Downingtown, PA is a unique town that only those who have grown up there will truly understand. Here are 10 memories of growing up in Downingtown, PA.
Not really knowing what a lancer is
I moved to Downingtown, PA when I was 11, about to start middle school. I remember my first time walking through DMS after I enrolled there, I was told that our mascot was a lancer? 11 year old me was just thinking “what the hell is a lancer?” On my first day of sixth grade I asked a lot of my classmates the same question, they also had no idea.
The East/West games
Downingtown is big on their sports, football especially. Every Friday night, you were a loser if you didn’t go to the football game and walk around the field a few times. Even if you didn’t like football, you had to attend the Downingtown West vs. East game. It was tradition, that was usually the only one I attended. I radiated school spirit, West is best.
Walking to Rita’s after school on the first day of Spring
Even when it still felt like it was about to snow, walking to Rita’s water ice on the first day of spring had to be done. Even if you had a job, nobody passes up free water ice. I remember waiting in line for hours to try the Swedish Fish flavored water ice. It was worth it.
Skipping your first-period class to go to Green Street Grill
I do not condone skipping class, of course, education is very important. But, Green Street closed at 2 pm and their waffles are delicious. Going to Green Street Grill instead of class was basically a right of passage for seniors. Waffles always beat my statistics class.
Train rides to Philadelphia
It was only $10 for the scenic, 30-minute train ride from Downingtown to Philadelphia. Small town living is certainly great, but being close to the city is even better. Plus, the Downingtown Train Station was right by a Wawa, so I could have a hoagie for the ride.
The Downingtown Diner
Our only landmark? If you’ve ever driven through Downingtown, you probably saw the giant green sign that reads “The Downingtown Diner. Home of The Blob!” The dinner was great, it was close to Downingtown West and STEM, right across from Rita’s and a quick minute walk to Kerr Park (for the stoners.) I will say I prefer Green Street’s breakfast food, but the Diner has some great mozzarella sticks and desserts for your midnight snack.
First time at the Paper Mill
Yes, the old, shut down, broken Downingtown Paper Mill. It’s a walk, and a bit scary at night, but it’s one of the only good photoshoot spots in Downingtown. It’s been abandoned for years because of a fire, so every wall in the 98-foot tall building is covered in art. There will always be people trying to get the thing torn down, but it’s a landmark to us and we love it.
My absolute favorite school event. Mr. West, our male beauty pageant. It works just like a normal pageant, but it is a night that is always filled with laughs. I attended the event for five years, yes I went once when I was in middle school too. It will always be one of my fondest memories from school.
The best tattoo and piercing place in Downingtown (yes, shockingly in our small town there was more than one). It was the place to go for a beautiful and reasonable priced tattoo. Everyone that works there is the sweetest, and they are certainly very patience with nerves for a first piercing and first tattoo. At least, they were for me.
Kayaking at Marsh Creek
Marsh Creek is my favorite spot. The beautiful lake is the home for many graduation/prom pictures, family picnics and excursions for kayaking and paddle boarding. I was lucky enough to grow up by this lake, and wake up to the most beautiful view every day.