Columbus is about to welcome visitors by proclaiming in signage that the city is home to Mike Pence, who becomes vice president Jan. 20.

A sign has been ordered with a welcome message to be placed on the west side, visible to those driving east into the city along Jonathan Moore Pike, Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop said.

The Pence sign will be placed on the existing framework of signs already posted along the roadway. Those say Columbus is the home of three-time NASCAR driving champion and team owner Tony Stewart, as well as the singing group The Four Freshmen.

Former Mayor Kristen Brown had asked for a welcome sign noting that Columbus is also the home of Chuck Taylor, who created the world-famous Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers. However, that sign never materialized after sending the design to parent Converse for approval two years ago.

Lienhoop is hoping the city will receive INDOT approval to have the Pence sign, which has been ordered, in place on Jan. 20, the day Pence is inaugurated as vice president in Washington, D.C., he said.

The city also has asked the federal government for permission to place the vice presidential seal on the Pence sign, Lienhoop said.

Lienhoop said he is planning to attend the inauguration along with a group of Bartholomew County Republicans who are organizing a trip to Washington, D.C. for the event.

The mayor is paying his own way but also will be attending a mayor’s conference in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the inauguration.

“It’s just an exciting thing to have a native son reach that national office,” Lienhoop said. “We want to be there to cheer Mike on.”

Lienhoop then paused and added, “I have to catch myself — I keep wanting to refer to him as Mike,” the mayor said. “I really need to say Mr. Vice President.”

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.