Today begins the 100 day countdown to the start of the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay. In 100 days on September 9, the 3,200-mile journey through Indiana’s 92 counties begins in Corydon (Harrison County). The torch relay is the premier event of the Bicentennial and will highlight Indiana’s achievements, ingenuity and influence and give generations of Hoosiers the opportunity to honor the state’s heritage while also looking towards Indiana’s future.
“Just 100 days remain until the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay kicks off in Corydon, and excitement continues to build in counties all across the state,” said Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb. “Visit Indiana, our partners and hundreds of Hoosier volunteers are working hard to ensure a safe, historic, and fun celebration of Indiana’s first 200 years!”
Recently, Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) took delivery of five of the ten Indiana-made Subaru vehicles that will comprise the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay caravan. Last year, Subaru of Indiana Automotive became the official vehicle provider of the torch caravan. The Indiana-made Subaru Outbacks will be festooned with torch-related emblems and will escort the torch and transport personnel and equipment on the journey (see accompanying photograph). The vehicles will also be used to support promotional activities and marketing efforts before the relay begins.
In the coming weeks, IOTD and county coordinating committees will announce which Hoosiers have been selected to be torchbearers. Over 4,000 torchbearer nominations were submitted by the public. 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. Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance will sponsor the uniforms worn by torchbearers, staff and volunteers during the relay.
Earlier this year, IOTD and Lt. Governor Holcomb unveiled the route that the nearly 2,200 torchbearers will follow during the six-week relay this fall. Along the way, the torch will touch 260 cities and towns, 17 state and national parks, nine lakes and rivers, 27 sites of historic significance, 22 colleges and universities and dozens of important Hoosier landmarks and destinations. The torch relay route map can be found here. Route maps for all 92 counties are also available on that page. The schedule for the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay can be found here.
“The torch relay is bringing together public, private and non-profit organizations as well as hundreds of Hoosier volunteers,” said Mark Newman, IOTD executive director. “We are grateful to our sponsoring partners and to everyone that is working hard to make this showcase of Hoosier pride a memorable event. These 100 days will fly by and I’m excited to see the kickoff event in Corydon on September 9.”
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 torchbearer to torchbearer. 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.
The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will start September 9 in Corydon, Indiana’s first state capital, and will 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 the future of the state. State Police personnel will provide logistical support and escort the torch caravan over the course of the relay.