By News 4Digital Staff

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Erie County celebrated William Shakespeare’s birthday at the Market Arcade on Wednesday.

The great bard would have been 450 years old. Local actors from Shakespeare in Delaware Park honored his work by performing readings of his plays for 12 hours.

Lisa Ludwig, director, said, “Shakespeare is meant to be seen and heard and that’s one of the things we at Shakespeare in Delaware Park park pride ourselves on after 39 years. So what better way today we started at 8 this morning until 8 tonight just reading from 37 plays and 154 sonnets.”

Buffalo is home to the second largest ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ festival in the country. Shakespeare in Delaware Park opens its new season of free performances behind the Rose Garden on June 19th with Henry V.

Shakespeare coined several phrases that entered societal lexicon, including “with bated breath,” which appeared in the Merchant of Venice; “wild goose chase,” first seen in Romeo and Juliet; “vanish into thin air,” a famous phrase in Othello; and “knock knock! who’s there?” which was first used in MacBeth.