Phoenixville is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States, 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Philadelphia, at the junction of French Creek with the Schuylkill River. Originally called Manavon, Phoenixville was settled in 1732 and incorporated as a borough in 1849. In its industrial heyday early in the twentieth century, it was an important manufacturing center and it was the site of great iron and steel mills such as the Phoenix Iron Works, boiler works, silk mill, underwear and hosiery factories, a match factory, and the famous (and now highly collectible) Etruscan majolica pottery. Like many American towns and cities, Phoenixville owes its growth to its waterways. It is not only situated on the broad Schuylkill River, a historic thoroughfare to Native Americans and early settlers alike, but it is bisected by the fast-flowing French Creek, which was quickly harnessed for water power. In March 2010, Philadelphia Magazine listed Phoenixville as one of “10 Awesome Neighborhoods To Call Home”.
Phoenixville is home to the Colonial Theatre, opened in 1903. In 1958, the theatre, along with some other parts of the borough, was featured in the motion picture The Blob. Beginning in 2000, Phoenixville has celebrated this with the annual Blobfest. Festivities include a reenactment of the scene featuring the Colonial. The Colonial runs special programs some weekends in July, and an ongoing series of movies and events for children.
Since 2004 on the first Friday night of every month the downtown stores, restaurants and businesses and volunteer community groups hold special events including street musicians and entertainers and some outdoor concerts. This is referred to as “First Friday” by the locals. Also since 2004, Phoenixville has celebrated the “rebirth” of the town with the burning of a large wooden phoenix. The bonfire at the Firebird Festival is used to harden clay birds crafted over the preceding weeks. Phoenixville is in close proximity to Valley Forge National Park and the Perkiomen and Schuylkill River trails.