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Revolutionary Westchester 250 Sets Sights on 2026 Celebration Plans

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Revolutionary Westchester 250 Executive Committee members, pictured from left to right, Niles Jaeger, Constance Kehoe, Char Weigel, Marc Cheshire and Frank Kaiman review Revolutionary War era letters at the United States Military Academy Library at West Point. The organization is planning local events leading up to the nation’s 250th anniversary on July 4, 2026.

The British are coming! And the French! In fact, representatives from countries around the world will arrive in the region in July 2026 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.

The local nonprofit organization Revolutionary Westchester 250 (RW250) is working to ensure that Westchester County plays a central role in these regional celebrations, matching the crucial role the county played during the Revolutionary War itself.

The organization has set an ambitious agenda for 2024, seeking to build momentum toward the Semiquincentennial, while rolling out new programming ranging from free, GPS-enabled audio tours to presentations across the county.

“Many Westchester residents remember the excitement of the Bicentennial celebrations in 1976,” said RW250 President Constance Kehoe. “As we approach the 250th anniversary of our nation’s founding, we want to ensure that new audiences, including our young residents, gain an appreciation for the role that Westchester County played in the American Revolution.”

During 2024, RW250 plans a number of special initiatives. During Black History Month in February, the organization plans programming drawing attention to the often-overlooked contribution of Black soldiers of the Rhode Island Regiment.

During Women’s History Month in March, a program will highlight the remarkable story of Deborah Sampson, a courageous woman who disguised herself as a man and fought in the Continental Army.

In spring, the organization will launch a free, GPS-enabled audio tour, created in partnership with TravelStorysGPS, that highlights key Revolutionary era sites throughout Westchester. Residents and visitors will be able to download the free app and the tour to their iPhone or Android devices and listen as they travel to the various locations. RW250 will also be debuting a free map and guide to key Revolutionary War sites across the county for residents and visitors to access.

In fall 2024, RW250 will partner with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund on a special exhibition with The Pocantico Center in Tarrytown with details to be announced.

One area of focus for RW250 this year is working with regional partners including Sail 4th 250. This organization has started its work to create the Sail 4th 250 celebration in New York, featuring tall ships from around the world.

While New York City will be a focus for these vessels in celebrations culminating on July 4, 2026, RW250 is working closely with organizers to extend a Parade of Sail for selected vessels to sail north up the Hudson River immediately after the New York City event. Potential docking in cities, including Yonkers and Peekskill, as well as spectator viewing from shoreline communities and the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, would allow local residents to experience these magnificent ships from distinctive vantage points.

The county’s sound shore communities would also experience selected ships sailing into New York City’s breathtaking celebration in advance of July 4. Long Island Sound was a hunting ground for privateers, smugglers and spies during the revolution.

The Hudson River played a pivotal role in the Revolutionary War, so a parade of ships up the river is historically relevant and will also provide access to anniversary celebrations for a broad cross section of New York residents.

Maritime displays, however, do require financial support, and for this reason RW250 and its regional partners are urging state lawmakers to allocate funds toward the initiative. Likewise, the group is urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to complete the appointments needed to seat New York State’s 250th Commemoration Commission. Formation of the commission will qualify the state for federal funding related to the 250th anniversary celebration.

“Westchester played a vital role in America’s battle for independence, said Natasha Caputo, director of Westchester County Tourism and Film and a member of the RW250 Advisory Board. “We look forward to welcoming visitors this year and in the years ahead who seek to learn more about the people and places that led to our country’s founding. We’re confident that the combination of historic sites, special events, natural beauty and recreational opportunities here in Westchester will have visitors coming back for more.”

Visitors can stay informed about upcoming events by subscribing to Revolutionary Westchester 250’s monthly e-newsletter at They can also follow the organization on Facebook @revolutionarywestchester250 or on Instagram @revolutionary_westchester_250.



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