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.

 

 

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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.

Nominations Being Accepted for 2016 Bicentennial Torch Relay Torchbearers

IN 2016 Torch RelayIndiana turns 200 next year!  One of the signature events of Indiana’s Bicentennial will be a Torch Relay through all 92 counties, beginning in September 2016.  All counties are being asked to nominate torchbearers to carry the torch for their communities.

The torch will pass through Howard County on October 5, 2016 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. with a closing ceremony as the torch is extinguished for the day before continuing its journey through Indiana.

The nomination form is available at http://bit.ly/HoCoTorch2016 if you wish to nominate a torchbearer in Howard County.  All completed forms can be emailed to Katie Guyer at kguyer@greaterkokomo.com or Sherry Matlock at smatlock@visitkokomo.org.  The deadline to submit nomination forms is December 31, 2015.  For more information, call the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau at (765) 457-6802.

Experience “ART ON FIRE” in Kokomo October 17-18, 2014

2014 ART ON FIRE Flyer FINAL REVISED

Learn about Kokomo/Howard County’s rich glass heritage during “Art on Fire” on October 17-18, 2014.  Experience amazing art glass through factory tours, glass blowing demonstrations, exhibits, and shops during this special glass weekend!

Go behind the scenes at Kokomo Opalescent Glass, America’s oldest art glass company, on a fascinating tour to experience the glass-making process.  Watch as hot glass is ladled from a 12-pot furnace, hand-mixed, cooled, and shipped all over the world.  They produce over 22,000 variations of sheet glass!  Also, see local glass blowers create unique glass art in the Hot Glass Studio, watch bead and suncatcher demonstrations, and have the opportunity to purchase beautiful glass items made by local artists in The OP Shop.  Glass production tours and glass blowing will be offered from 9:00 a.m. through Noon both days.  The OP Shop will be open on October 17 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and October 18 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Special Offer: Receive $5 off any purchase of $25 or more in The OP Shop!

Explore the Howard County Museum, located in the remarkable Seiberling Mansion, built by industrialist Monroe Seiberling for his family in 1891.  The Mansion contains beautiful stained glass windows created with art glass from Kokomo Opalescent Glass.  Some of the windows are original to the house, others were added during a recent renovation.  The museum possesses one of the largest known collections of Jenkins Glass, produced in Kokomo, and has a portion of it on permanent display. There is a temporary display in the James Long Gallery, featuring Kokomo Opalescent Glass. Visitors can also see representative pieces of Greentown glass, produced by the Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Company in Greentown, and Bournique glass, which began in Howard County.  The Seiberling Mansion will be opened from 1-4 p.m. on October 17 and 18.

Next, head to Downtown Kokomo to discover Artworks Gallery, Crystal Wand Creations, and Fragrant Blossom Artisan Shop! Artworks Gallery will feature glass bead demonstrations and an art glass exhibit during this event.  Talk with local artists while they work and see beautiful artwork in a variety of mediums in this 2-story art gallery.  By the way, all pieces of art in the gallery are also available to purchase.  Artworks Gallery will be open October 17 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and October 18 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Find local, handmade glass items at Crystal Wand Creations, including glass jewelry, stained glass ornamentals, panels, suncatchers & wind chimes in this unique retail shop located in Downtown.  Special Offer: Receive 10% off all in-stock stained glass!  The shop will be open October 17 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and October 18 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Purchase beautiful, custom glass art platters made from wine bottles at Fragrant Blossom Artisan Shop.  The shop also carries handmade soap, candles, and accessories from Indiana artists.  Open October 17 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and October 18 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Make sure to visit all three shops while in Downtown!

Finally, don’t miss a visit to the Greentown Glass Museum.  The museum’s permanent exhibit houses over 2,000 pieces of glass on display, including a vast number of pieces of glassware produced by the Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Company in Greentown between 1894-1903.  The extensive display features various glass patterns and highly collectible pieces, such as Chocolate Glass, Golden Agate and Rose Agate.  Open October 17 from 12-4 p.m. and October 18 from 1-4 p.m.

To plan a visit, call 800-837-0971 or go to www.VisitKokomo.org.  For more information on where to see glass in Indiana, go to www.IndianaGlassTrail.com.

 

Angels are coming … to the Seiberling Mansion!

Christmas at the Seiberling MansionThe Seiberling Mansion is about to be home to one of the largest gatherings of angels ever seen in Howard County – big angels, tiny angels, glass angels, and paper angels are appearing in every room of the Mansion!  They’re part of the traditional Christmas at the Seiberling celebration in Kokomo.

Lighting Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 30, 2013 from 6-9 p.m.  Come witness the official arrival of Santa and countdown to 6 p.m., when the glorious display of outdoor lights is illuminated.  After the lighting, visit the Elliott House (located next door) to warm up with cookies & wassail and give the kids and grandkids the chance to see Santa.  For the first time this year, take your own picture with Santa for free.  Be sure to bring your camera!

In the Seiberling Mansion, tour a true vision of holiday beauty, created by dozens of volunteers.  Twenty rooms on all three floors are decorated, and the third floor ballroom features ornaments from the former Blasius Christmas Tree House in Kokomo.  Vote for your favorite room!

Christmas at the Seiberling stairs

There will be musical entertainment and a contest for kids 12 & under: “How Many Angels Are in the Mansion?” Opening night tickets are available in advance for $7 or at the door for $10.  Kids 12 & under are $3 and Howard County Historical Society members are free. Advance tickets are available online.

Christmas at the Seiberling holiday tours will continue through December 22, 2013.  Hours are Tuesday through Sunday 1-4 p.m.  Daytime tour admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors, and $2 for kids 12 & under.

