The entire year, Indiana has been celebrating its bicentennial. There have been many ways that we have been celebrating this amazing milestone in our state’s history. The Legacy Projects, the official Bicentennial Legacy Events and coming up this weekend, the Bicentennial Torch Relay, have all been a part of this celebration.
The Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) kicks off The Bicentennial Torch Relay Sept. 9 in Corydon, the state’s first capital. For almost six weeks, the torch will be carried through all 92 of Indiana’s counties. It will pass by 17 state and national parks, nine lakes and rivers and 27 national, state and local historic sites. The relay will end in Indianapolis on the Statehouse campus, where an Everlasting Light will be lit as a legacy to Indiana’s last 200 years.
The torch, which is similar to the Olympic Torch in concept, was designed and built through a partnership between Alcoa Forgings and Extrusions in Lafayette and Purdue University engineering students. Their goal was to build a lightweight, high-tech torch for the Indiana Bicentennial Torch relay,
In Warrick County, we have 24 individuals who were nominated to carry the torch over 28.1 miles of byways. Jim Moore, a Newburgh resident will be driving his 54 Plymouth Belvedere for those who will not be walking or running. After WWII until 1959, the Beleveder auto was made in Evansville.
Locally, the Town of Newburgh will be represented by eight individuals. Near the Newburgh Veterans Monument at 1:52 p.m., Marine Cpl. Erik Goodge, Afghanistan veteran, will be handed the torch and will run to Myrtle Ridge Cemetery. This amazing guy was seriously injured during his tour of duty. He runs marathons and is finishing his education at University of Evansville. Erik will pass along the torch to his very proud mother, Kathryn Kellems.
Moving south along State Street, Kathryn will pass the torch to Myra Teal. Teal will walk by her Edward Jones Office on State Street and hand off the torch to me at the corner of State and Jennings. At approximately 2:07, I will carry the torch to Jennings Station and pass the torch to Lisa Gish. She is a nurse of many accomplishments.
Gish will continue south on Market Street and west on Water Street to Plum. At that point, Gish will hand the torch to Randy Wheeler, longtime resident and community volunteer of Newburgh. He will carry the torch over the historic bridge, which is part of the Rivertown Trail to the Gene Aurand Trail Head. Jack Pate will be carrying the torch to Ellerbush Road.
The entire community is encouraged to cheer on our relay participants Saturday afternoon. I know it will warm my heart to see people along the sidewalks of West Jennings as I carry the torch. At 2:24 p.m., people will gather at the Gene Aurand Trail Head. The Old Dam Band will be playing and we will have a collective celebration of our Newburgh participation in this historic relay.