INDIANAPOLIS – The culmination of a 37 day journey took place Saturday at the Indiana Statehouse during the Hoosier Homecoming celebration. The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay
was developed by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development
(IOTD) to inspire and unify Hoosiers as one of the major commemorative events of the 2016 Bicentennial celebration.
"The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay was one event, with hundreds of special moments, carried out by thousands of Hoosiers from all walks of life," said Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb, who oversees IOTD. "As we conclude this unifying celebration of Indiana's first 200 years, we pass the torch and begin writing the next chapter of Indiana's story.”
The torch began the final leg of its journey this morning with two hot laps at 120 MPH around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
with former IndyCar driver and team owner, Sarah Fisher, at the wheel. It then took to the streets of Marion County. The torch passed by Robert Indiana’s original LOVE sculpture, past the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
, the historic Madame Walker Theatre
, the Indiana War Memorial
, and many other points of historic significance to our capital city and state. For more on this leg of the relay click here
In a sea of Hoosiers, distinguished guests and many torchbearers, the torch arrived at the Statehouse grounds on the Robert Orr Plaza, escorted by Indiana State Police,
the Bicentennial Torch Relay team and Sarah Fisher in her specially decorated, bicentennial two-seater IndyCar.
Three Marion County torchbearers walked the torch to the cauldron on stage, symbolizing how the flame of the torch was preserved since it was first light in Corydon on September 9th.
A choir, dancers and gymnasts performed as the everlasting light for Indiana was illuminated in one of the two dedicated public art pieces, called Lux Aeterna (Eternal Light), by New York artist Osman Akan. The sculpture is part of the new Bicentennial Plaza
located on the west side of the statehouse grounds. The everlasting light will serve as an homage to the state's first 200 years and an inspiration for generations of Hoosiers to come. It is resistant to harsh weather conditions, accessible to all, and will remain illuminated 365 days per year.
“I hope that when people visit this place and gaze upon this lovely sculpture with its everlasting light for Indiana, they reflect on our state's proud place in history and imagine boldly its future,” said Mark Newman, executive director of IOTD
IOTD corporate partners who shared in the our vision in this project include: Alcoa
, which provided the materials and machining for the Purdue
-designed torch exterior; Indiana Farmers Insurance
, the official outfitters of the relay uniforms; Subaru of Indiana Automotive
, provided their popular Outback model to serve as the official vehicle of the relay caravan; Indy Racing Experience
, the fabricator of The Bicentennial Experience
(BEx); Sensory Technologies
developers of the technology inside The Bicentennial Experience; Cummins
provided an electrical power generator for BEx; Hoosier Pattern
, provided materials for the flameless torch; and Indiana Corn Marketing Council
, provided the selfie station.
Hoosier Homecoming was a free, family fun and learning event held in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, which brought Hoosiers together from all communities across Indiana. Bicentennial Plaza
and the Statehouse Education Center
in the State Library were dedicated before the culmination of the Bicentennial Torch Relay
Pictures, video and stories of the entire relay by Ball State University
, the official photographers and videographers of the relay, can be found here