barry Cassidy had this to say

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"I was unable to put it all together in total," said Cassidy. "The music and staging aspect wasn't difficult. I tried to put it together on the fly, but it was an uphill battle to get enough people to man the food and drink portions of the Festival.

"When you are having an event serving alcohol in a public setting, you need trained and responsible people and licensed food handlers to serve it. I was unable to put that part of the program together. We couldn't coordinate it in enough time to have it be as successful the way we want it."
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The actual date has yet to be announced and no word on if this will have any effect on the Summer Music Series which last year was held every Friday evening during the summer.

Some other intersting notes came from the same article in the Phoenix. Specifically, Carlos Ciruelos, president of the Phoenixville Jaycees who were put in charge of the F.A.M.E. festival, sounds optimistic that it will return next year, only with a different name. It will now be called the 460 Festival in honor of Phoenixville (460 being the last three digits of our zip code) and will have a much more Phoenixville focuses theme. Not sure what that means but I'd like to wish my best to the organizers.


Source: The Phoenix - 5/23/07

Monday, May 14, 2007

More info on the Dogwood Festival

The Phoenixville Jaycees website has been updated with information about this year's Dogwood Festival and parade. The festival will be open to the public from 5:30-10pm today through Friday and from 12:30-10pm on Saturday. In addition, the festival parade will start at 1pm on Saturday.

Check out the site for more information including the discount nights tonight and Wednesday for families.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

'Cassidy on leave'

Today's (5/10/07) Phoenix has an article saying "Barry Cassidy has been placed on administrative leave...". This is the latest chapter in an ongoing, and apparently worsening, relationship between Cassidy and the borough, in particular Borough Manager Anthony DiGirolomo. I am not going to get into my opinion on who is right or wrong but thought it should be mentioned as this leaves a lot of things up in the air. Short term, this certainly calls into question whether or not the weekend music festival that had been mentioned as a replacement for the F.A.M.E. festival will actually happen. It also brings a fair amount of uncertainty to the Summer Music Series which brings in hundreds, if not thousands of visitors into Phoenixville every Friday during the summer.

I, for one, hope that this can get resolved quickly and in everyone's best interests. To read the entire article, please see the link below.

Source: The Phoenix

Monday, May 07, 2007

Phoenixville Farmers Market Starts up this Saturday

Opening day for the Phoenixville Farmers Market is this Saturday, May 12th from 9am-1pm. The market is located at the intersection of Bridge Street & Taylor Alley in the parking lot next to and behind the Dollar Store.

For more information, please see their website at www.phoenixvillefarmersmarket.org.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dogwood Festival planned for May 14-19th

This years Dogwood Festival is planned for May 14th-19th. Full details have not yet been released (the Phoenixville Jaycees website is still showing info for the 2006 festival) but one would think they would continue with the formula that has been successful in the past. That means plenty of live music, games, rides, concessions and fun for the entire family. As always, the festival will be held at Reeves Park.

Hours for last year's event were 6-10pm during the week. On Saturday, the festival opened at noon with the Dogwood Parade starting at 1pm. Check back here to see if these times will change for the 2007 event.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sly Fox holds annual Bock Festival this Sunday

Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery's Sixth Annual Bock Festival will be taking place on Sunday, May 6th. The event, which drew over 1800 people last year, begins at 11am and features "...a traditional German menu featuring Bavarian Beef cooked in beer, Wienerschnitzel, Bratwurst, Potato Goulash, and Black Forest Cake" as well as "four of [Sly Fox's] German-style bock beers."

In addition to the food and beer, the event features the now famous Goat Race.

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To make the festival as successful as in years past, goats are needed to participate in the popular goat races, held in the parking lot adjacent to the brewhouse. Reid said that quite a few goats have already been signed up to participate in the races this weekend.


Registration of goats will begin at 12:30 p.m., and the goat races are scheduled at 2 p.m.


Owners run with the leashed animals, but may not lead or pull them toward the finish line. They can, however, motivate them with food or other inducements.
The victorious goat earns the reward of having the pub's newly brewed 2007 Maibock named in its honor, and the beer is tapped for the first time after the race.
The winning owner receives a $75 Sly Fox gift card, which is good at either Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in East Pikeland Village or the new Sly Fox Brewery & Restaurant at 312 N. Lewis Road, Royersford. The goat will earn a gold medal to wear proudly afterwards.


"This race is meant to respect that history and have some fun with it," O'Reilly said, "Of course, you take your chances when you commit to naming your beer after somebody else's goat. We've had Maiboks named George, Clover, Ernie, Nelly, Weird Beard, Savannah and Han so far, which are strange names for beers. No matter, it's just a great day for goat and beer fanciers."

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Source: The Phoenix

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

F.A.M.E. Festival cancelled

Sad news as the 2007 F.A.M.E. festival, which was planned to take place on June 2nd, has been cancelled.

From the 5/2/07 Phoenix article:

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The Phoenixville Jaycees announced the cancellation late Sunday evening in a broadly-circulated letter from Jaycees president Carlos Ciruelos. "After several meetings with key Jaycees board members, I regret to announce that the Jaycees will not be able to host this year's FAME Festival," Ciruelos wrote.


"Although several Jaycees members made tremendous efforts towards planning this year's event," he continued, "it became clear over recent weeks that these efforts could not deliver the caliber of festival that we could justify delivering to our community.


"Announcing the cancellation of a community event is one of the most difficult decisions that our team has had to make," he said.

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All is not lost however. Barry Cassidy and the Main Street CDC has stepped up with plans to fill the void.

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But Main Street-Community Development Corporation director Barry Cassidy responded to the near-midnight announcement Sunday by 7:00 a.m. Monday morning. "The two June dates will not be lost," he wrote in an e-mail to the Jaycees, Borough officials and members of the CDC board. "I am going to create [a] summer music festival preview for [those] two days... Unless someone says something different."


Bands scheduled for the summer would be scheduled for time slots from First Friday, June 1, through Sunday, June 3. "It'll be three days of great entertainment," Cassidy said Monday morning.

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Here is to hoping Barry and the CDC folks can pull it off. Last year was my first F.A.M.E. festival and my wife and I and a number of our friends had a great time, even if we couldn't find the Duck Race. I'll post more information as it becomes available.

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Source: The Phoenix.