Reading Terminal Market celebrates 125 years

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Reading Terminal Market celebrates 125 years. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on February 22, 2018. (WPVI)

Reading Terminal Market is partying like it's 1893!

Members of the community, along with state and local leaders, showed up to say happy 125th birthday on Thursday.

General Manager, Anuj Gupta told Action News what has kept Reading Terminal thriving for over 100 years.

"It is two things, one is just the merchants, and these are all 80 unique family owned Philadelphia centric businesses. They pour everything they have got into to making their wonderful products each and every day and then the customers," he said.

Those who showed up were transported back in time as workers dressed in period costumes from the 1800s.

Governor Tom Wolf took a trip back in time and arrived in horse and carriage to celebrate the big birthday bash.

He said, "We are hoping for another 125 years. This is just a great place and I think it is so nice that in Center City we have something this magnificent."

The market has withstood more than a century of transition in Center City and today remains a vital piece of Philadelphia fabric and most visited site in the region.

"If you really want to know what Philadelphians really like, what they think and who they are, come here and sit next to somebody at a counter and start a conversation," said Mayor Jim Kenney.

Millions of people visit the market every year for its food and rich culture. 78 family owned merchants call it home.

Bassett's Ice cream was the first shop to open its doors in the market and is proud to still be serving customers over a century later.

Roger Bassett said, "We were the first ones to sign the lease back in 1893 and we are the only original merchant still here."

Many hope the market will be around for another 125 years.

"It's just a great place, and I think it's so nice that in Center City we have something this magnificent that attracts tourists and serves people who live in the neighborhood. It's a great gathering place," said Gov. Tom Wolf. "I think it's a wonderful thing."

It is also one of America's oldest and largest public markets and from first-time visitors to the regulars, everyone admits, it's a one of a kind place that you must experience.

Maura White of Syracuse, NY said, "We think it is incredible. We saw some amazing food and treats, we got some beautiful flowers and ice cream as you can tell."

READ MORE: History of the Reading Terminal Market

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