Two hundred years demands quite a celebration for the state of Indiana. And fortunately, a couple members of the Spencer County community were able to go up to Indianapolis to help celebrate over the weekend.
Diane and Connie were vital in our local celebrations for the state’s birthday and were able to represent Spencer County at Indiana’s big birthday bash. We caught up with Diane to get the details on the spectacular festivities:
- Tell us about the celebration…
After entering through a grand white tent to check in, we were greeted by a scene of black ties and sequined gowns of all variety. Everyone was enjoying cocktails, light conversation, and photos.
The curtains opened promptly at 6:30 pm to a dimly lit auditorium where we searched for our table number. The dinner tables were beautiful with lavish centerpieces of yellow roses and sparkling colors of blue and gold that were spiked with shimmering silver.
We sat with other county coordinators exchanging stories and listening to dinner music from Gregg Bacon, an Indiana native and Jazz legend, while enjoying an appetizing meal centered on Bison tenderloin. The evening concluded with a performance from Jon McLaughlin, an Indiana native and national recording artist.
- What does it mean to you to be able to attend the state’s Bicentennial celebration?
I have been immersed in the Indiana Bicentennial Commission’s celebration since early 2016 when I sat in on the Spencer County planning committee.
I loved every minute of the planning of unique and varied celebrations throughout the county, the Legacy Projects that were approved, and the Final Celebration and Torch Relay. Seeing the exuberance of all the Torchbearers before, during and after the Torch Relay has been above and beyond expectations.
I was given the honor of representing Spencer County at the Bicentennial Gala Indiana State Fairgrounds via Melissa Brockman, Director of the Spencer County Visitors Bureau. I thank her and her staff from the bottom of my heart for allowing me this opportunity.
- What was your absolute favorite part from the celebration?
Well, I did not know Vice-President-elect and Governor of Indiana Mike Pence was a speaker that night but we ran right into his entourage. It was neat to see the entourage of blazing police cars enter the fairgrounds.
First Lady Karen Pence, Indiana Bicentennial Ambassador, shared the podium with her husband and cried as she spoke of the Indiana Bicentennial and how sad to see it some to an end. I believe the entire audience felt the same.
- What are your birthday wishes for Indiana in its next 200 years?
I hope Indiana continues to grow and maintain the excellence that has been exhibited in the past. During April 2016, Spencer County hosted the Association of Lincoln Presenters. One stop included Lincoln Amphitheatre where I saw several hundred elementary school children sit quietly and attentively, hanging onto each word spoken from an Abraham Lincoln Presenter. I knew then there was still hope for “Igniting the Future” and passing of the Bicentennial Torch.
- It’s also the bicentennial year of the Lincoln family arriving to Indiana; why is that significant?
Of course we cannot forget the additional prestige that envelops Spencer County, as this is the same 200-year celebration of the Lincoln Family arriving in Indiana. Many scenes were shown on the huge screen during the remarks that were given at the gala. Special attention was given to our Thomas Lincoln’s family arrival and the formative years Abraham Lincoln spent in Spencer County.