By: Rachel Hill Ponko—
Indianapolis, IN—A project that touched each of Indiana’s 92 counties is the winner of a statewide award. The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) presented the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) with its 2017 Bicentennial Collaborative Project Award for the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay.
The Torch Relay, modeled after the Olympic Torch Relay, traveled more than 3,200 miles and engaged 2,242 Hoosiers, ages 4 to 106, as torchbearers. The route, designed by IOTD, highlighted the best of what Indiana has to offer, from tourist destinations and historic sites to parks and universities.
As the torch crossed the state, IOTD worked alongside local leaders to organize free events that encouraged Hoosiers to come together to celebrate Indiana’s 200 years of statehood.
“Accolades poured in the day of the event and continued in the following months,” writes Kean MacOwan, president of the White County Historical Society, in a letter of support for the project’s nomination. “This event would never have become reality without the guidance and assistance from the state team.”
“The Torch Relay was an accessible celebration for all Hoosiers and deeply symbolic of the spirit that brings us together,” states Chris Flook, president of the Delaware County Historical Society. “IOTD put together and successfully pulled off one of the greatest celebratory events in Indiana’s history, one that will be remembered, written about and discussed for the next 100 years.”
IOTD will receive its award for the Torch Relay at IHS’s annual Founders Day dinner on Monday, Nov. 6, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.
The event, sponsored by Hirtle, Callaghan & Co., celebrates the accomplishments of historians, teachers, writers and businesses from around the state, as well as the work of IHS.
For more information on this event and other IHS programs, call (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.
About the Indiana Historical Society
Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor experiences called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.