A lot of history can be found in a bag. Or, in this case, on one.

Those same bags stores send you home with and you probably throw away as soon as you take out your new bracelet, or button down shirt. Those crinkly, thin paper bags that have the store logo on the front of them. It’s surprising how something so innocuous can provide a peek into a city’s history.

With old Allentown names such as Miller Candy Company, Freeman’s Dairy, the Shafer & Lohrman Shoe Store, Zollinger – Harned Jewely, and, of course Hess’s Department Store, on bags and products lining the shelves of the Allentown’s 250th Celebration Headquarters, it’s easy to get an immediate sense of the city’s rich past.

The Headquarters is located on the main level of the PPL Plaza Building at Hamilton and 9th streets. In addition to showcasing old items from heralded Allentown businesses past, there is also an art display from local school district students, as well, as an ongoing video presentation on the history of Hess’s.

With a bustling Hamilton Street and the water works of the PPL Plaza providing a busy backdrop, the Headquarters has an air of pending excitement to it. Not only are there multiple vestiges of the city’s history on display, including some unique old vegetable cans and classic A-Treat bottles, but there are also new items meant specifically for the celebration are waiting in the wings for the party to begin.

The 250th Celebration Headquarters is your, well, headquarters for all things hats and t-shirts and merchandise related. Of course, you’ll want to buy your shirt so that you can wear it at any of the upcoming Allentown 250th Celebration events including City Without Limits: Points of Pride parade on September 29. The Headquarters will also house children’s events on the day of the parade.

Unfortunately, the Headquarters won't be open forever, so, be sure to stop by before those pieces of history are once again wrapped up and placed away in safe keeping.

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