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King’s Highway Day celebrating NE history

Highway to pride: Jason Sherman, creator of the King’s Highway Day, will host the first Northeast Philadelphia History and Heritage Celebration beginning this week. TIMES FILE PHOTO

History is making history this week in Northeast Philadelphia.

The King’s Highway Trust Foundation will host the first Northeast Philadelphia History and Heritage Celebration, which will host events around the area from Aug. 16 to 23.

The celebration’s climax will take place Sunday, Aug. 19, which is the day before King’s Highway Day as declared by PA House Resolution 974. A special ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Pennypack Bridge.

Saturday’s History and Heritage Festival at Pennypack on the Delaware will be another cornerstone for the celebration. The outdoor colonial-era event will feature reenactments, costumed actors, colonial food and music, children’s games, a raffle, artifacts and special guests. Jason Sherman, creator of KHTF, teased that Ben Franklin himself would be in attendance.

One event is Share Your Story, an interactive workshop where local residents can sign up to talk about their family, ancestors and more. They will be asked to give one-word answers to various topics and share memories that will be recorded.

“We’re going to try to get the people to tell their stories so that we can record them for future people to see and hear,” Sherman said.

Sherman said the celebration is a way to continue to raise awareness of historic preservation in Northeast Philadelphia.

“What we are continuing to do now that we have helped the Lower Dublin Academy secure a future is continuing our quest to help other buildings in need,” Sherman said.

Here’s the full schedule:

• Tacony Walking Tour: Thursday, Aug. 16, 1 to 3 p.m. Lou Iatarola Jr. will visit several historic locations and tell stories of what took place in the district. Begins at Tacony Real Esate Co., 6913 Tulip St.

• Share Your Story: Friday, Aug. 17, 7 to 9 p.m. Become a part of history and share your stories about Northeast Philadelphia for future generations to hear. First Phila. Prep. Charter School, 4300 Tacony St.

• History & Heritage Festival: Saturday, Aug. 18, 1 to 5 p.m. Fun-filled outdoor festival featuring colonial-era costumes and activities. Pennypack on the Delaware. Enter at 7801 State Road.

• King’s Highway Day Ribbon Cutting: Sunday, Aug. 19, 1 to 2 p.m. Special ribbon cutting in honor of King’s Highway Day. The Pennypack Bridge, Frankford and Solly avenues.

• Frankford Architectural Tour: Sunday, Aug. 19, 3 to 6 p.m. Go on an architectural walking tour and then see ancient artifacts and photos. Begins at Historical Society of Frankford, 1507 Orthodox St.

• Movie Screening and Q&A: Thursday, Aug. 23, 7 to 9:30 p.m. See a screening of The King’s Highway movie and ask questions to filmmakers. Palmer Park at Frankford Avenue and Palmer Street.

The celebration is sponsored by Manor College. Thanks to the Historical Society of Frankford, KHTF has released a walking tour of Frankford. This will be its third tour after Holmesburg and Tacony. KHTF met with Elaine Peden, a 90-year-old Northeast resident who worked for a decade to make William Penn an honorary American citizen. Sherman filmed a featurette to highlight her work in honor of King’s Highway Day.

“I hope that our indigenous and colonial ancestors, our forefathers and the people who built Northeast Philadelphia are proud of us for remembering them and celebrating their achievements,” Sherman said. ••

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