To understand Norristown is to understand its residents. Many people have a misconception or false stereotype about Norristown and its people, yet none of these ideas are true. Because it is a suburb of Philadelphia many outsiders assume that it is a rural area occupied by suburban neighborhoods. But because the diverse ethnic population has always been larger than that of surrounding townships (Methacton, East Norriton, Upper Merion, etc.), many people mistake the town for a "ghetto" where "other" races reside. This concept is supposedly reflected in the learning ability of the students and job opportunities for the residents, because all are working class. Norristown is a center for emerging diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds. The students of the schools in the Norristown Area School District are above average, with over half ranging from proficient to advanced in math and reading assessments. The crime level is very low and although I would not suggest keeping your door unlocked at night, it is a safe community in which to raise a family. The town is very family-oriented and is mostly residential, with several business districts scattered throughout, particularly on Main Street between Swede and Markley Streets and on Marshall Street west of Markley Street. Main Street is the central east-west corridor in town, and Markley is the main north-south route. Norristown hosts major annual celebrations such as Community Day and the Food Family and Fun Festival. A farmer's market operates on Main Street near the County Court House, currently on Thursday afternoons in the summer.