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Reading celebrates its history with annual town festival

The town of Reading was a busy place this past weekend.

Reading celebrated Independence Day almost a week early with fireworks Saturday night. It also noted its town heritage with the longstanding annual fish fry -- and it marked its more recent history with the third annual Tornado Trot 5-K run-walk.

Organizer Jann Briggs says the event is "more about the fun than the run."

Since the devastating EF-3 tornado in May 2011, which damaged or destroyed over half the buildings in the town of about 250 residents and killed one person, the Tornado Trot has become a significant part of the town's annual festival. The festival, meanwhile, continues to showcase Reading's progress after the twister, including a new community center, rebuilt city park and -- eventually -- a new post office. Briggs says Reading is working towards gaining independence of another sort: from the tornado's memory.

Also this year, the festival included the annual fish fry, fireworks and a worship service. Vintage baseball was added to the schedule this year as well.

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