Bartholomew County is joining in the state’s 200th birthday party.
So far, 13 local projects have been added to a statewide list of officially-designated Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Projects. That includes four which were approved earlier this year.
The Indiana Bicentennial Commission has spent the last three years searching for projects which celebrate not only Indiana history, but the state’s natural beauty and hopeful future, said Lynn Lucas, the commission’s Bartholomew County coordinator.
Hope Heritage Days, one of the largest and oldest multi-day festivals in Indiana, has been selected, Lucas said.
The festival will focus heavily on expanding its Pioneer Village display in a combined celebration of the bicentennial and the fair’s 49th anniversary.
The annual event will include many of the same activities seen in previous years, said Randy Sims, who is organizing the Hope festival. Everything, especially in the Pioneer Village, will be bigger and more immersive, he said. There will be candle makers, tinsmiths, woodworkers and blacksmiths, all there to educate about the earliest days of Indiana history.
The Bartholomew County 4-H Fair will feature pioneer era re-enactors at the fair this year, another project selected by the commission. The fair also will feature displays of farm equipment and school materials from Indiana’s past.
The local Joseph Hart chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will offer residents a chance to show their bicentennial pride by selling small lapel pins emblazoned with the state’s bicentennial crest. The crest is an image of Indiana over a banner reading 1816 on the left and 2016 on the right.
The group also plans a separate legacy project involving a choir of fourth through sixth graders from all area elementary schools, who will sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the local closing ceremonies of the Bicentennial Torch Relay at the Bartholomew County Library plaza.
The elementary choir is part of a wider celebration involving a marathon of different torch bearers carrying a torch through each of Indiana’s counties. These will not all be runners or walkers, Lucas said. Some participants will drive vintage automobiles, an homage to Indiana’s motoring history, she said.
Statewide, 1,058 projects have so far been designated Bicentennial Legacy projects by the IBC. The selection process started in 2013 and will continue until the end of 2016, with new projects emerging throughout the year, Lucas said.
Previously selected Batholomew County projects involve established events including the annual Ethnic Expo in Columbus and new projects such as an exhibition on farming history at the Bartholomew County Historical Society.
- Race2Play – Columbus Park Foundation and Columbus Parks and Recreation
- Revitalization of historical Hope Town Square – Town of Hope
- Mill Race Marathon and Health and Fitness Expo – Cummins, MainSource Bank, Columbus Regional Health, SIHO
- Spring on the Farm – Bartholomew County Historical Society
- Saturday Sampler Programs – Bartholomew County Historical Society
- Vintage Spirits – History and Hooch of Bartholomew County – Bartholomew County Historical Society
- The Empire Strikes Back- A Bicentennial Celebration of Indiana Fashion – Bartholomew County Historical Society
- Bicentennial Hat Making – Bartholomew County Historical Society
- Ethnic Expo – City of Columbus
- Student choir singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana” – Daughters of the American Revolution
- Bicentennial Lapel Pins – Daughters of the American Revolution
- Bartholomew County 4-H Fair historical exhibitions- Bartholomew County 4-H Fair Board
- Hope Heritage Days Pioneer Village – Heritage of Hope