The City of Reading will celebrate its official ‘bicenterquasquigenary’ – or 275th anniversary – on March 16, 2023.
Festivities kick off in March with events planned throughout the week and continuing over the course of the year. Delegations from Sister Cities Reading, England and Reutlingen, Germany will be invited to visit during the anniversary week, as well.
On Wednesday March 15, a fundraiser will be held at the Reading Public Museum with proceeds from ticket sales going toward block parties taking place summer 2023. This gala will be a unique opportunity to visit the museum at night, see pieces from the permanent collection displayed specially for this event, and meet dignitaries from Sister Cities.
On Thursday March 16, there will be a ceremony at City Hall which will be live streamed for the public and Community Birthday Parties in the afternoon held at locations across the city.
Other plans for the year include an Anniversary Parade on May 27, Block Parties, History Lectures, a Commemorative Book and Public Art including a temporary mural of pieces made by Reading residents.
Reading was officially incorporated as a municipality on March 16, 1748. Thomas and Richard Penn, the sons of William Penn, mapped out the first city streets (now the downtown).
Reading’s geographical growth continued through the early 20th Century. The city, established as an industrial powerhouse in the mid-19th Century, was home to the Reading Railroad, once the largest corporation in the world, and remains home to Carpenter Technology Corp., a Fortune 500 company.
The century-old Pagoda on Mount Penn serves as the area’s landmark. The city has been home to a number of literary and cultural figures, as well as two minor leagues sports franchises and the 109-year-old Reading Symphony Orchestra. With a population of 95,112 (Census of 2020), Reading is now the Commonwealth’s fourth largest city and is a shining example of the nation’s melting pot, with more than 45 nationalities represented.
Throughout 2023, in observation of Reading’s 275th anniversary, Reading will be celebrating its amazing history and its wonderful diversity. Visit readingpa.gov/visitors/275 to learn more and stay up to date with events.