The Bicentennial Torch Relay is designed to inspire and unify Hoosiers as one of the major commemorative events of the 2016 Bicentennial celebration. The relay will begin Sept. 9 in Corydon, the state’s first capital, and will end Oct. 15 on the Statehouse Grounds in Indianapolis.
The torch will be passed from torchbearer to torchbearer. The relay will offer unique aspects as the torch will be transported by runners as well as those using modes of transportation that are symbolic of Indiana’s history and heritage, including watercraft, farm equipment, a race car, horse and wagon, antique automobile and others.
The torchbearers will travel an average of 72 – 92 miles a day, passing through each of the state’s 92 counties, covering 3,200 miles over a five week period.
LAPORTE COUNTY: Saturday, October 8th
LaPorte County will celebrate Indiana ’s Bicentennial by participating in the state wide Torch Relay on Saturday, October 8th. There have been 33 torchbearers selected from La Porte county to carry the torch in LaPorte County. The torch will enter LaPorte County around 2:30 p m CST coming from St. Joseph County.
The torch will move through Rolling Prairie, LaPorte and Michigan City. There will be a mid – day party at Younger Life Plaza 618, located at 618 Lincolnway in LaPorte and a final celebration at North Point Pavilion, located at 6 on the Lake from 6pm – 9pm in Michigan City’s Washington Park. This will be a fun and exciting day as we celebrate Indiana’s 200th Anniversary of the State of Indiana and you are all invited. Questions can be directed to the Tourism Bureau at (219)872-5055.
PORTER COUNTY: Sunday, October 9th
The relay route through Porter County will start at Indiana Dunes State Park and go through Valparaiso University, downtown Valparaiso and Central Avenue in Portage. The torch run kicks off with a ceremony at 8 a.m. at the Indiana Dunes State Park pavilion, 1600 N. 25 East, Chesterton, followed by the torch run at 8:30 a.m. from the state park to the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center (using the Dunes-Kankakee Trail). In addition, people can tour the Bicentennnial Experience mobile unit at the state park pavilion, with attractions like a machine to make a Bicentennial penny. The experience is open from 8 a.m. to Noon.
The torch goes through Valparaiso University (starting at the welcome center on U.S. 30) from 10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m., and on Lincolnway in downtown Valparaiso from 10:20 to 11 a.m. There will be a ceremony in Valparaiso’s Central Park.
In Portage from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be food vendors, other vendors, music, car-cruise in and a bounce house at Founders Square Park, 6300 Founders Square, Portage. There will be a parade from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., starting at Central Avenue and Airport Road in Portage (torch caravan only until it reaches Founders Square and is joined by the rest of the parade), proceeding west down Central Avenue to the Lake County line. Call 926-2255 for more info.
LAKE COUNTY: Sunday, October 9th and October 11th
The Lake County Bicentennial Committee has been working with Crown Point, Whiting, Gary and Hobart to plan special celebrations along the Torch Relay Route. There will be special events in Gary and Whiting. The Lake County Route begins the Lake County leg of the journey begins in Whiting on Sunday, October 9th at 1:30 pm at the Lake County Oil City Stadium. Torch Bearers will carry and pass the torch through Downtown Whiting on 119th Street, continuing south on Indianapolis Blvd. to the Whiting city limit. Whiting is planning a big celebration and hopes for many to attend. The first 1,000 people in attendance in Whiting, there will be a replica torch giveaway as a souvenir to pay tribute to Indiana’s Bicentennial. From Whiting the torch travels south on Broadway through Gary and ends in Hobart. There will be a celebration at Festival Park in Hobart with music and vendors in the Pavilion area. The trip picks up again on Tuesday, October 11th, when the torch will be carried from Merrillville to Crown Point. For more info call 219-989-7979.
The South Shore CVA has partnered with a number of historical societies to tell the stories of the people, industries and history of northwest Indiana. Photographs, artifacts, clothing, war and sports memorabilia, farm equipment and more will be on display at the Indiana Welcome Center thru October 2nd. 219-989-7979.
For more info click here http://www.in.gov/ibc/torchrelay/2623.htm