Celebrations for the 275th Anniversary of the City of Reading will come to a close spring 2024 with a time capsule. The capsule will include a collection of curated items that represent life in the year 2023.
Residents will be able to contribute to the capsule by writing notes to future citizens of Reading. A ceremony is being planned for March 16, Reading’s official day of incorporation, at City Hall. The capsule will be buried later in the spring, weather permitting, with a tree being planted to mark the occasion.
The City of Reading 275th anniversary was marked throughout the year with both city led and community organized events. Celebrations began in March with city wide birthday parties, a fundraising gala at the Reading Public Museum, fireworks, official proclamation ceremony and delegate visits from Sister Cities Reading, England and Reutlingen, Germany.
Forty thousand daffodils planted in the fall of 2022 by the 275th Anniversary Committee, Rotary Club of Reading, residents and local businesses bloomed in the spring turning flower beds across the city a brilliant yellow.
Berks Literacy Council declared Bicenterquasquigenary the Word of the Week and made a special cape with the word on it that traveled to events throughout the year.
Sports teams got involved with the Reading Royals creating a commemorative puck for the 275th Anniversary and the Fightin’ Phils marked the occasion on opening night with a special patch on player’s uniforms.
In the summer a new event, PagodaFest, took place at Reading’s famous landmark and featured local bands and a hotdog eating contest sponsored by Berks Packing Co. and ATV Bakery. Penn Wheelman presented a Citizen’s Bike Race on Mt Penn to celebrate Reading’s rich cycling heritage.
A walking tour of historic downtown churches featured over a dozen buildings with history linked to those instrumental in Reading’s development like George Baer and William Luden.
The 275th Anniversary Parade included groups from across Berks that came to celebrate the county seat’s birthday and was led out by the Reading High School Boys Basketball team, 2023 PIAA Champions.
The Ringgold Band composed a march for the anniversary that they performed at a free concert at the historic Abe Lincoln in November.
Artist Mike Miller and photographer John Pankratz created a piece of artwork together with students at Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center and community members. The artwork, This is Your Story, is a 8’x100’ foot patchwork piece comprised of photos of residents and artwork that represents places and time in Reading’s history.
Other events to mark the anniversary included Reading’s longest resident James Murphy “Stoneman Willie” finally being laid to rest, a tree planting in City Park during Earth Day celebrations, Boots to Badges Charity Basketball Game, Mid-Atlantic Air Museum vehicle convoy with reenactors on Penn Square to kick off WWII Weekend, Berks Cultural Diversity Festival and concerts including Guitar-a- Roma with John McEuen, A Sizzling night of Jazz at the WCR.