Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rail Ride Benefits Carousel at Pottstown

Photo by Evan Brandt
The Easter Bunny visits the Carousel at Pottstown Monday.
If you haven’t had a chance to take a ride on the Colebrookdale Railroad’s Easter train, you may be glad you waited — but now you have to hurry.

Saturday’s ride will be a special one.

Not only will Peter Cottontail be on hand to greet the riders and take photos with kids, there will be special prizes and gift certificates worth more than $250.

“Some lucky riders are going to find an extra special treat inside their eggs,” said Sue Kane, co-chair of the event.

This particular ride — called the Easter Egg Express — will benefit the Carousel at Pottstown.

But tickets are going fast.

As of Monday, enough tickets to fill one entire passenger car have already been sold.

You can get tickets online by going to CarouselatPottstown.org on the Web and clicking on the “Easter Egg Express” link, or by calling the Colebrookdale Railroad at 610-367-0200.

Prices range from $5 for toddlers younger than 2 to $150 to sit in the locomotive.

Every child will receive a free gift from the Bunny himself, who will also distribute the eggs.

A photographer will be taking photographs as well.

The train leaves from Boyertown and meanders its way through the “Secret Valley” along the Ironstone and Manatawny creeks to Pottstown, and then back again.

“It’s wonderful that the Carousel at Pottstown and the Colebrookdale Railroad are working together on this event that not only raises funds, but also introduces visitors to how much beauty, history and fun we have to offer in and around Pottstown,” said Gail Yoder.

Yoder is a member of the carousel board of directors and co-chairperson of the event.

“Pottstown is on its way to becoming the area’s premier destination for family-friendly tourism and the Carousel and the Colebrookdale Railroad are instrumental in making that happen,” Yoder said.

(Here's a video of an interview with the Easter Bunny Monday afternoon).

In fact both the carousel and the railroad are key elements for a “tourism district” at the borough’s western gateway, presented to council in October by Steve Bamford, executive director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc.

The joint undertaking as part of a “tourism and recreation district” includes: Pottsgrove Manor, the Carousel at Pottstown, the Colebrookdale Railroad, Manatawny Green miniature golf, Memorial Park with the splash park and Trilogy Park BMX track, Montgomery County Community College’s art gallery, the Schuylkill River Trail, Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill Heritage Area’s River of Revolutions interpretive center.

“The Carousel is close to its goal; there is so much excitement around the Colebrookdale Railroad and they are pushing to fund their Pottstown station, and the Heritage Area has just proposed an interpretive trail in Riverfront Park. We figured rather than let each of them live or die on its own, why not join together for their own good and for all of Pottstown?” Bamford told The Mercury.

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