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.