Torch Relay

Bicentennial Experience coming to Torch Relay

Bicentennial Experience coming to Torch Relay

A new element, introduced by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, will add to the Bicentennial celebration duringthe Torch Relay at Pokagon State Park Sunday, Oct. 2. 

The Bicentennial Experience is a 10-ft. traveling vehicleexhibiting Indiana history, artifacts and legends. 

This mobile visitors center will be stopping at various counties during the Torch Relay.

The Bicentennial Experience has six different exhibit areas highlighting different aspects of the state’s history. 

Indiana Treasures displays natural resources and landscapes, and an interactive touchscreen invites the public to dig deeper into Indiana’s environments.

Crucial people who have helped Indiana thrive as a state are highlighted in the Indiana Leads exhibit, and Indiana Grows displays the state’s unmatched agricultural heritage.

The public can meet important Hoosiers through an interactive touchscreen in the Indiana Inspires exhibit. 

Indiana Innovates is an artifact display case that shows items invented by Hoosiers, while the last exhibit, Indiana Unites, features a video that shows Indiana’s virtues and a spirit of community throughout the state.

The Bicentennial Experience will be located in the Potawatomi Inn parking lot during the Torch Relay.

Copy of letter from Governor to Torchbearers

Copy of letter from Governor to Torchbearers

Congratulations! You have been selected for the once-in- a-lifetime opportunity to be a torchbearer during the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay this fall. Torchbearers are Hoosiers who demonstrate exceptional public service, excellence in their profession, acts of heroism or volunteer service to their neighborhood, community, region, or state.

An exclusive group of just over 2,200 Hoosiers will pass the torch along a 3,200 mile route through each of Indiana’s 92 counties. The Relay will touch 260 cities and towns, 17 state and national parks, 9 lakes and rivers, 27 national, state, and local sites of historic significance, and dozens of important Indiana attractions.

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is an initiative of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development and is one of the premiere celebrations of Indiana’s Bicentennial. The Relay is an opportunity to honor Indiana’s first 200 years, while also looking forward and symbolically “passing the torch” to future generations of Hoosiers. The Relay begins on September 9 in Corydon, Indiana’s first state capital, and culminates on October 15 with a celebration on the grounds of the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay represents a special opportunity to showcase the beauty, charm, and far-reaching impact of the Hoosier state. From our Lake Michigan shoreline to the rolling hills along the Ohio River, Indiana is full of extraordinary people, places and achievements. We hope you will accept this historic opportunity to join us for Indiana’s monumental celebration. Please review page two of this letter for next steps in finalizing your participation as a torchbearer.

Congratulations on being selected as a torchbearer for the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay and our continued thanks for all you do for Indiana.

How are we Celebrating in Steuben County?

How are we Celebrating in Steuben County?

What are we doing to celebrate the Torch Relay in Steuben County?  Click on the PDF below, to find out.

How Torchbearers were Selected

How Torchbearers were Selected

 In Steuben County, there were 39 nominations for torchbearers. Each county is allowed up to 20.  Torchbearer nominations were promoted for three months on social media, along with three newspaper and radio stories letting residents know about the program.

The nominations were received by the Steuben County Tourism Bureau and the state. The tourism bureau and its staff, one of whom serves as the Bicentennial Coordinator, did not complete any applications, nor did they make any recommendations.

The nominations came solely from community response, driven by local media reports and social media.  There are no funds being provided by the state to fund Bicentennial activities, with the exception of uniforms for the torchbearers.  A local judging committee narrowed the nominations down for final state approval. A quantitative judging system was utilized, and each nomination was assigned a score in categories developed by the state.

The judges were:

Ted Bohman, Property Manager, Pokagon State Park

Jennifer Danic, Executive Director, Steuben County Community Foundation

David Koenig, Executive Director, Steuben County Economic Development Corporation

Ron Smith, Steuben County Commissioner

Vivian Likes, City of Angola Economic Development and Planning

Each judge was provided a copy of every nomination and a scoring sheet. Categories for scoring included: residency, service, achievement and recognition.  Each category was worth a total of eight points. Point allocation was provided by the state.  As an example, lifetime residency was worth 7-8 points, while less than four years was worth 0-2 points.  Judges assigned points to each nomination during a three-hour process.

The scoring sheets were totaled at the tourism bureau. The scores were entered into an excel sheet provided by the state and turned in for review.  Selected torchbearers will receive a letter from the state sometime in June.




July 2016 Torchbearer Update

July 2016 Torchbearer Update


1. The state will send them to the tourism bureau, 430 N. Wayne St., Suite 1B, Angola. The date range

for delivery is between Aug. 1-25.

2. The state will put a list of all the information they collected on the registration site in the box of uniforms, which will include the size everyone requested.

3. This same information was provided to the apparel provider.

4. According to the state, they do not anticipate any issues with the uniforms and may not be able to accommodate size exchange, if the torchbearer is provided with the size the requested. If the uniform runs larger or if the torchbearer thought it was a women’s size vs. a unisex size, then the state cannot accommodate them.

5. The jackets were manufactured in the state of Indiana.

6. Everyone will receive an e-mail when the uniforms arrive. Pick-up times will be arranged.


1. The approximate six-mile route will go through Trine State Recreation Area and Pokagon State Park.

2. The route is being staged by Pokagon State Park Property Manager Ted Bohman.

3. Please e-mail to tell us how far you are willing/able to travel on foot with the torch, by Aug. 1 so Ted Bohman can begin to stage the route.

State Torch Training

1. There will be state-sponsored training sessions on how to use the torch.

2. The dates have not been announced. They will be regionally-based, not local. As of today (July 25) the tourism bureau does not have this information.

