Skip to content

Local planning ramps up for nation's 250th birthday bash

Arlington organizing committee met March 12 to ratify framework for efforts

It’s getting down to nuts-and-bolts time for the body tasked with coordinating Arlington’s local effort marking the nation’s 250th birthday.

“Planning is happening. We are laying some groundwork,” said Annette Benbow of the Arlington Historical Society, which has been tasked by the County Board to serve as coordinating body for events.

The local organizing committee gathered for the first time last November and met again on March 12, when Benbow laid out the initial plans for the organizational structure.

Opportunities will abound for planning events to take place from 2024 to 2027. “Right now it looks a little slim,” Benbow said, “but we don’t have any limits.”

“Some ideas will fizzle out for whatever reason. The key is planning and timing,” said Sean Denniston, vice president of the historical society. “If we plan, there’s a better chance of things happening.”

Plans for the nation’s 250th-birthday celebration – also known by the somewhat clunky term “semiquincentennial” – are beginning to ramp up in communities across the nation. Benbow’s framework for Arlington includes a host of task-specific committees, from fundraising and youth/family to regional collaboration and inclusion. A standalone committee will develop a signature event.

But there will be plenty of precursors. This July, the historical society will present “Revolutionary Arlington” as its monthly program, which might serve as an informal kickoff to the 24-month dash ahead. Benbow also has put in a request that the state government’s 250th-anniversary mobile museum, to be housed inside an 18-wheeler that travels the commonwealth, make a stop in Arlington for the 2025 County Fair.

Nancy Tate, representing the League of Women Voters at the March 12 meeting, said it was important that the body be seen as “embracing and promoting” community events. It was a view shared by Denniston.

“We all need each other,” he said. “All of us working together will make a celebration worthy of Arlington.”

“Let’s do this,” Benbow added.

For updated information, see the Website at or e-mail