Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) presented congratulatory citations from the state legislature to Roadside America in Shartlesville for its 80th anniversary on Dec. 19.

Argall formally congratulated Roadside America’s current owner, Deloris Heinsohn, granddaughter of the late founder Laurence Gieringer.

Santa also visited Roadside America on Dec. 19.

Roadside America started as a 1st place display in a contest sponsored by the Reading Eagle. In 1935, Gieringer opened the display to the public. The exhibit has served as a tourist attraction for the past 80 years. More than 40,000 people visit Roadside America every year.

According to Roadside American’s website, www.roadsideamerica.com, the exhibit spans more than 200 years in time and lets you see, in exquisite miniature, how people lived and worked in pioneer days through the years since then right up to the present.

Roadside America is a miniature village containing more than 300 structures, about 20 running trains, trolleys and cable cars, 600 lights, waterfalls, 10,000 handmade trees and 4,000 people engaged in everyday activities. Current and past local businesses are depicted in the miniature village, including Yellow House Hotel, and some pieces in the miniature village are more than 100 years old. The exhibit was built over a period of 60 years, from 1903 to 1963 primarily by Laurence Gieringer, who grew up in Reading.

The Pennsylvania Dutch Gift Haus, across the parking lot from Roadside America, offers unusual items and antiques.

Hours are daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. from July 1 through Labor Day. From Labor Day until June 30, open weekdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Open every day of the year except for Christmas.

Admission is charged. Ages 5 and under admitted free. Visit us at www.RoadsideAmericaInc.com for more information.

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