Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Public invited to nominate torchbearers

Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Indiana’s Bicentennial Celebration for 2016 will include a traveling torch created by Purdue University. The torch will travel throughout Indiana, and Huntington County will help celebrate the 200 year anniversary of the state of Indiana on Friday, September 30, 2016, when the torch travels through the area for three hours, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will start in Corydon, Indiana’s first state capitol, on September 9, 2016 and cover 2,300 miles, reaching Huntington County September 30. The relay will culminate on October 15, 2016 on the grounds of the statehouse in Indianapolis, and is designed to connect Hoosiers across the 92 counties in the state during the bicentennial year.

Torchbearers from Huntington County will be needed to help transport the Bicentennial torch through Huntington County and bring it to the county celebration. Torchbearers will be nominated on a set of criteria, and selected by a committee formed by the state of Indiana, which will review the submitted nomination forms. Local individuals are invited to nominate a torchbearer from our area. The nomination period ends on December 31, 2015.

A torch is the centerpiece of the state flag; representing liberty, enlightenment and Indiana’s far-reaching influence. The torch will be primarily transported by people, passing the flame from torchbearer to torchbearer symbolically ‘passing the torch’ to future generations of Hoosiers. The relay will also employ modes of conveyance that are symbolic of the history and heritage of Indiana, including watercraft, farm equipment, a race car, horse and wagon, antique automobiles and more.

The state will provide torchbearer uniforms to those who help transport the torch across Huntington County. Nominees must be able to physically help to transport the torch at least a quarter of a mile and be a current or former resident of Indiana. Hoosiers may be nominated posthumously and a substitute torchbearer can be submitted to carry the torch on behalf of the nominee. Torchbearers can be any age, but minors will have additional youth torchbearer criteria. A background check is required and nominees must not have a criminal record. There are no restrictions on the number of nominations from any one person. Incomplete, anonymous or self-nomination forms will not be accepted.

Torchbearer nominations recognize Hoosiers who demonstrate exceptional public service, excellence in their profession, acts of heroism or volunteer service to their neighborhood, community, region or state. Torchbearers must meet one of the following criteria: have achieved personal and/or professional excellence or celebrity status; nurture their community through service, stewardship and involvement; and have made an outstanding contribution to their neighborhood, community, region or state.

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, Indiana Office of Tourism Development, said “Being selected as an Indiana Torch Relay torchbearer is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Hoosiers.”

Huntington County Coordinator of the Huntington County Bicentennial Committee, Steve Kimmel, stated, “We are honored to carry the torch through Huntington County to help celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the state of Indiana.”

Additional Huntington County activities centered on the state’s anniversary are scheduled for the torch relay day, and throughout 2016 by various organizations. The Historic Forks of the Wabash Park has representatives on the local Bicentennial Committee, and the steering committee of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce for Heritage Days plans to focus the 2016 celebration on 200 years of Indiana. Also included are the City of Huntington, LaFontaine Arts Council, the Historical Museum, the Huntington County Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Huntington County Community School Corporation.

Gib Young, of the Huntington County Historical Society, said his group will help to bring Indiana history alive in all its many facets to the people of our community through a State Bicentennial Legacy Project. He stated, “It will remind us that we are Hoosiers every bit as proud and aware of that identity as any other county in the state. Our heritage with rivers, railroads, automobiles, soldiers, sailors, airmen, tinkerers and inventors makes ‘we Hoosiers’ part of even richer state. And we should blow our horn about it from time to time.”

Four programs are scheduled by the Historical Society throughout the year to help the community see that the state history spans 200 years in the form of great leaders. Abraham Lincoln, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter and James Whitcomb Riley will be showcased in the speaker’s series coordinated by the Historical Society to be held at the Historic Forks of the Wabash Park.

The torchbearer nomination form and a complete list of torchbearer criteria are available at the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay website, Nomination forms are also available at the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce, 305 Warren Street, and must be returned to the Huntington County Chamber office by December 31, 2015. The form requires basic information about both the nominee and nominator and the county they represent.

For more information about the Indiana State Bicentennial celebration for 2016 in Huntington County follow Indiana Bicentennial 2016 Huntington County on Facebook. To learn more about Indiana’s state celebration visit