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Preparations Underway For Indiana's Bicentennial

The official design for the bicentennial.

Although Indiana's bicentennial isn't officially until Dec. 11 of next year, the state is using Statehood Day on Friday to mark the unofficial beginning of the celebrations.

"Tomorrow, in cities and towns across Indiana, there will be raisings of the bicentennial flag at city halls and courthouses to celebrate that kickoff as mayors and county commissioners are working with us to recognize the start of this important time in Indiana," says Bicentennial Commission Executive Director Perry Hammock.

Former Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed a 15-member Bicentennial Commission in 2011.

Members of the commission include former Rep. Lee Hamilton and First Lady Karen Pence.

The commission has been meeting every six weeks since February 2012, coordinating with every county in the state to plan ways for the celebration of Indiana's 200th anniversary.

Indiana will spend more than $50 million dollars on bicentennial-related activities.

Over the next 12 months, more than 850 projects will be completed, including the building of two sculptures in Indianapolis and a new state archives building.

"The documents that will be in the archives include things like the constitutions of Indiana, which are now stored in a vault," Hammock said. "They'll now be on display. The documents of all of our past governors, the documents of agencies. They're important documents — land grants and information that went back to the early settlement days of Indiana to be able to track the history of Indiana through its writings and documents."

The official torch for the bicentennial torch relay will be unveiled on Friday in Indianapolis.

The relay, spearheaded by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, will travel through all 92 state counties and last from Sept. 9 to Oct. 15.

The torch, developed by the Purdue University engineering department, will run on biofuel and be equipped with a camera and GPS.

The official bicentennial is scheduled for Sunday Dec. 11, 2016.

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