2017-09-01 / Shorts

Well Documented

The Constitution 230 Celebration will honor the signing of the Constitution and the impact it has had on American lives
Hyun Soo Lee

On Sept. 17, Centre County will celebrate the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution. At Grange Park in Centre Hall, the Constitution 230 Celebration is slated to be a commemorative event honoring the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in 1787.

The free event is organized by a grassroots group of Centre County residents led by chairman Keith Bierly, who proposed the idea for the event. Throughout the day, there will be a round of at least four speakers, including U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, actor Charles Dumas, executive director of the Centre County Women’s Resource Center Anne Ard and presidential historian Greg Ferro, as well as musical acts ranging from the State College-based rock band Cone of Silence to the Nittany Knights Men’s Chorus, who will perform a host of patriotic songs.

Perhaps the main draw of the celebration is the inclusion of a large interactive exhibit, which Bierly calls the “Constitution Village.” Set up along the park will be a series of stands, one for each amendment to the Constitution, where a spokesperson will answer questions and inform people about his or her respective amendment.

“For example, for the First Amendment, there will be a Penn State journalism professor talking about freedom of the press,” Bierly says. “There’ll be a rabbi talking about freedom of religion, and a county librarian talking about freedom of speech. And when you go to the Second Amendment, a former sheriff will be talking about the right to bear arms.” Bierly believes it is largely because of the expertise of the people in the village that the celebration will provide “an education on the Constitution that you can’t get anywhere else.”

In addition to the Constitution village exhibits, there will be free pocket constitutions, children’s activities and food trucks. “It’s a celebration, and we want people to leave feeling good about the Constitution, but also knowing more about the Constitution,” Bierly says.

For more information about the event, visit

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