Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay route through Howard County revealed


IN Torch Relay logo

Lt. Governor Eric J. Holcomb, Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) executive director Mark Newman and the Howard County Torch Relay Committee recently released the route that the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will follow through Howard County this fall. The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will be a 3,200 mile journey with nearly 2,000 torchbearers from each of Indiana’s 92 counties participating. Starting in Corydon on September 9, the route showcases locations of natural beauty, local interest and historic significance to 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,” said Holcomb. “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.”

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will go through Howard County on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, passing by many landmarks and local points of interest, including Highland Park, Kokomo Automotive Museum, Indiana University Kokomo, Northwest Park, Kokomo Speedway, Elwood Haynes Museum, Foster Park, Seiberling Mansion, and the Courthouse Square. Relay will end with a community celebration in Downtown Kokomo.

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay route through Howard County can be found here.

“We are proud of the many significant historical and iconic attractions in our community and we’re excited to be able to showcase many of them on a statewide stage for this bicentennial year,” said Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance President Charlie Sparks. “We look forward to sharing this once-in-a-lifetime celebration with our residents and visitors. We encourage anyone interested in assisting with preparations for the torch relay or community celebration to contact the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau for more information.”

The torch relay route was charted by a taskforce of representatives from multiple state agencies and the private sector; including the departments of transportation, natural resources, state police, tourism, community and rural affairs and archives. Local organizing committees in each county finalized their county-specific routes. While the route is considered final, it is subject to slight alterations as conditions on the ground during the relay may warrant. A map of the statewide torch relay route can be found here.

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will start September 9 in Corydon, Indiana’s first state capitol, and culminate with a celebration October 15 on the grounds of the statehouse in Indianapolis.

Accompanying the torch will be a high-tech mobile experience—an interactive museum that highlights important milestones during Indiana’s first 200 years and looks ahead to what the state’s future. Indiana State Police personnel will provide logistical support and escort the torch caravan over the course of the relay.

“As we reflect on Indiana’s first 200 years, the torch relay is a terrific opportunity to showcase the beauty and allure of Indiana. From the Lake Michigan shoreline to the rolling hills along the Ohio River, Indiana is full of special people and places. The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay allows us to show off both our state and civic pride as we honor our past while symbolically ‘passing the torch’ to future generations of Hoosiers,” said Newman.

Developed by IOTD, the relay is patterned after the Olympic Torch Relay and is designed to connect Hoosiers across the state and nation with their home state during the bicentennial year. The torch itself was designed by engineering faculty and students at Purdue University. The torch will be primarily transported by people, passing the flame from torch bearer to torch bearer. The relay will also employ other modes of conveyance that are symbolic of the history and heritage of Indiana, including watercraft, farm equipment, a racecar, horse and wagon, antique automobile and others.

Howard County received several nominations for torchbearers and those nominations are currently being vetted by the county torch relay coordinating committee. Torchbearers will be Hoosiers who demonstrate exceptional public service, excellence in their profession, acts of heroism or volunteer service to their neighborhood, community, region or state. Statewide, over 4,000 torchbearer nominations were received.

To follow the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay on social media, visit INTorchRelay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



Kokomo Municipal Stadium to host soccer, college baseball in 2016

Kokomo Municipal Stadium aerial

In addition to being the home of the Kokomo Jackrabbits Prospect League baseball team, Kokomo Municipal Stadium will be host to many other sporting events and teams this year.

It was recently announced that the newest USL Premier Development League soccer team is the Kokomo Mantis FC, led by coach and team manager Marcelo Santos. They will play all home games at Kokomo Municipal Stadium starting in June 2016. For more information and to see the team’s schedule, visit

The Stadium will also host several college baseball games this spring, all of which will feature a team from an Indiana school. Tickets for the college games are available on the Kokomo Jackrabbits website. These games include:

March 12: Manchester University vs. John Carroll
March 13: Manchester University vs. John Carroll
March 18: Purdue vs. Ohio University
March 19: Purdue vs. Ohio University
March 20: Purdue vs. Ohio University
March 22: Kent St. vs. Evansville
May 17: IPFW vs. Purdue

In addition, the American Legion Baseball 2016 State Finals and the Prospect League’s 2016 All Star Game will both be held at Kokomo Municipal Stadium in July.

The Kokomo Jackrabbits’ 2016 season home game opener is May 26.  Season tickets, 1/2 season tickets, and 7-game packs are on sale now at

Kokomo Municipal Stadium is located within walking distance of the heart of downtown with unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Don’t miss a minute of the fun – reserve your tickets now. We look forward to seeing you in Kokomo!

LOVE CHOCOLATE? Don’t miss this sweet event!

2015 Chocolate Celebration 2

Go ahead and indulge during the 14th Annual Chocolate Celebration, an event celebrating all things chocolate!

Double Chocolate Jubilee Cake, Chocolate Mousse Torte, Oreo Cheesecake, Chocolate Cherry Cookies, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popcorn, Candied Bacon Samoa Cupcakes, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie are just a few of the indulgent items that will featured during this year’s event.  My mouth is watering already!  See a full list of items here.

Tickets are 2 for $5, with each ticket redeemable for one delicious chocolate treat of your choice.  You can purchase tickets at the door.  Arrive early for best selection!

