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Drone show caps Independence Day at Virginia's State Capitol celebration

'In Virginia we have the power of place. We can stand in the places of greatness of history and we can connect personally in a way that's rare and powerful.'
Posted at 3:09 PM, Jul 07, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- A one-of-a-kind drone show capped the Independence Day celebration at Virginia's State Capitol.

The "Celebration of Freedom and Our Nation’s Founding,"which historians said has not happened at the capitol since the 1800s, was part of the lead up to the 250th anniversary of our nation's founding.

"A resolution passed by Congress in 1963 calling on states to ring bells 13 times," VA250 Executive Director Cheryl Wilson explained. "So we’re bring that tradition back on July 4th. But it’s not just happening here in Richmond, it’s happening across the state."

The four-hour event was planned by the Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission, the state agency responsible for commemorating Virginia's part in the 250th anniversary of the forming of our nation.

"Historians tell us that a Fourth of July Celebration hasn't been here at the state capitol in about 150 years," Wilson said.

While the 250th anniversary is in 2026, Wilson said this year’s event is the first of several the organization is planning over the next two years.

WATCH: Independence Day at Virginia State Capitol celebrates nation's founding

Independence Day at Virginia State Capitol celebrates nation's founding

The first part of the event had Capitol Square packed with local vendors for people to shop at as well as pop-up museums and various performers. 

"It's going to be art, it's going to be culture, dance, music that represent the diverse communities across Virginia," Wilson said.

The second portion began at 7:30 p.m. with the Grand Ceremony in front of the capitol that featured numerous speakers, musicians and a drum trio.

"We have marine bands, we have symphonies, we have gospel choirs," Wilson said. "It’s going to be amazing."

BONUS: Watch highlights from Fourth of July drone show at Virginia State Capitol

Watch highlights from Fourth of July drone show at Virginia State Capitol

The festivities ended with a show that featured more than 200 drones illuminating the night sky. 

Wilson said she was excited for people to come out, have fun with their families and enjoy the free event.

"Here in Virginia we have the power of place. We can stand in the places of greatness of history and we can connect personally in a way that's rare and powerful," Wilson said. "When we do that it brings us all together. When we tell all sides of the story and we see it all it brings us together."

Click here to learn more about VA 250 -- the Virginia American Revolution 250 Commemoration.

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