RANDOLPH COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Illinois will celebrate its Bicentennial by kicking off the 100 Day Countdown in Randolph County, Illinois.
Illinois was federally recognized as a state on December 3, 1818. State leaders will begin the Illinois Bicentennial celebration on December 3, 2017.
State leaders picked Kaskaskia Island as the site to begin the countdown.
"We are very excited that the Governor's office has selected our historic region to begin the 100 Day Countdown to the Bicentennial Celebration," Randolph County Commissioner Dr. Marc Kiehna said. "Since Randolph County is 'Where Illinois Began,' it is appropriate for festivities to start on Kaskaskia Island ? the site of the first state capital of Illinois."
The celebration will take place on Constitution Day, August 26, 2017, with a ceremonial signing of the 1818 Illinois Constitution. It will take place in front of the original courthouse near the Liberty Bell of the West shrine.
Bicentennial Commission Co-Chair and Southern Illinois University System President Randy Dunn said: "As a resident of Randolph County for over 10 years, I'm proud that one of the state's very first bicentennial events will take place at Kaskaskia, our first capital. The area is so closely intertwined with the history of Illinois, and it will be exciting to be part of this celebration."
After the ceremony, members of the group will head to the Kaskaskia/Cahokia Trail and stop at the Pierre Menard home to recognize the home of the first lieutenant governor of Illinois. There will also be special activities at the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site.
The public is also invited to watch a special flag raising ceremony at 2 p.m. That ceremony will include the boom of cannons and a parade of colorful uniforms to transport visitors back in time to the early history of Illinois and the region.