Celebration preparations for 2016 underway
Indiana’s bicentennial is still more than a year away, but Harrison County residents have been working on party plans for several months.
Some of the work by the Harrison County Committee for the bicentennial was unveiled at a kick-off event Thursday at Horseshoe Southern Indiana in Bridgeport, including the logo.
The logo, which features the First State Capitol Building and fireworks, was designed by Harrison County resident April Clark. It will be used for all bicentennial events and programs in the county.
‘Corydon, which served as Indiana’s first state capital, from 1816 to 1825, will play a huge role in the state’s celebration in 2016, and we want to make sure we’re ready and doing our part,’ Judy Hess, co-chair of the executive committee, said. ‘We have some great people working on subcommittees that have some excellent ideas on celebrating Indiana’s 200th birthday in Harrison County.’
Those subcommittees ‘ celebration and commemoration, religious life, legacy, arts and education ‘ were formed in mid-2012. Hess co-chairs the steering committee with Pam Bennett Martin.
‘We think you’re going to be pretty excited about the things we’ll talk about tonight,’ Hess told those gathered at Horseshoe before the unveiling.
Martin, who said she ‘loves a party,’ talked about the 60,000 signatures being gathered to replicate that same number of signatures required for Indiana to become a state.
The original document only included the names of white males, as women and slaves were not allowed to sign the petition, she said.
In addition to unveiling the logo, Jeremy Yackle, executive director of the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, also announced the official website, IndianaBicentennial.com, featuring the logo and local photos. The home page reads: ‘Indiana’s Home Town and the First State Capital.’
‘We’ve been working on this for a while; it went live Tuesday,’ Aug. 26, he said. ‘The website will be updated as plans are finalized.’
Sponsorship information also is available on the website, and a social media presence is being crafted for the Harrison County Bicentennial Committee and will be online, too.
Heather Clunie, chair of the Harrison County Community Foundation board of directors, made an announcement on behalf of the Foundation.
‘What does it take to have a great party?’ she asked. ‘Money.’
To help with the financial side of the celebration, Clunie said that the Foundation is providing a $100,000 matching grant program to the local bicentennial committee.
‘For each $1, $1 will be donated to the celebration,’ she said.
In response to Clunie asking if there was anyone willing to make a financial commitment that evening, Bill Harrod, on behalf of First Harrison Bank, pledged $15,000.
Martin said John Jones Auto Group had committed a pledge, too.
Rand Heazlitt, director of the Harrison County Parks, shared the news that there will be a new park in the county, at Morvin’s Landing near Mauckport.
The Harrison County Bicentennial Committee played a part in obtaining a grant from the Bicentennial Nature Trust to purchase the property from Wilma Richard.
‘The legacy committee, these folks really started the ball rolling,’ Heazlitt said.
Morvin’s Landing area is where Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his raiders made their way into Indiana during the Civil War. Also, Henry Heth, who helped establish the town of Corydon, and other early settlers of the county used Morvin’s Landing as they made their way north from Kentucky.
Heazlitt and Richard made the deal official Friday afternoon when the paperwork was signed. Heazlitt anticipates an official public ceremony this fall.
‘Yes, we are the first capital and we will have the best party in Indiana,’ Martin said to conclude the program.