Community invited to help plan Vienna’s first Liberty Amendments Month celebration

Lynne Coan | Adam Kincaid | Town of Vienna Around Town

Planning for the Town of Vienna’s inaugural Liberty Amendments Month celebration is underway – and community organizations, businesses, and individuals are being encouraged to help shape the four weeks of festivities.

A celebration of the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments, which extended rights to those who had previously been excluded from full participation, Liberty Amendments Month is the brainchild of Town Manager Mercury Payton, who during this past summer of discourse and strife, sought a way to bring us together and to find common ground. “We all can celebrate these amendments that ensure rights and liberties for each of us,” he says.

Liberty Amendments Day has been recognized as an official 2021 Town holiday on July 19, and Liberty Amendments Month, to be celebrated June 19-July 19, has been officially recognized by the commonwealth of Virginia, having been adopted this year by the General Assembly. “I’m so proud that the Town of Vienna is leading the way in initiating this holiday and monthlong commemoration of these fundamental rights that we all cherish,” says Mayor Linda Colbert. “I’m especially proud that Town Manager Mercury Payton came up with the idea and has worked hard to see it become a reality.”

In Vienna, Liberty Amendments Month will kick off June 19 with an educational event that will offer thoughtful reflection on the liberties assured by these four amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The celebration will culminate with a multicultural festival featuring food, drinks, crafts, and entertainment from around the world on July 17.

In between those dates is where community organizations can step in. Each week between June 19 and July 19, one of the four liberty amendments will be celebrated with contests, entertainment, lectures, performances, classes, themed restaurant specials, art exhibits, films, shows, walks, and more. It’s up to the community!

“There’s lots to celebrate here,” says Councilmember Chuck Anderson. “This is going to be a people’s event just as the Constitution is the people’s document. Let your imagination go wild.” Groups interested in creating a celebration event, should submit an application available at viennava.gov/liberty by April 1. (Please note that planners should keep in mind that covid restrictions and social-distancing guidelines may still be in place in June and July.) Organizations also may join ongoing planning meetings being held at 5 pm the fourth Tuesday of each month; contact lily.widman@viennava.gov for a Zoom link to the meetings or more details.