Greet the State Torch Relay at Bendix Woods

Today's paper features a special Bicentennial Birthday Bash Guide for the celebration of Indiana's 200 years of statehood.

The Birthday Bash will be held at Bendix Woods County Park on Saturday, October 8 from 11am to 4:30pm ET. The special section is designed to be pulled off the regular edition of The Gazette and can be used as a schedule of activities and park map for the festivities.

One of the highlights of the event will be the State Torch Relay, which is expected to reach the park around 1:30pm. Two of New Carlisle's most prominent and active community members will be honored as torchbearers in the relay. Dana Groves, director of Historic New Carlisle, and veteran firefighter Bob Middlebrook will carry the torch at Bendix Woods.

Over 150 nominations were received in 2015 and reviewed by a local selection committee who sent their recommendations to the state bicentennial coordinators for review earlier this year.

Donna Pfeil of Granger will also carry the torch once it enters the park.

The St. Joseph County representatives participating in the relay include a Nobel Prize winner, two sculptors, educators, park professionals, fire fighters, philanthropists and tribal leaders.

“These are people that make up the fabric of our community and we are thrilled the selectees include individuals with a variety of ages and backgrounds including recent high school graduates and a centenarian,” says Dr. Deb Fleming, co-chair of the local bicentennial committee.

Jim Lopez, co-chair of the committee, and logistics coordinator for the torch relay is pleased so many communities are represented in the list.

The St. Joseph County portion of the torch relay will begin in Walkerton at 10am on Saturday morning. While some torch bearers will walk or jog, others will ride in an historic Studebaker.

Bendix Woods will be the last stop for the torch in St. Joseph County, as it will be passed on to representatives from LaPorte County at the park.

Patterned after the Olympic Torch Relay, Indiana’s version will pass through all 92 of the state’s counties and cover 3200 miles over a five week period, averaging 97 miles per day.

The relay began on September 9 in the state's first capital, Corydon, and will culminate in Indianapolis on the Statehouse Grounds, with a special welcome ceremony and celebration on Saturday, October 15.

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