April Newsletter

April Newsletter


History buffs and patriots rejoice! We bring you exciting news on all fronts of Virginia’s commemoration of the American Revolution’s 250th anniversary. Get details on a grand Independence Day celebration planned for the Virginia State Capitol, an awe-inspiring international fleet set to sail into Virginia waters in 2026, and a recap of “A Common Cause To All” in Colonial Williamsburg.

Upcoming Events

This year, Virginia’s Fourth of July celebration promises to be unlike any other. Inspired by John Adams’ vision of a grand festival, the State Capitol lawn will transform into a vibrant hub of activity, bursting with the sights and sounds of Virginia’s diverse communities.

Imagine the sights, sounds, and energy of Virginians from all walks of life engaging with what Freedom means today through performances of spoken word, dance, and music as a prelude to unifying and inspiring keynote remarks and a very special finale.

This event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP to so that we can plan for your participation and to ensure that you receive up-to-the-minute event information.

In June 2026, Norfolk, Hampton Roads, and Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay region will welcome an international fleet of tall ships, military vessels, and character ships to commemorate the U.S.’s 250th anniversary. This milestone maritime festival – Sail250® Virginia – will include more than 60 ships from 20 countries, bringing 7,000 visiting sailors, officers, and dignitaries to Virginia’s shores.

In the tradition of the past five iconic OpSail® events held in Virginia since 1976, the international fleet will once again bring extraordinary experiences and opportunities to every corner of our communities.

A Common Cause To All

State planners gathered for a second time in Colonial Williamsburg for three days of collaboration and unity for the 250th commemoration. Nearly 450 planners from 37 states and 44 Virginia localities registered for the conference to collaborate as the nation prepares for its semiquincentennial commemoration.

Hosted by the VA250 Commission and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, this gathering provided a platform for attendees to participate in meaningful discussions about the upcoming 250th anniversary of the nation. The diverse group of speakers, including Governor Glenn Youngkin and Justice John Charles Thomas, brought unique perspectives to the table, inspiring enriching discussions.

Honorary Leadership Council Forms

VA250 announced the formation of the VA250 Honorary Leadership Council, uniting Governor Glenn Youngkin and VA250 National Honorary Chair Carly Fiorina, all nine living former governors, the state’s congressional delegation, the Lt. Governor, the Attorney General, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate of Virginia. This esteemed group will serve as a guiding force for the commemoration, ensuring its authenticity and inclusivity.

The council was introduced within the hallowed walls of historic St. John’s Church where the embers of revolution first ignited nearly 250 years ago. Standing upon the very ground where Patrick Henry proclaimed his immortal words, “Give me liberty or give me death,” the event culminated in a stirring reenactment of this iconic speech, serving as a potent reminder of the sacrifices and unwavering resolve that birthed our nation.

A250 Exhibit Unveiled

Virginia First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin (center) joined VA250 Executive Director Cheryl Wilson (right) and Deputy Director Elizabeth Mancano (left) for a tour of the new VA250 exhibit at the Virginia State Capitol. The interactive exhibit explores the many ways Virginians contributed to the American Revolution and its enduring legacy. It’s a timely reminder of the importance of civic engagement and the power of ordinary people to make a difference.

Beyond commemorating the past, the VA250 Exhibit looks to the future. The theme, “To Form a More Perfect Union,” acknowledges that the work of building a just and equitable society continues. It serves as a call to action, encouraging visitors to reflect on the responsibilities of citizenship and engage in their communities. It challenges us to consider what it means to be American today and inspires us to strive towards the ideals envisioned by our Founders.

Grant Awards Announced

Dominion Energy Virginia

The VA250 Tourism Marketing Program, created in partnership between the VA250 Commission and the Virginia Tourism Corporation is designed to support, promote, and market programming, events, and interpretive signage against the backdrop of the 250th commemoration.

The latest grant awards include historical reenactments, interpretive signage, art exhibitions, children’s educational program, educational events, website creation, living history demonstrations, and commemorative memorials.

  • Charles City County 250 Committee will replace historical wayside signs highlighting the county’s role in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars
  • Clarke County Historical Association will support their annual Colonial Kids Day, a family-friendly event featuring hands-on activities that bring history to life.
  • Gloucester VA250 Committee will create a website dedicated to Gloucester County’s Revolutionary War commemorations and events.
  • Halifax County VA250 Committee will create interpretive signs to educate visitors about the pivotal “Crossing of the Dan” military maneuver.
  • Hanover County VA250 Committee will develop marketing strategies to raise awareness about the county’s role in the early years of the American Revolution.
  • NNK 250 Coalition will market a multi-year commemoration of the Revolution in the Northern Neck, including speaker series and historical site events.
  • Portsmouth VA250 Committee will develop educational materials highlighting the city’s significant role in the Revolutionary War.
  • Preservation Virginia will enhance Scotchtown, the home of Patrick Henry, with a new exhibit and events exploring his life and legacy.
  • Salem will host a “Life on the Virginia Frontier” living history day, featuring demonstrations and educational activities.
  • The Watermen’s Museum will create a program commemorating the Yorktown Tea Party and its impact on Virginia’s history.
  • Virginia MOCA‘s “Made in VA” exhibition will showcase Virginia artists’ work while exploring themes of revolution and innovation.
  • Warren County VA250 Committee will construct a memorial to honor local residents who served in the American Revolution.
  • York County 250th Committee will fund a year-long series of events showcasing the Revolutionary War’s cultural and historical significance in the county.
  • 250 In The News

    Standing where Patrick Henry roared “Give me liberty or give me death!” VA250 commission member and Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution Museum at Yorktown Executive Director Christy Coleman reminded us that America’s 250th birthday is a chance to tell our FULL story.

    VA250 Executive Director Cheryl Wilson joined 12 On Your Side’s Candice Smith to preview exciting commemorative events coming up, including Independence Day at the Virginia State Capitol.

    VA250 was honored to play a part in the excitement of the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 150 NASCAR Whelen Modified race at Richmond Raceway, serving as both Grand Marshal and Honorary Starter. Our team yelled “Drivers, start your engines!”, waved the green flag, and even presented the trophy! Congratulations to winning driver Justin Bonsignore!

    Support VA250

    Imagine bringing history to your doorstep. America’s 250th anniversary in 2026 is a momentous occasion, and you can play a vital role in celebrating the Commonwealth’s rich legacy. Thanks to your support, VA250 can:

  • Bring a mobile history museum to your community
  • Develop engaging educational programs
  • Share Virginia’s story with the world
  • VA250 patrons Rob and Jean Estes have generously pledged to match every dollar donated to the mobile museum, up to $125,000. This means your gift will have twice the impact!

    Make a lasting difference. Donate today and ensure Virginia’s remarkable story continues to inspire.

    Stay Connected

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