On Friday, the state of Indiana turns 199 years old and Washington County will be helping celebrate with activities on the Courthouse lawn beginning at 1p.
The anniversary marks the day President James Madison signed an act admitting Indiana as the 19th state of the Union.
This year, the date also marks the beginning of Indiana’s bicentennial festivities.
Washington County Auditor Randall Bills is helping keep the local committee going after the death of John Fultz. “John was involved in a little bit of everything and he was spearheading this. He was in poor health but still had a passion for doing this,” said Bills, who has been working with a local committee to organize the event on Friday that will include the reading of a proclamation acknowledging Dec. 11 as Indiana Statehood Day and the official kickoff of the bicentennial.
The flag of the bicentennial celebrations will be flown outside the courthouse throughout 2016.
Aside from flags and proclamations, Washington County is planning its part in the statewide celebrations, sharing the history of its cities and towns, lauding local community events and participating in a 92-county torch relay.
Of the programs planned by the state, the Bicentennial Legacy Events will do the most to help Washington County boost awareness of the activities and events that will take place here,Bills said.
Events such as Goshen First Fridays, the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival and theElkhart County 4-H Fair will be promoted throughout the state, which Coyne said will highlight the county’s tourism offerings.
The 92-county Torch Relay will start Sept. 9, and torchbearers will make their way through the state up until Oct. 14. Washington will host the torch on the 17th stop — the torch starts off in Corydon and winds through Southern Indiana and comes from Jackson County down 135 into Salem and then moves on into Floyd and Clark County.
Bills said organizers are still looking for torchbearers to represent the county. Nominations from the public are being accepted through Dec. 31, and Bills said he encourages residents to nominate anyone who has demonstrated public service, excellence in their profession and acts of heroism or volunteer service.
Youth/Education, Historical/Celebration, Conservation and
Nomination forms can be picked up at City Hall and filled out online at http://www.in.gov/ibc/torchrelay/