The Seiberling will also be open on December 6th from 6-9 p.m. during First Friday.  Enjoy an evening of holiday fun with Mansion tours, along with many family-friendly activities in Downtown!

Carriage rides will be available on both November 30th and December 6th from 6-9 p.m.  The cost is $50 and includes up to six people. Advance reservations are required.

The Seiberling Mansion is located at 1200 West Sycamore Street in Kokomo.  For more information on tours and special events, call (765) 452-4314 or visit www.howardcountymuseum.org.  See a sneak preview of the angels at www.facebook.com/hchistory!

 

Experience ART ON FIRE: Hot Glass & Class on October 18-20th

Experience amazing glass tours, unique exhibits & glass shops in Kokomo/Howard County!  Join us as we celebrate the art of glass on October 18-20, 2013 during this special Indiana Glass Trail Art on Fire weekend.

Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory

Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory

Start your adventure at Kokomo Opalescent Glass, America’s oldest art glass company.  Go “behind the scenes” on this fascinating tour to experience the glass-making process.  Watch as hot glass is ladled from a 12-pot furnace, hand-mixed, cooled, and shipped all over the world.  Also, see glass blowers create amazing glass art in the Hot Glass Studio and purchase beautiful glass items made by local artists in The OP Shop.  Don’t miss the special tours & demonstrations on Saturday, October 19th!  Located at 1310 S. Market St., KOG has been making glass in its original location since 1888.  The cost is only $5 to take the tour.

  • Glass Factory Tours & Glass Blowing – October 18 & 19 from 9amNoon 
  • Glass Bead & Suncatcher Demonstrations – October 18th 9am-5pm & October 19th 9am-1pm
  • The OP Shop hours – October 18th 9am-5pm & October 19th 9am-1pm
Seiberling Mansion

Seiberling Mansion

The discovery of natural gas in the late 1800’s in Indiana led to an explosion of creativity and glass-making.  From plate glass to stained glass and cookware to art glass, Howard County was a leader of the industry.  That history is on exhibit at Kokomo’s Seiberling Mansion at 1200 W. Sycamore St.  Explore their newest exhibit produced in cooperation with Kokomo Opalescent Glass, a selection from the museum’s huge collection of Jenkins glass, along with Greentown glass, a unique Bournique chandelier, and the Seiberling’s wonderful stained glass windows.  Admission is $5 adults & $2 children.

  • Seiberling Mansion & glass exhibits open October 18-20th from 1-4pm
Greentown Glass Museum

Greentown Glass Museum

Don’t miss a visit to the Greentown Glass Museum.  The museum’s permanent exhibit houses over 2,000 pieces of glass on display, including a vast number of pieces of glassware produced by the Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Company in Greentown between 1894-1903.  The extensive display features various glass patterns and highly collectible pieces, such as Chocolate Glass, Golden Agate and Rose Agate.  Admission is free.  The museum is located at 112 N. Meridian St. in Greentown.

  • Greentown Glass Museum open October 18th 12-4pm and October 19 & 20th 1-4pm

IGAA exhibit
Recognized as the best contemporary glasswork being made in the Midwest, 28 pieces from 21 glass artists have been selected for this year’s Indiana Glass Arts Alliance (IGAA) annual exhibition, which is titled “GATHERING: Contemporary Glass from the Heartland.”

Featuring exceptional glasswork from artists in six states, this unique exhibit will open Oct. 19, 2013 at the Indiana University Kokomo Art Gallery with an Opening Reception from 2-5 p.m. (open to the public.)  The Art Gallery is located on the campus of IU Kokomo at 2300 S. Washington St.  Admission is free.

IGAA Glass Exhibit Opening Reception – October 19th 2-5pm

 

 
Finally, purchase local, handmade glass items at Crystal Wand Creations, including glass jewelry, stained glass ornamentals, panels, suncatchers & wind chimes in this unique retail shop located at 206 N. Buckeye St. in Downtown Kokomo.  The shop will be open October 18th from 10am-6pm and October 19th from 10am-4pm.

Crystal Wand Creations in Downtown Kokomo

Crystal Wand Creations in Downtown Kokomo

In addition, take a class or see the work of glass artists in Lafayette/West Lafayette and Logansport during this glass weekend.  Full itinerary available here.

Special rates are available at the following Kokomo hotels (based on availability.) You must mention “Art on Fire – Hot Glass & Class” to receive the discounted rate!

Comfort Inn – (765) 452-5050
Courtyard by Marriott – (765) 453-0800
Fairfield Inn – (765) 453-8822
Hampton Inn & Suites – (765) 455-2900
Holiday Inn Express – (765) 453-2222

For more information, call the Kokomo Visitors Bureau at 800-837-0971 or go to www.VisitKokomo.org.  For more details on the Indiana Glass Trail and Art on Fire weekends, visit www.IndianaGlassTrail.com.

2013 Howard County Health Fair coming Oct. 3rd

healthfair

The 31st Annual Howard County Health Fair will be held Thursday, October 3, 2013 from 8 am – 3 pm at the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event & Conference Center.  Be one of the first 500 through the door to receive a free gift, plus take advantage of free health screenings including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, bone density, vision and more.  Community counselors and local pharmacists will be on hand to discuss your results and direct you to the many health vendors for additional information.

Seasonal flu shots given by the Howard County Health Department will be available for a $15 donation for those 18 through 64.  Flu and pneumonia vaccine will be given for those 65 and older with Medicare Part B and/or Medicare managed care plans.  These individuals must bring their insurance cards.

American Red Cross will host a blood drive from 9 am – 2 pm, and Windmill Grill will be on-site with a food court.  For more information about the event, call (765) 453-8593 or visit www.HowardCountyHealthFair.com.