Oct 6, 2022 - News

Get ready to party like it's 2026

Illustration of the Statue of Liberty wearing party hats and confetti falling.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

You've only got a few years left to learn how to both say and spell semiquincentennial.

What's happening: America is celebrating its 250th birthday in 2026. Yes, that may sound a ways away, but folks in Ohio are already gearing up for the once-in-a-generation celebration.

Why it matters: The whole state is getting involved. Events throughout Columbus and the rest of Ohio will honor our role in the nation's history and help us plan for a bright future.

  • Plus, who doesn't love an opportunity to show our Buckeye State pride?

The latest: The Ohio Commission for the U.S. Semiquincentennial released a report last week outlining 43 ideas it solicited across 12 regional listening sessions this year.

Highlights include:

๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿš€ An event underscoring Ohio's prowess in aviation and aerospace

โ›ต Tall ship festivals across Lake Erie

๐Ÿšฆ A caravan of vehicles from different eras and a recognition of the Clevelander who invented the modern traffic light

๐Ÿšช An expansion of the Ohio Open Doors free historic building tours

๐ŸŽก Opening a 1976 bicentennial time capsule at the Ohio State Fair

โ›๏ธ An archaeological study at Fort Laurens, Ohio's only Revolutionary War fort

๐Ÿˆ "America 250" patches for sports teams

๐ŸŽจ Murals showcasing Ohioans' accomplishments in every county

๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ Highlighting stops on the appropriately named Route 250

Details: The commission is made up of more than two-dozen officials, including former governors Ted Strickland and Nancy Hollister, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor and former Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

  • The Ohio History Connection spearheads this bipartisan effort.

The big picture: A national U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission is coordinating planning across the country for America 250, or what it calls "the most comprehensive and inclusive celebration in our countryโ€™s history."

What they're saying: The goal is to build momentum now and create a "runway" to 2026, executive director Todd Klesmit tells Axios.

  • More than anything, he hopes the festivities are "a mechanism to help people put their differences aside and think a little more about the things that tie us together."

What's next: The Ohio commission is now creating plans to execute ideas โ€” including the potential costs โ€” and will release annual reports of its activities leading up to the 2026 celebration.


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