The Patrick County Tourism Department is looking for people to join the local Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission (VA250) committee.
Patrick County Recreation/Tourism Coordinator James Houchins said the commission was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 2020.
“They came up with a resolution and formed a commission to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, the Revolutionary War, and the Independence of the United States in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he said.
While it will be a national celebration of American Independence, Houchins said the committee will focus heavily on Virginia, the history from Virginia’s standpoint, and on Revolutionary events in 1775 and 1776 in the county, “because we’re Virginia, and because Virginia is really the hub of where it all took place.”
According to the VA250 website, Virginia’s history is America’s story: complex, diverse, and promising.
“It’s a multicultural story that in the Revolutionary era was Native American, European, African, and American, both Patriot and Loyalist.”
Noting the project is history based, Houchins said committee members will develop a sense of pride as Americans and Virginians “because we were right there at the center point of all of it happening. Even being called Patrick and Henry, from Patrick Henry, the leader there at that time.”
Houchins said he is seeking 5-15 people on the committee, and hopes for representatives from all five districts and parts of the county, because people from the different areas “can see just different things from different parts of the county.”
Those who serve will “pull our ideas and resources together to have a county-wide celebration when we start this. We want it to be educational, of course celebratory, and also festive,” he said, adding that many remember “where we all came from, the and different wars, ranging from the Revolution to the World Wars.
“It was a lot of changes that took place. But if it had not been for the American Revolution, we may not have America as we have it now. So, it’s always important to keep in check with your roots,” he said.
The Patrick County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution for the commission last year, Houchins said.
“That gives us the ability to apply for grants through the VATC (Virginia Tourism Corporation) once we decided what type of program that we would like to have,” he said.
A kick-off event will be held in Williamsburg from March 10-12. Houchins plans to attend the weekend event with other interested commission members.
“They’ll give us more information about certain things that they’re going to want to try and get accomplished, how could we educate people about our history, and all the events and things that took place at that particular time in 1775, how we evolve from that and how we’re still looking for that more perfect union,” he said.
Houchins plans to hold an informational meeting for those interested in joining the commission before the March kick-off.
Those interested can contact Houchins at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (276) 693-2005 or (276) 692-4422.
For more information, visit www.va250.org.