Sun City’s Liberty Bell
One of the community’s most popular and frequently visited landmarks is a replica of the famed Liberty Bell at Bell Recreation Center.
In preparation for the nation’s 1976 bicentennial celebration, Sun City residents came up with the idea of the bell, believing it would have permanence long after festivities marking the nation’s 200th birthday ended. The Del E. Webb Development Corp. agreed to pay for the project, but a community campaign was launched to collect metal to construct the bell.
Over 1,500 residents gathered in the parking lot of Sun City Stadium on Jan. 15, 1976 to donate over 7,000 pounds of scrap metal.
The metal was processed by a Philadelphia foundry and then shipped to Arsten, Holland where the bell was cast in the exact same mold to cast the original Liberty Bell
The famous crack in Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell had to be simulated and manually put onto Sun City’s bell.
The bell arrived in Sun City on July 5, 1976 and unveiled during a Sun Bowl ceremony July 8.
It was officially dedicated at Bell Center on Nov. 11, 1976.
A time capsule set to open in six years (2026) was buried at the base.
The Liberty Bell has since become the centerpiece of the community’s annual “Ring the Bell” Fourth of July Celebration.
Although not confirmed, popular legend claims Sun City’s bell is one of only a handful of replica Liberty Bells cast from the original Liberty bell mold — and the only one in existence not behind ropes, under glass or otherwise restricted to the public.
Visitors to the bell are encouraged to “ring the bell” to proclaim their independence and celebrate the nation’s freedoms.
Archive photos courtesy of the Sun Cities Area Historical Society. Current photo by Bret McKeand/Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA
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