Chester County had been operating for nearly a century when the Declaration of Independence was adopted in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. In fact, it was one of the three original counties of Pennsylvania, established by William Penn in 1682. So, it stands to reason this county's current residents would be eager to get a headstart on planning the region's celebration of the nation’s 250th birthday in 2026 by establishing the America250PA Chester County Commission.
“We have so much to be proud of in Chester County, including the contributions we've made and continue to make to America’s history,” says Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz, adding that they're seeking 10 to 30 ‘America and Pennsylvania Proud’ residents, of all ages and from all areas of the county, who want to help plan these festivities.
Commission members will serve for up to three years. Chester County representatives will coordinate activities with the statewide group, America250PA.
“In the short term, the commission will determine where Chester County wants to plant a liberty tree in May, part of Pennsylvania’s Liberty Tree program. Similarly, they'll chart our approach to the Bells Across PA program. Those are more symbolic activities. The commission will then have input into a historic heritage tourism plan," says Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline, who represents the county on the America250PA County Advisory Committee, and who is a board member of the Chester County History Center.
America250PA is focusing on 14 areas around which to create celebratory activities. One of them is agriculture, with Pennsylvania having 59,000 farms and the largest rural population in the nation. Other categories include arts and culture; commerce and workforce; diversity; education and innovation; the environment; government; healthcare; history and preservation; legacy; nature; military; veteran’s and women; technology; and tourism.
To get involved, visit ChesCo.org/America250.
America250 represents a coalition of public/private partners to create initiatives and programs that honor the first 250 years and inspire Americans to imagine the next 250. The America250PA Chester County Commission was created to celebrate Pennsylvania’s leading role in the commemoration of the U.S. 250th anniversary in 2026.