State Sen. Mike Barrett secures $2 million for statewide 250th celebrations 

March 4, 2024

 By Betsy Levinson —  

As an economic incentive, two years ago, Sen. Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) saw to it that $200,000 in state funding went to Concord for farmers markets, local festivals, parades, musical and theatrical performances, or other events sponsored by nonprofit organizations or the town.  

That was at the beginning of planning for the 250th anniversary celebration of the start of the American Revolution.  

Two years later, Barrett secured $1 million for statewide anniversary celebrations, and a second $1 million was included in last December’s budget, according to Ethan Raye of the senator’s communications office.  

Language in the recent budget created the “Special Commission on the 250th Anniversary Celebration of the American Revolution.”  

The commission “investigates and studies the promotion and celebration of the 250th anniversary” and includes the House and Senate chairs of the joint committee on tourism, arts and cultural development, and one member appointed by the Concord Select Board, among others.  

Mike Lawson is the town designee on the commission. He said the four towns meet every few months to plan events.  

He said the commission is interested in encouraging events in other towns across the state “that don’t normally participate” in Patriots Day celebrations.  

Lawson said Gov. Maura Healey recently appointed Sheila Green of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism coordinator for events surrounding the 250th anniversary.