Bristol to organize committee to celebrate America's 250th birthday

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 9/20/23

‘Semiquincentennial’ doesn’t have the neat ring of “Bicentennial”, but it is nonetheless what we will be celebrating in 2026: the 250th birthday of the United States.

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Bristol to organize committee to celebrate America's 250th birthday


‘Semiquincentennial’ doesn’t have the neat ring of “Bicentennial”, but it is nonetheless what we will be celebrating in 2026: the 250th birthday of the United States.

Lauren Fogarty, of the office of Secretary of State Gregg Amore, is in charge of rallying the troops — local communities — to put in the work on the ground. The effort is calling itself the RI250 Commission, and their goal is to support and promote local efforts to commemorate the milestone.

“I’m here to bring attention to this tremendous opportunity for each community across this state and nation,” said Fogarty in a presentation before the Town Council on Wednesday, Sept. 13. One of the principal duties of the RI 250 Commission is to collaborate with local organizations to promote the pivotal role that Rhode Island played in the founding of our country. “Our beautiful state has had a massive influence in the formation of our nation,” she said.

“We at the Commission are most excited to help facilitate this milestone statewide, a years-long, multifaceted commemoration. We intend to engage as many Rhode Islanders as possible, and we believe the natural next step is to organize at the municipal level.”

“We would like to take this time to invite Bristol to organize a local 250th Committee to encourage the most comprehensive and inclusive commemoration possible,” said Fogarty.

The Commission has provided a pamphlet from the American Association for State and local Histories, who have taken the reins of this project on the national level. It outlines the best way for communities to form a local Commission, understanding that each community is going to have different needs, resources, as well as varying levels of community
enthusiasm and engagement. It’s accessible under the Town Council section of the Town website,, in the agenda packet for the Sept. 13 Council meeting.

Senator Pamela Lauria was on hand to speak in support of the effort.

“I assured the Secretary that no town more than Bristol would be ready to take on this celebration,” she said. “I just urge the Council to please form this committee and let us know if there's anything the General Assembly can do to help.”

As expected, the Council was enthusiastic. They will be taking up the matter at the next meeting, in an effort to develop guidelines for forming the committee, but they seemed inclined to open the opportunity to join to anyone in the community who might like to contribute.

“If you're interested, please reach out to the town. We will obviously advertise it, but we can get a head start on it now,” said Council Chairman Nathan Calouro.

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