125th Anniversary

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Celebrating the Market's 125th Birthday

The 125th birthday of Reading Terminal Market

Purchase a 125th Commemorative Diamond Plaque Here

February 22, 2018 marked the 125th birthday of Reading Terminal Market. We’ll be having a year-long celebration that includes a series of special events and programming that will allow fans of the Market to “Celebrate Our Past, Experience Us Today, and Imagine Our Tomorrow”.


Diamond Speakers Series
Every 3rd Saturday of the month the Market will host experts and they talk about a variety of different topics

Saturday, June 16
10:00 am City Kitchen
Yael Lehmann & Glenn Bergman
They’ll be talking about current food insecurity issues and what people can do in their daily lives and in their communities to help address it.
For more information on this talk please visit the Facebook event page: Diamond Speakers Series – June

Saturday, May 19
10:00 am in City Kitchen & The Rick Nichols Room
Dr. Elijah Anderson, sociologist and author of “The Cosmopolitan Canopy”
Elijah Anderson is the William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Sociology at Yale University. He is one of the leading urban ethnographers in the United States. His publications include Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999), winner of the Komarovsky Award from the Eastern Sociological Society; Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community (1990), winner of the American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best published book in the area of Urban Sociology; and the classic sociological work, A Place on the Corner (1978; 2nd ed., 2003). Anderson’s most recent ethnographic work, The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life, was published by WW Norton in 2011. Professor Anderson is the recipient of two prestigious awards from the American Sociological Association, the 2013 Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award and the 2018 W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, as well as the 2017 Merit Award from the Eastern Sociological Society.

Saturday, April 21
11:00 am in City Kitchen & The Rick Nichols Room
Nancy Webster will be speaking about the “History of Philadelphia Street Foods” featuring what was popular for informal dining in this city from colonial times to the present. She will cover the food sellers who used to go door to door, the early open air sellers, the eventual organization into markets, to the food trucks of today. After the talk, be ready to join history by scanning the market for food items still popular today.

Nancy V. Webster: double AB magna cum laude from Harvard, double MA from William and Mary; have been a colonial hearth cook since age 12 (more than 50 years), teaching at places like Colonial Williamsburg, Plimoth Plantation, Historic Charleston Inc.,and wide variety of regional historic sites; founding member and Secretary for HFSDV (Historic Foodways Society of the Delaware Valley, now in its 26th year), and current Chair of the International Foodways Committee of the worldwide ALHFAM (Association for Living History, Farms and Agricultural Museums). She is also the Historian for the nation Friends Historical Association & on the Board for the famous Roughwood Heritage Seeds Collection under William Woys Weaver.

Saturday, March 17
11:00 am in City Kitchen & The Rick Nichols Room
Thomas Posey, the Book Slinger
Thomas Posey is a native Philadelphian, seasoned bartender, and a collector of rare and 1st edition Cookbooks and Cocktail Books.  Tom studied history at Temple University, worked over 20 years in the restaurant industry, and is currently working at Bauman Rare Books.  He has  combined these passions through collecting and selling rare and first edition cocktail and cookbooks of his own.  Follow his collection and goings on Instagram @The_Book_Slinger.  


Diamond Music Series
Every 4th Sunday of the month, throughout the year
Music Through the Decades Series. Starting with the music of 1893, this monthly event will feature a different genre of music specific to each decade the Market has been open.

Sunday, February 25th
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Chamber Music
Join us in the center seating area to enjoy music that was popular during the time the Market was first opened, 1893.

Sunday, March 24th
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Get set for the best of Dixieland music and the turn of the century swing songs of the early 20th century! From “Midnight in Moscow” to “When the Saints Go Marching in”, from Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” to “Ain’t Misbehavin”,  Dixieland Jump Band will play them all as well as any requests! Trumpet, clarinet, keyboard, drums and their famous spinning tuba player will thrill the crowd and get those toes-a-tappin’! 


Diamond Day

May 19th
A day celebrating the Markets loyal customers. This day will boast a festive atmosphere complete with entertainment representing a variety of cultures and ethnicities, as well as food samples, special 125th birthday-themed discounts, giveaways, & free cooking demonstrations.


Share your Market Memories with Us

In the spirit of Reading Terminal Market’s 125th birthday, we would like to collect the stories that have shaped the character of our Market over the years. In preparation for our celebration, we partnered with Drexel University and Metcalfe Architecture and Design, to help us construct and communicate a timeline of customer, merchant and market milestones and stories.

