Skip to content

Arlington's celebration of nation's 250th to ramp up next year

Organizing meeting in early November draws a big crowd

Following a Nov. 6 kickoff meeting, local efforts in support of the nation’s 250th birthday will kick into high gear in 2024, organizers said.

The planning meeting drew a standing-room-only crowd, said the Arlington Historical Society, which has been tasked by the county government in taking the lead in local celebrations of what, somewhat unwieldily, is being called the nation’s “semiquincentennial” – equating to “half of 500 years.”

In addition to representatives from neighborhood and countywide organizations, the kickoff also included representation from the National Park Service and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

“The next meeting is planned for early 2024, where it is expected that more groups will join the effort and we’ll divide into workgroups and committees,” historical-society officials said.

(Any organizations wishing to have representation in the planning efforts should e-mail

County Board members on Aug. 8 voted 5-0 to formally participate in the state government’s 250th-anniversary initiative – a prerequisite for getting state cash to help – and designated the historical society as the local organizing committee.

The local effort is expected to focus on events that transpired from 1774 to 1777. The 27-member Virginia’s American Revolution 250 Commission (“VA250”), established by the General Assembly in 2020, also will focus primarily on the period leading up to the declaration of American independence in 1776 and its immediate aftermath. But its charter runs through 2032, 250 years after peace between the warring parties informally took effect.

The Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain formally recognized American independence, came a year later, in 1783.