JOLIET – Local governments on Monday raised the Illinois Bicentennial flag to commemorate the start of a yearlong celebration of the state’s 200th birthday.
The Illinois Bicentennial is on Dec. 3, 2018, and the state plans events throughout the year to mark the occasion.
The first was the raising of the special bicentennial flag, which occurred at the Will County Office Building, the Joliet Veterans Memorial building and other locations.
“We are proud in Will County to display this beautiful flag and acknowledge our state’s 200th birthday,” Will County Executive Larry Walsh Sr. said at that ceremony, according to a news release from the county.
“Illinois is the 21st state in the Union and I am proud of our progress,” Walsh said. “Despite the current challenges we face, it is important to note the proud history of progress over many past challenges. The future is still bright and our citizens are what makes Illinois great.”
Illinois became a state on Dec. 3, 1818.
The yearlong campaign, “Born Built, & Grown,” will honor the people and places that contributed to the development of the state.
Statewide events include a Martin Luther King celebration on Jan. 15 and a bicentennial celebration on Presidents Day, which is Feb. 19.
A complete list of events can be found on the website: illinois200.com.
The city of Joliet held a flag-raising ceremony at the Joliet Veterans Memorial Building at 201 W. Jefferson St.
Gov. Bruce Rauner participated in events at Navy Pier in Chicago on Sunday.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate all that has been great in our first 200 years and lay the foundation for 200 more years of growth and prosperity,” Rauner said. “Illinois is home, and the bicentennial gives us a chance to reflect on how we can continue to make it great for our children and grandchildren.”
The Illinois Bicentennial Exhibit was previewed Monday at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library in Springfield.