We invite you to share your thoughts, memories and feelings about Reading Terminal Market. This questionnaire will be used to create a bank of stories about the Market, that will be shared both in the Market and on our
website. We plan to interview some of the survey participants, in order to collect more story details and take photo portraits.



Make Your Mark on the Market with A Commemorative Diamond Plate

Calling all Reading Terminal Market lovers and supporters!  For the first time ever, we are offering you the chance to write your name into Market history!

In honor of the Market’s upcoming 125th birthday, you can add your name or the name of a loved one to a commemorative diamond plaque that will hang on the Wall of Diamonds in the Rick Nichols Room for the entirety of our 125th birthday year. The 8.5” diamonds will be fabricated by a local engraver.

Reading Terminal Market is counting on its loyal customers, visitors, and supporters like you to help chart our course for the next 125 years.  Proceeds help support the Market’s capital improvement program to ensure that the 19th century building can meet the needs of the 21st century and to help chart our course for the next 125 years. Consider being a part of our 125th birthday legacy with a gift today.

To order your commemorative diamond, click here.

Reading Terminal Market Corporation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Charities. A portion of your purchase of a commemorative diamond is tax deductible. The fair market value of goods and services provided is $25.00 per diamond. $100 is deductible for federal tax purposes.


“Our 125th Birthday promises to be a year to remember for the Philadelphia’s oldest and most storied public market,” said general manager, Anuj Gupta. “This important anniversary allows us the chance to show our city and the world the Market is stronger, more vibrant, and continuing to evolve to meet the needs of our customers.  The planned programming will delight long-time fans and introduce new audiences to the enchanting culinary experience that is the Reading Terminal Market.”

The festivities will kick off on February 22, 2018, the Market’s official birthday. The first event, 1893 Day, will transport visitors back to the day Reading Terminal Market opened. Guests can expect period costumes, penny-farthing riders, Victorian décor, and more. Hundreds of lucky customers will experience price rollbacks throughout the day when merchants will ring a bell and drop the price of an item to 1893 prices. Proclamations will be given by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and the PECO Crown Lights will be used to shine the celebratory message of Reading Terminal Markets birthday amongst the city skyline. The Saturday following 1893 Day is the annual Party for the Market where the celebration will continue. Guests are invited to attend the annual fundraiser and experience the Market after dark for one of the hottest events on the Philadelphia social calendar.

More public events are planned for throughout the year, all designed to thank the Market’s treasured loyal customers and introduce new customers to the Market. Diamond Day in May will boast a festive atmosphere complete with entertainment representing a variety of cultures and ethnicities, as well as food samples, special 125th birthday-themed discounts, giveaways, and free cooking demonstrations.

In September, RTM will host A Taste of the Market, a literal and figurative taste of what Reading Terminal has to offer customers whether it is their very first visit, they are regular shoppers, or they have not experienced the Market for many years. The festivities will span the Market and spill outside onto Filbert Street with food samples, entertainment, and live music.

In early 2018, the Market will put out a call to the public for the best “Market Memories” (engagements, chance encounters, first experiences).  Several lucky customers will have their story featured in the RTM 125th Birthday time capsule and at other events throughout the year. Shoppers will also be encouraged to share what they want from the Market in years to come, which will be unveiled at a special public event in October called Reading Terminal Tomorrow.  More details will be forthcoming about both campaigns.

In addition to these signature events, the Market will celebrate 125 years in other ways throughout 2018. There will be an entertainment series featuring live performances by artists representing music from each of the past 12 decades. The Market will host a speaker series featuring thought leaders in food and civic engagement to discuss topics from the past, present, and future. There will be a tasting and food demonstration series highlighting recipes from various time periods, as well as future food and cooking trends.

Future announcements will further detail the various events, special programming, legacy projects and other Market news in the coming months.

Customers will have the opportunity to purchase personalized commemorative plaques in the shape of the Reading Terminal Market diamond that will be prominently displayed for one year in the Rick Nichols Room. These plaques may be dedicated to a particular person, family, or group, and at the end of the 125th birthday year, these patrons will be able to take their plaques home.

Thank you to our sponsors for our 125th Anniversary:


Platinum Sponsor

Fashion District of Philadelphia website


Premiere Sponsor
Brandywine Realty Trust website



125th Birthday Image



Thank you for your interest in joining the Reading Terminal Market community. Please download the appropriate form and complete it in as much detail as possible. Return it to the office for review by fax (215-922-2040) or by e-mail (info@readingterminalmarket.org ), including the name of the form in the subject field.

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