This fall, Hoosiers will celebrate the 200th birthday of Indiana becoming a state.
A bicentennial torch relay will take place, beginning Sept. 9 in Corydon, to kick off the historic occasion and help unite people across the state.
The relay will cover more than 2,300 miles and reach all 92 counties, including Jackson, where celebrations are being planned at the courthouse in Brownstown and at Seymour High School on Sept. 15.
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Arann Banks, executive director of the Jackson County Visitor Center, is in charge of local activities and has been working with the Indiana Bicentennial Commission and Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County to plan the route.
She wants to give as many citizens as possible an opportunity to see the torch and to be a part of state history, she said.
The torch will be lit at 9 a.m. Sept. 15 at the courthouse in Brownstown and will travel along U.S. 50 to Seymour. The public is invited to attend a brief ceremony and see the torch off on its three-hour trip through the county.
It will be carried to Seymour and pass by historical sites, including Freeman Municipal Airport and Seymour High School, where students and the community will be able to participate in another ceremony.
After leaving Seymour, the torch will head to Fort Vallonia and then the Medora Covered Bridge before leaving for Washington County around noon.
The route showcases locations of natural beauty, local interest and historic significance to the state.
The torch will be carried locally by specially selected Jackson County residents who have demonstrated exceptional public service, excellence in their professions, acts of heroism or volunteer service.
Nominations for torchbearers were accepted through the end of January, and those selected for the honor will be announced at a later date.
Although the torch mainly will be carried by residents running or walking, it also may be transported by boat, tractor, horse and wagon and antique automobile.
Banks said an antique firetruck and possibly other forms of transportation will be used to carry the torch for part of its journey through Jackson County.
As part of the torch relay, a mobile interactive museum will follow along, stopping at events to give residents a glimpse of important milestones that took place in Indiana in the past 200 years and a vision of what lies ahead for the state.
“The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is not only the premier event of our state’s bicentennial celebration, but it is also an opportunity for Hoosiers from counties large and small to showcase all that makes Indiana unique,” Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a news release. “The torch route was designed to highlight the state’s cultural fabric, our history and values and the spirit of Hoosier ingenuity, igniting generations to come.”
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A map and schedule of the statewide bicentennial torch relay are now available, along with route maps for each of the 92 counties at in.gov/ibc/torchrelay/.
To follow the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay on social media, visit INTorchRelay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay route touches:
•260 cities and towns.
•17 state and national parks, including Indiana Dunes, Turkey Run, Falls of the Ohio and Abraham Lincoln’s Boyhood Home.
•Nine lakes and rivers, including the Ohio and Wabash rivers.
•27 national, state and local sites of historic significance, including the Levi Coffin House, Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site and Lanier Mansion.
•22 colleges and universities.
•Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, Bridgeton Mill, Conner Prairie, Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, French Lick Resort, Holiday World, Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame, Indiana State Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Lew Wallace Study and Museum, NSA Crane and many additional landmarks and destinations.