Chocolate Celebration will be held at Kokomo’s First Church of the Nazarene, 2734 S. Washington Street, on Friday, February 5, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Proceeds will benefit Samaritan Caregivers.  For more information, visit their website or call (765) 453-7611.

Wild Indiana Outdoors Expo this weekend in Kokomo


Wild Indiana Outdoors is coming back to Kokomo on January 16-17, 2016 with booths, guest speakers, and exhibitors showcasing camping, biking, hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, canoeing, wildlife education, and many other interests.  If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you definitely won’t want to miss this show!

Wild Indiana Outdoors will be held at the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event & Conference Center, located at 1500 North Reed Road (SR 931), Kokomo. Hours are Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Admission is $5 per person at the door and $1 for kids ages 10 & younger.  To see a list of vendors and speakers or for more information, visit their website or call 765.854.2301.

2015 Visitor Profile Study Findings Released

A visitor profile study was conducted in Kokomo/Howard County earlier this year.  The 2015 study found that most travelers visit Howard County to see family and friends, attend local festivals and events, or conduct business or corporate travel and stay for a short trip; and that the community ranks highly with visitors for hospitality, safety, family-friendliness, and affordability.

Artist Alley

Artist Alley in Downtown Kokomo

The study was completed by Certec, Inc., a Lexington, Kentucky-based firm specializing in destination research and market analysis, and found that over one-third of Howard County visitors come to the community to see family and friends, while another 28 percent visit the area to enjoy local events or attractions.

Sixty-two percent of those surveyed say they visit Kokomo for a short trip lasting 1 to 3 days. The findings are also good news for the local economy: in addition to visiting friends and relatives, visitors listed shopping, dining, and attending area sporting and entertainment events as top activities during their stays in Howard County.

Kokomo Municipal Stadium

Kokomo Municipal Stadium

Furthermore, over 85 percent of those surveyed stated that they are either “completely satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their tourism experiences in Howard County; in fact, less than 1 percent were not at all satisfied with their experiences.

Other key findings from the report:

  • Primary markets for Kokomo visitor travel were Indiana (non-Howard County), Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan
  • Typical visitor party includes 3 people who stay for an average of 2.4 days
  • Popular attractions for visitors include Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center, Seiberling Mansion, Elwood Haynes Museum, Kokomo Opalescent Glass, and Kokomo Automotive Museum
  • Overall, visitors averaged 4 trips to Howard County in the past 2 years
  • Nearly 87% of visitors say they are likely to return to Howard County in the next 2 years

Learn more about our recent visitor profile study here.

Kokomo Automotive Museum hosting part of “Hoosier Made: World Driven” event

Hoosier Made World Driven brochure cover

The Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum is hosting part of “Hoosier Made: World Driven,” a three museum event to celebrate Indiana’s automotive heritage. The event, which is a Legacy Project by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, is underway and runs until Oct. 3, 2016.

“Hoosier Made: World Driven” examines the heyday of Indiana’s automobile industry when some of the world’s finest motorcars were built in the Hoosier state. The exhibit will be presented at Indiana’s three leading transportation museums: The Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum, the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend and the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn.

The Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum display will feature five different Haynes and Apperson touring vehicles. The museum is home to more than 100 antique automobiles and offers visitors a glimpse of the nation’s automotive history, with an emphasis on local automotive history.

“This event shines a light on our museum and how it represents our local automotive heritage,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “It showcases the role Kokomo played in the development of the American automobile, and our city’s central role in the Indiana economy.”

Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum director of development Jeff Shively said the event presents a great opportunity.

“This is the perfect chance to see three great museums, travel, and learn about Indiana’s automotive heritage,” Shively said. “And you can save money while doing it.”

Visitors can visit all three museums for the price of two. A passport (available at all three museums) can be stamped at two museums and admission to the third museum for free. Admission to the Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum is $5.

The Kokomo Automotive Museum is located at 1500 North Reed Road (S.R. 931) and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information, call 765.454.9999.


Explore Kokomo’s Holiday Light Displays


Several Kokomo holiday light displays will open starting on Thanksgiving weekend. A great activity to do with friends, family, and kids!

We Care Park lighting ceremony starts at 5:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. The lights will stay on nightly from 5:30-9:30 p.m. through December 27, 2015. Street parking is available to walk through the park or stay in your car and drive through to enjoy over 1,000,000 twinkling lights! We Care Park is located at the corner of Gano and Lafountain Streets (on the northside of Kokomo.)

Highland Park’s “City of Lights” will come alive on Thanksgiving night with nearly 50 holiday light displays. Lights will remain on nightly at dusk through the end of the year.  You can also see Santa at Highland Park until December 24. Another fun holiday tradition!

Christmas at the Seiberling” starts Saturday, November 28, 2015 with a lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. followed by music, visits with Santa, and of course, tours of the stunning (and magnificently decorated) Seiberling Mansion. See thousands of lights and dozens of Christmas trees! Visitors 12 and younger can compete for a prize in the “Count the Trees” contest! “Christmas at the Seiberling” continues through December 31.

Downtown Kokomo’s Lighting Ceremony of the Courthouse Square starts Friday, December 4, 2015 (during FIRST FRIDAY!)  Stroll through the downtown district from 5:30-9:00 p.m. to see holiday lights and local businesses competing in the window decorating contest. Kids can visit with Santa, carriage rides will be available, and local businesses will be open for holiday shopping!

In this busy season of shopping, baking, and holiday errands, take some time to relax and enjoy the lights!