Indiana Bicentennial Torch

Indiana Bicentennial torch

Indiana State CapitalI was recently in our state’s capital with my daughter, who was paging in the senate (very neat opportunity — look into it if you’re a Hoosier and have a teen).

So, during one of my many trips back and forth through the (pretty cool) underground tunnel connecting the capitol building with the government offices building, I was greeted by a friendly man. Turns out he was Perry Hammock, who is the director of the Indiana Bicentennial Commision. He was carrying a torch, and asked if I’d like to hold it and pose for a photo.

A torch, you ask? Well, look at Indiana’s state flag — it features a torch:

Indiana flag

In case you didn’t know, Indiana is celebrating its bicentennial of statehood this year (it became a state December 11, 1816).

So, it’s probably an easy choice to create a torch as a major part of the celebrations.

Similar to the Olympic torch and its journeys, Indiana’s torch will be carried by nominated torchbearers through all 92 Indiana counties during a relay this summer. It will cover 2300 miles, averaging 72 miles a day, and over 1800 Hoosiers will carry it. Watch the news from September 9 through October 15 to follow its journey across the state.

The torch itself is amazing to learn more about, too. What I’m holding in the photo is just a model of the actual torch, which will be super high tech and was designed by — wait for it — a team of Purdue engineering students. It will be fueled by Indiana-made biofuel (part E-85 and part biodiesel), and will contain a GPS so you can track its progress as it travels. This being 2016, it will contain a high-def camera, the easier to share photos on social media (here is the torch’s facebook page!). It can hook up to wi-fi too, when that is available. A smaller, child-friendly torch will be developed as well.

This was the first time I’d heard about the torch, but now it will be on my radar. Have you heard about the torch? Will you be watching its progress?

Torch Relay website




6 thoughts on “Indiana Bicentennial Torch

  1. Having been born and raised in southern Indiana, I am very interested in this post. I still get my hometown paper twice a week and have read nothing about this. Maybe I missed it. I will watch carefully now that I am aware. The picture is great!

  2. No idea there was a torch! I did go thru the train at the State Fair last summer though. I also have to remind myself that for seven years I’ve lived in Ohio–lol. No clue about Ohio history.

  3. I have heard about it but I retained very little of what I heard. I think it is exciting Indiana will be celebrating this event. I just got a new license plate for my car and it features Indiana’s Bicentennial. I wonder if schools will make a big deal about it. I am sure the more affluent schools will. I looked at a calendar and it appears to fall on a Sunday. It was cool that you met Perry Hammock and that he gave you the opportunity to hold the torch and offered to take your picture, even! Every day there are cool opportunities for everybody from the President to our town’s dog catcher. Some of us avail ourselves of them while others just pass them by. And, that makes all the difference!

  4. Yes, I have been hearing about the passing of the torch throughout the 92 counties of IN for several months now. It is a big deal in my hometown of Roanoke, IN because it will pass through here in late September. All or the Roanoke Elementary School students will be there to watch the torch coming to our small town with only 1 stoplight! I think most schools will pay attention to the Bicentennial, especially in 4th grade for IN history, and hopefully in middle school and high school, too. HNHS has already had one convocation when the Abraham Lincoln portrayer was in town on Feb. 12. He also spent a whole day at Lincoln Elementary in Huntington doing Lincoln projects with those students.

  5. I’d love to follow the torch’s progress, etc. But will that be possible since I live out of state? Glad you had that opportunity.

  6. This is a follow-up to my post on 2/26. I got the latest issue of my hometown newspaper and found an article entitled Bicentennial Commission Announces Online Market. It says that the Marketplace is an online store where Indiana businesses and artisans can sell commemorative products that celebrate this historic year. The Marketplace is housed on the Bicentennial website:

    All of the Indiana-made items are listed on the site with a picture, description, and contact information as well as a link to the seller. All purchases are made directly between the buyer and seller; the Marketplace simply showcases the items.

    Executive Director, Perry Hammock, said “This is a great way to highlight small business owners and artists in Indiana. There’s no better way to celebrate our state than to support Hoosier artisans and craftspeople.”

    For businesses interested in being part of the marketplace, contact:

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