Indiana Bicentennial celebrations kick off in Fort Wayne

On December 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19th state in the Union. With the Hoosier State getting ready to turn the two-century mark next year, celebrations were happening Friday from the original state capital in Vincennes to Indianapolis and even right here in Fort Wayne. It was a historic occasion. After all, Indiana will only turn 200 once!

At noon on Friday, the Allen County Board of Commissioners, Mayor Tom Henry, and others gathered to raise the official Bicentennial flag over the historic Allen County Courthouse. This flag will fly throughout the next year downtown. And not just in Fort Wayne. In fact, this Bicentennial flag is now flying in each of the 92 counties in Indiana.

Folks with the Indiana Bicentennial Commission will be partnering with many in the community over the upcoming year for Bicentennial related or themed events, including celebrations at the 2016 Three Rivers Festival, a TinCaps game, a statewide torch relay, and many more. Curt Witcher, Allen County Bicentennial Coordinator commented on the importance of this anniversary to Fort Wayne and our state:

At these really major anniversaries, it really gives us a chance to look back. And I think, in our busy society, we don’t have many opportunities to really entice us to look back. Look back means we look and see and have an appreciation for the past, but it’s not just that. What we see and appreciate in the past, that sparks new ideas and creativity and helps us think about the future.

This is just the beginning of a year of events that celebrate Indiana’s 200th birthday. For Allen County events, visit allencounty200.org. For a look at the statewide celebration, visit indiana2016.org.

Beginning in January 2016, look for a “Bicentennial Minute” each week on WANE-TV that will spotlight Hoosier history.

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