Inquirer: Planning the nation’s birthday party… for 2026
Published in The Philadelphia Inquirer | Sunday, January 17
by Matt Gelb
“If we’re going to earn the celebration, it has to be more than just the best arts-and-entertainment event of our generation,” said Herrmann, 37. “It has to be something that brings the country together and gets us on a track to make the next 250 years better than the first 250.”
The dozens of Philadelphians committed to the project have expansive ideas. Like Herrmann – a Wharton grad and founding executive director of Campus Philly, which seeks to keep college grads in Philadelphia – they talk with an enthusiasm once so foreign in these parts. They envision a yearlong event – no, why not 18 months – where millions of people visit Philadelphia to renew America’s values.
It is unabashedly idealistic.
“This event is going to be a signature event for the city,” [Philadelphia Mayor] Kenney said. “Philadelphia should be the centerpiece of this celebration.”
Photograph by Alejandro A. Alvarez for The Philadelphia Inquirer