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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > LaPorte County LaPorte County

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Q&A with County Coordinator Mitch Bishop

What do you consider the key accomplishment of your county's bicentennial celebration?

  • I believe the biggest accomplishment was the bison-tennial project.  We had over 20 legacy projects and the bison was at all of them.  We had a donated trailer and raffled him off at the end.  Now is at the LaPorte County Historical Society Museum with an exhibit.  Local artist did the art work. His name is buffalo bill.

What Legacy Project do you most like to tell people about, and why?

  • The bison-tennial.  Bill was at all the parades, hanna fest, scarecrow festival.  he needs a little touch up after all his travels. The county had two little bison too - one went to united way  - Mrs Pate.  She may know the fate of the other one.

Describe a highlight or most memorable moment related to your county's bicentennial celebration.

  • Our county steering committee met every month for three years.  memorable moment was the people who vounteered their time and skills to make the bicentennial such a big event.  during parades we had confetti cannon shooting 50 feet hight, with 100,000 in attendance at the 4th of july parade.  The torch relay was another great memory  33 people carried the torch.  as the sun was setting camera came out and the beautiful scene was captured on a two person kayak with the torch on the boat.  A whole flotilla followed and a ceremony was held in washington park.

How/where are you preserving information and artifacts related to your county's celebration?

  • LaPorte County Historical Society museum 2405 Indiana Ave, La Porte, IN 46350

Total number of volunteers who participated.

  • 75

Estimated total attendance.

  • 10,000 plus the parade at 100,000

Estimated dollar amount raised.

  • $12,000 plus raffle created an endowment at the local community foundation for the next time we celebrate.  The Unity Foundation in Michigan City

Estimated dollar amount spent.

  • Same.

LaPorte County Legacy Projects

LaPorte County Facts

La porte means “the door” in French. French travelers or explorers so named the area after discovering a natural opening in the dense forests that used to exist in this region, providing a gateway to lands further west.

About the courthouse: Brentwood Tolan was the architect and the building was completed in 1894.

LaPorte county is one of three Indiana counties with Lake Michigan shoreline. Indiana’s shoreline with Lake Michigan is only 40 miles long, but the state is still considered a Great Lakes State.

Go back in time; visit the Hesston Steam Museum with three gauges of steam trains, steam crane, sawmill and traction engines.

County Seat: LaPorte
Year Organized: 1832
Square Miles: 598.308