3. We do not believe this training is mandatory.

Bicentennial Celebration

1. Sunday, Oct. 2 at noon

2. Following the relay there will be cake and ice cream on the Potawatomi Inn sundeck, along with a celebration of the centennial of the Indiana State Parks.


1. We are working on a program for the celebration. 

Received at 11:05 a.m. on Monday June 27, from the State of Indiana

Received at 11:05 a.m. on Monday June 27, from the State of Indiana


Media Advisory

Your Are Invited: 

Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay Press Conference 


WHAT:      Press conference revealing the names of over 2,200 Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay torchbearers. Four participants will also unveil the torchbearers’ official uniforms.

Onsite promotional booth will include a by-the-numbers Relay overview, social media opportunities and special props.

WHO:         Speakers & Guests include:

  • Indiana Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb
  • Mark Newman, Executive Director, Indiana Office of Tourism Development
  • Kim Smith, President and CEO, Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance
  • Noelle Szydlyk, State Director, Bicentennial Torch Relay
  • Torchbearers from across the state of Indiana

WHEN:      Wednesday, June 29 at 10:00 a.m.

Join us for the press conference followed by photo and interview opportunities

WHERE:    South steps of the Indiana Statehouse (200 W. Washington St.)

In case of inclement weather, press conference will move to south atrium located inside the Indiana Statehouse.

To follow the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay on social media, visit INTorchRelay on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.


BTRAbout the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay:
The Indiana Bicentennial Torch relay is designed to inspire and unify Hoosiers as one of the major commemorative events of the 2016 Bicentennial celebration. The over 2,200 community-nominated torchbearers will pass the torch throughout 92 counties, symbolically connecting generations to “ignite” Indiana’s future. For more information about the Torch Relay, visit

H2GAbout Indiana Office of Tourism Development:
Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb oversees the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD). Mark Newman serves as the agency's executive director. IOTD is dedicated to enhancing the economic vitality of Indiana through leadership and resource support to the Indiana travel industry. The tourism and hospitality industry is the sixth largest industry in the state, is directly responsible for 144,200 jobs, generates over $2.25 billion in tax receipts and contributes $10.7 billion in revenue to Indiana businesses. 

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will start on Sept. 9 in Corydon, Indiana’s first state capitol. The Torch Relay is an initiative of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development and is an opportunity to honor and celebrate 200 years of Indiana’s statehood.

It is one of the primary events celebrating Indiana’s Bicentennial.

Hoosiers throughout Indiana will pass the torch across a 3,200 mile route traveling through the 92 counties in Indiana. The Relay will pass through significant attractions and landmarks throughout Indiana, including 260 cities, 17 state and national parks, nine lakes and rivers and 27 national, state and local sites of historical importance.

The metaphorical and literal passing of the torch will allow past and present generations to appreciate Indiana’s beauty and history while introducing future generations of Hoosiers to the significance and splendor of Indiana.

Torchbearers for The Relay were selected because of their exceptional public service, professional performance, heroism or volunteer work in their neighborhood, city, county or state.  

The Relay concludes on Oct. 15 with a festivity at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

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    (260) 665-5386
Torch Relay Route

Torch Relay Route

The torch relay route for Steuben County meanders through Trine State Recreation Area and Pokagon State Park. Not only is it the Bicentennial of our great state, but it is the Centennial of the Indiana State Parks System. Steuben County’s relay will celebrate both Sunday, October 2, 2016.

Click here for Route Map.

Click here to learn more about the history of the Indiana State Parks.


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Torch Relay to be Fun For All

Torch Relay to be Fun For All

Prizes, birthday cake, ice cream and a celebration of Indiana – who could say no to that?

All this and more will take place at The Torch Relay for Indiana’s Bicentennial, starting Sept. 9 in Corydon. It will be the premiere event celebrating Indiana’s 200-year history.

This historic event will go through Trine State Recreation Area and Pokagon State Park on Sunday, Oct. 2.

Admittance to the park will be free, which provides a great opportunity for the public to get involved in the celebration and see the beauty of the park themselves.

A 50-by-100 ft. mobile visitor center footprint covering all of the state will be displayed in the Potawatomi Inn and Restaurant parking lot, allowing the public to view the entire state’s relay route.

Twenty torchbearers nominated by individuals in the county will pass the torch to each other, allowing past and present generations to collectively take part in the state’s celebration.

Each torchbearer will be transported to their spot in the park on gators, which will be driven by park staff as a way of commemorating their acts of service, heroism or volunteer work.

Torchbearers and community members alike will be directed through the park by signs along the route, personalized for every torchbearer.  

The Relay, which is staged by Pokagon State Park Property Manager Ted Bohman, is also a celebration for the centennial of the state park system.

Prizes for children and adults will be donated from local businesses.

People of all ages will be able to enjoy cake and ice cream on the sundeck at the Potawatomi Inn and Restaurant.  

A number of different organizations are involved in the planning of the event, including the Steuben County Tourism Bureau, Pokagon State Park, the Steuben County Economic Development Corporation, Potawatomi Inn, KPC Media Group, the county historian, the City of Angola, the Angola Area Chamber of Commerce, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Orland Chamber of Commerce.

June Julien, executive director of the Steuben County Tourism Bureau and Steuben County Bicentennial Coordinator, said she is excited for members of the community to be involved in the Bicentennial celebration.

“People can come out, get some fresh air, eat some cake and take part in something historic,” she said. “It’s a great chance for families and community members to experience the history of Indiana.”

Julien said the relay can also inspire future generations to serve their community, much like the previous generations have done before them.

“Parents can tell their kids, ‘Look, these people have helped shape our county and state, and you can, too.’”   

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  • Telephone
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