Since 1976, Easton has celebrated its lasting legacy with Heritage Day, a festival originally held to commemorate the reading of the Declaration of Independence in the city. On Sunday, Easton will celebrate the event’s 40th Anniversary.
A key highlight will take place at noon, when re-enactors will take to the steps of the Centre Square courthouse to read the Declaration of Independence once more. Easton was one of three cities – the others being Philadelphia and Trenton, NJ – where our nation’s founding document was read aloud in Colonial times.
“(Heritage Day) is a great time, and the history is very important to the festival,” said board member Dustin Schoof. “It’s a day of history, music, and it’s a nice cross-section of different things happening.”
Easton native Dan DeChellis is one of many performers for Heritage Day 2016.
In addition to period-appropriate re-enactors and crafters, Heritage Day will feature plenty of modern touches. These include live music from Easton natives Roi & the Secret People, Dan DeChellis, and students from the Easton School of Rock, as well as popular area performers like Dana Gaynor Band, Brian Dean Moore Band, Copperfields, Joyous, and more.
“We have four stages of music starting in the morning, going all the way up until the fireworks and a little bit afterward,” Schoof said. “There isn’t a whole lot of time when there isn’t going to be music, which is always a good thing.”
This year’s music lineup has been spearheaded by Carter Lansing, a well-known Easton musician and native.
The Man Behind the Music: Carter Lansing spearheaded this year’s Heritage Day lineup.
“Carter is a man of many talents,” Schoof said. “The last two years, he has spearheaded the music. He’s really stepped up to the plate and done a terrific job.”
Heritage Day kicks off at 9:45 a.m. with a combined church service presented by Easton’s Historic Downtown Churches at Riverside Park. The festival itself begins at 11 a.m. on the Heritage Stage at Centre Square, with a re-enactment of town criers arguing independence.
Throughout the day, Heritage Day patrons can enjoy a sampling of food trucks, beer, and children’s activities. The festivities will continue into the evening, with fireworks scheduled for 9:30 p.m. on Larry Holmes Drive. Live music will continue until the festival’s conclusion at 10:30 p.m.
“We’re excited – it’s a lot of work to put this on, but at the end of the day, everyone’s excited and glad to be a part of it,” Schoof said. “We’re really glad to be doing it for 40 years. We hope to do it for 40 more.”
For more information and a full schedule of Easton Heritage Day events, visit HeritageDay.org.