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Reading holiday parade to have 2 grand marshals

WEEU's Jack Holcomb, Crime Alert's Barry Rohrbach to lead Penn Street march

READING, Pa. - Reading's annual holiday parade will be led by two grand marshals as it makes its way down Penn Street next month.

The Downtown Improvement District, which presents the parade in cooperation with the mayor's office, announced Wednesday that WEEU radio legend Jack Holcomb and Crime Alert Berks County founder Barry Rohrbach will serve as grand marshals for the parade on November 19.

"Both Jack and Barry have done so much for Reading and Berks County over the years that we thought it was only fitting to recognize both of them for their exemplary efforts," said Charles R. Broad, DID's executive director.

Holcomb is celebrating 60 years of being on the air at WEEU. The former "Feedback" host can still be heard each Saturday morning, hosting "Jack's Backyard," a popular nature and bird-watching program.

"Jack has amassed a huge following during the course of his illustrious career," Broad said. "His patient, kind demeanor and love for the outdoors has resonated throughout Berks County and beyond."

Rohrbach, a former banker and Realtor, founded Crime Alert Berks County in 1998, and it has since grown to become Pennsylvania's number one crime-stoppers group.

Rohrbach announced earlier this year that he will step down as Crime Alert's president at the end of 2016, turning the reigns over to someone else for the first time in the group's history.

"Our community is fortunate to have someone like Barry, who is so committed to improving the world that surrounds him," Broad said. "His strong, steady leadership style continues to leave a positive imprint in so many ways."

69 News featured both Jack Holcomb and Barry Rohrbach in separate stories earlier this year.

The theme of this year's parade is "A Storybook Holiday." It will step off at 11th and Penn streets at 9 a.m. on November 19.

Anyone interested in sponsoring or participating in the parade can go to the Downtown Improvement District's website for more information. The deadline for applications is October 27.

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