September 13, 2023, 6:48 PM ·

Hey, early Generation X kids, ready to feel old?GenX is the Schrödinger’s generation – simultaneously feeling both too old and too young for our actual ages… while locked away in a box and forgotten by people in every other generation. GenX comprises people born between the years 1965 to 1980, so one of the big events in the childhoods of many early GenX’ers in the United States was the nation’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976.Well, get ready to do that all over again.

The United States Semiquincentennial Commission agency of the United States government this month has filed a trademark application for “America 250.” That’s right. The United States’ 250th birthday is approaching rapidly – it’ll be on July 4, 2026. That’s less than three years from now.If the nation is about to celebrate its 250th birthday, basic math tells us that 200th birthday celebration was nearly 50 years ago. (This is the point where everyone who was alive for the Bicentennial cries, while everyone who wasn’t points and laughs at those who are crying.)Anyway, the Bicentennial was a big deal in the nation’s theme parks, as it was pretty much everywhere around the U.S. in 1976. The Bicentennial was the inspiration for the “To Honor America” float at the end of Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade, which Disney eventually retired (checks notes), uh, last year.The Bicentennial also inspired the two Marriott’s Great America theme parks, now Six Flags Great America, near Chicago, and California’s Great America, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Los Angeles area’s Magic Mountain also celebrated that year by giving us the first modern vertical loop roller coaster, Great American Revolution, now New Revolution.So what will theme park and attraction designers provide us to celebrate America’s 250th, in 2026? Given the lead time to develop new attractions, they might already be at work on that.* * *
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