Bicen to kick off in Norristown March 31


Norristown will kick off its year-long bicentennial celebration on Saturday, March 31, with an opening event at Elmwood Park.

The festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be live music, historical reenactments, community art, and local food.

The event is being sponsored by Conicelli Autoplex, 6ABC and The Times Herald.

Residents from the 19401 and 19403 zip codes can be admitted to the Elmwood Park Zoo that day for free. The admission is being covered by Dave and Buster's in Plymouth Meeting.

"We appreciate how the community has supported us for the past 50 years and we always try to give back," said Dominic Conicelli, Sr., presenting sponsor, Conicelli Autoplex.

"The people of Norristown have always been so great to work with, plus I won't be here to see another 200 year anniversary. This is significant," he said.

Montgomery County commissioners Josh Shapiro, Leslie S. Richards and Bruce Castor will attend the opening ceremony at the Elmwood Park band shell, from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

The opening ceremony will feature a performance of the original arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner and a presentation of colors by the Norristown High School Color Guard.

At noon, the W.S. Hancock Society of Norristown will do historical reenactment of daily life in the 1820s.

Members of the Norristown Karate Club will demonstrate their skills from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. the eight-piece Norristown-based Allen Reynolds Band will play.

Throughout the day, the Historical Society of Montgomery County will provide guided tours of Norristown with stops at Selma Mansion and St. John's Church. The Episcopal church is also celebrating its bicentennial.

There will be face-painting, arts projects for children, and Mexican cuisine.

Bicentennial events throughout the year include a May 19 Bike Race, hosted by the Norristown Police Department and organized by the Main Line Cycling Club; a June 23 Gospel and Blues Festival; a July 4 Parade and Fireworks; and a September 15 Festival del Grito de la Independencia de Mexico (Mexican Independence Day Festival).

Other sponsors of the Norristown Bicentennial are the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau, Reflections, Telemundo, El Zol, Keystone Mercy Health Plan, Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, PECO, Law offices of Cullen and Conwell, LLC, and Shoprite.

For more information about the Norristown Bicentennial, please visit: