Reading Rings in New Year, Celebrates Pagoda's Birthday

Thousands flocked to downtown Reading Monday night to ring in the new year and to start a year-long celebration of the Pagoda's 100th birthday. WFMZ's Melissa Batulis was at the Sovereign Center with the crowd. [ WEB LINKS: ( New Year's Eve Celebration ) ( The Pagoda ) ] [ 12/31/06 REPORT: New Year's Eve Celebration in Berks County ] REPORTER: The party is inside, but in about one hour, folks will bundle up and move out here for the first ever count down celebration. The county's showmobile is parked behind me. That is this year's prime location for watching the fireworks that will be set off by the Pagoda. And while we found many folks looking forward to that and to 2008, we also found some looking back on the year past. Before the new year could slide in, folks celebrated the highlights of the year gone by. "All my friends." "School!" "Going to the pool, hanging out with my friends and Christmas." REPORTER: Loved ones seemed to get the most votes when it came to the best of 2007. " Being with my nanny for Christmas." "Favorite part of 2007? I'm going to say just being around the people I love." "2007, I liked that I had to spend it with my family and everything I wished for came true so in 2008 I just hope it continues." REPORTER: Beyond individuals, it was a big year for the city. The new pro-basketball team, the Reading Railers, moved in and set up shop at the Sovereign Center. "Now we're looking forward to 2008 and opening our season on the 5th." REPORTER: Even some city officals saw things start to turn around. City Councilman Stratton Marmarou marked his second year in office. STRAT: '07 I really enjoyed. I got involved in committees. We're starting to work as a team in there now. There's no more people being individuals and trying to do this and do that. It's all starting to work together. REPORTER: And with all that behind, there's a lot to look forward to for a great 2008. "Just to have more fun." "That wrestling's gonna be on on January 29th!" "What are you looking forward to in 2008? Wow I didn't think about that and we're already here." REPORTER: We're almost there. Another milestone to come in the year ahead is the 100th anniversary of the Pagoda. There are quite a few people up on the mountain tonight kicking off that celebration. There's still time to come out and celebrate. Live in Reading, Melissa Batulis, 69 News Berks Edition.

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