York City plans yearlong celebration for 275th anniversary

Katherine Ranzenberger

From a brand new time capsule to show what life was like in 2016 to a golden ticket search "Willie Wonka"-style for a seat at a barbecue dinner on Market Street, City of York officials have plans to celebrate 275 years of history in town.

Pennsylvania State Rep. Kevin Schreiber speaks to community members in York City about the celebrations for the 275th anniversary of the community,

City, county and state officials gathered with community members and media at the Colonial Court House, 157 W. Market St., on Thursday to discuss the events planned for the rest of the year.

"We had a birthday bash during New Year's Eve and toasted to the generations during Taste of York City," Mayor Kim Bracey said Thursday. "Today we are excited to announce some additional special events being planned to celebrate York's past, reimagine the York City of today and preserve this moment in York for the future."

Highlights: Bracey said local York artist David Lynch will be creating a cardboard cityscape of York City over the next few months with community help as a part of the yearlong celebration. Lynch is starting the project at the Go Green in the City event on Saturday, April 23, and will display the final product in October during the Global Cardboard Challenge Day of Play. Participants can walk through the 6-foot-high streetscapes community members have created over the months.

Daniel Roe, vice president of interpretation at the York County Heritage Trust, said the Trust is hosting Colonial Day on July 30 at the Colonial Complex as part of the 275th anniversary.

"Get a taste of 18th-century chores, join the militia and even talk to George Washington himself at Colonial Day," Roe said. "We're also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Colonial Court House, which was built as a part of the bicentennial celebration of the country."

Golden tickets: State Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York City, was most excited about the "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"-style golden ticket search for a ticket to join community members at a barbecue in July. Only 275 tickets will be placed in 3,000 Wolfgang milk chocolate candy bars, which will be distributed in the next couple of months, he said.

"Members of the WeCo neighborhood will celebrate York's 275th birthday on Saturday, July 23, with a sit-down community barbecue dinner, bringing over 500 people from across York together at one long table to share a meal down the center of West Market Street," Schreiber said.

Second Saturday lectures are back this summer, Roe said. This year's series will focus on how York City was built and maintained through the years.

Other big events include the Brews and Skews Party at PeoplesBank Park by the York Revolution on May 21, First Friday events every month and the free concert series at Lincoln Park at 7 p.m. Thursdays from July 7 through Aug. 4.

Bracey said it's important to be able to celebrate the history of the city because it has come so far.

"We want to show how this is evolving into a community celebration," she said. "We really want people to come out, and we want this to be a community celebration."

For more information on the 275th anniversary and for event details, visit

— Reach Katherine Ranzenberger at