Starke County Bicentennial Committee Finalizes Torch Relay Route

Indiana BicentennialPlans are moving ahead for Starke County’s celebration of the state’s bicentennial next year.

During its meeting Tuesday, the Starke County Bicentennial Committee received approval to share the details of the bicentennial torch relay route. Chairman Dave Pearman says the torch will pass through the county Friday, October 7 between 4:30 and 7:00 p.m., “It’s going to begin in the area of Bass Lake. It’ll go down State Road 10. At State Road 10 and the North Judson Trail, it’ll actually diverge then, and the torch will travel on one of the trains from the train museum.”

Once residents have a chance to meet the train at the museum, the torch will head toward Knox, “From there, we’ll make our way to 300 East in Knox and then start a little bit slower cadence and begin the torch route again on 300 East. Moving through to the river where it meets at 300 East just past the Industrial Park, the torch will join a boat and will arrive by boat into the park to a great deal of fanfare.” At that point, the relay will meet up with a youth relay taking place in the park for the celebration’s grand finale.

Pearman says the committee’s still looking for nominations for torchbearers, “It’s been fairly slow. We’ve got about a half a dozen so far, but one of the things I’ve been telling the state is that we’re not super-nervous about that in Starke County. We’ve got a great committee put together. Also, the deadline has been extended from December 31, 2015 to January 31, 2016, and so essentially what will happen is that our committee will also be involved in selection and recommendation, so we’re not really concerned about the lack of nominations at this point.”

Nominations can be turned in at local libraries, the chamber of commerce, or the Indiana Bicentennial: Starke County Facebook page.

The Bicentennial Committee’s also finalizing plans for its fund-raising efforts for the celebration. During Tuesday’s meeting, they worked on commemorative artwork that will appear on place mats in local restaurants. The committee’s also getting prices from print shops and asking businesses to advertise in the place mats. They plan to have them, along with the rest of their marketing program, ready to launch in January.

Pearman also says a special bicentennial flag has been given to the county to fly at the courthouse on December 11.