By Evan Brandt, The Mercury
POTTSTOWN >> It’s not too often that you get to celebrate your 200th anniversary.
After all, it only happens once every 200 years.
But Pottstown has that opportunity this year and the first of its stand-alone celebrations, called “Bicentennial Community Days,” will be held in Memorial Park this Saturday.
All activities will take place on “the island” at the northeast corner of Memorial park.
These are a series of outdoor gatherings in the parks from noon to 8 p.m. with live music, food, beverages, crafts, and family fun.
There is no fee to attend.
Each event will feature headline performers, wandering performers for children, locally-sponsored family-friendly activities, local food vendors, a Sly Fox Biergarten benefitting the Pottstown Carousel and more.
Saturday’s schedule is packed full of activities, including the first musical performance from 1 to 3 p.m. by country music singer-songwriter Kendal Conrad, a Pottstown native.
At the same time, strolling “Magical Illusions by Kyle and Kelly” will occur, thanks to a sponsorship by Dolbey-Jamison Optical.
A “bounce house” for the younger set, sponsored by JS productions, will be available in the park from 12 to 4 p.m. for those under 12.
From 3:30 to 7:30, a Sly Fox Beer Biergarten will be open, benefitting the Carousel at Pottstown.
That’s about the same time the Ches-Mont Jubilaires, a community barbershop group, will perform.
At 5 p.m., the rock band Hillbilly Shakespeare will take the stage and play until 7:30 p.m.
Throughout the day, residents can make free use of the Bicentennial Photo Booth, sponsored by J & K Foam Applications; and Pottstown’s own roller derby team, The Roller Derby Rockstars, will present “Can you beat a rock star?”
In addition to the entertainment, many of Pottstown’s main service organizations will have a presence as well, including the Pottstown Regional Public Library, Friends of the Library, Pottstown Rotary, Pottstown Senior Center, Pottstown Historical Society, and New Covenant Baptist Church.
Food vendors who have signed on include Wow Foods, Capt’n Chucky’s Crab Cakes, Dallas French Fries, PA Dutch Funnel Cakes.
Parking for the events will be off the King Street entrance to the park and in the lot adjacent to the Trilogy Park BMX track, also accessed from King Street.
“I think it is really going to be a great showcase for what our community is capable of when we work together,” said Pottstown Parks and Recreation Director Michael Lenhart. “Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate OUR town’s 200th Birthday.”
Since the beginning of the year, all of the borough’s annual events have had a Bicentennial element to them, including the Pottstown Historical Society’s historical walking tour on Wednesday, June 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. (Meet at the parking lot behind Zion’s United Church of Christ and Emmanuel Lutheran Church on North Hanover Street.)
But this is the first of the year’s events devoted entirely to Pottstown’s Bicentennial.
Bicentennial Community Days are also planned for July 18th in Riverfront Park and on Aug. 15 in Memorial Park.
Watch future issues of The Mercury for information on them, or visit the borough’s web site.