Pair of legacy projects approved

An effort by organizers of the 41st annual Crothersville Red, White and Blue Festival to celebrate the state’s 200th birthday has paid off with an endorsement by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission.

That commission recently approved the launch of 200 balloons June 11 in honor of the bicentennial during the festival.

After the balloon launch, a list of speakers has been put together that includes Crothersville’s own Scott McKain; Baron Hill, a Democrat and Seymour native running for one of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats; and state District 66 Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Austin.

The Crothersville Town Council has begun the process of naming a stretch of Armstrong Street (U.S. 31) in honor of McKain, a 1973 Crothersville High School graduate who graduated from Franklin College in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. The professional speaker has spoken in every state and 17 countries and always talks about his hometown first.

Others also have been invited to speak, festival organizer Sherry Bridges said.

Bridges said winning an endorsement from the bicentennial commission is a great thing for the community.

She said as part of the Legacy Project, the state plans to put together a book at the end of the year with information about all of the communities, festivals and fairs that did a Legacy Project in conjunction with the bicentennial.

“Future generations will be able to look in the book to see what their communities did for the bicentennial,” Bridges said.

She said the balloon launch is open to anyone who wants to show up for the event, set for 4:30 p.m. June 11 on the festival stage.

The festival begins June 9 and ends June 11. Entries for the parade, which will be at 1:30 p.m. June 11, are now being accepted. To sign up, call Marion Gill at 812-569-3476.

The balloon launch is one of 104 Legacy Projects approved by the bicentennial commission during its May meeting at the Indiana State Museum. A second Jackson County project also was approved.

That project — the Jackson County Bicentennial Art Contest — is sponsored by Southern Indiana Center for the Arts.

The deadline to enter that contest, open to all school-aged children, was Tuesday.

Once entries are judged this month, they will be displayed at The Peoples Bank branch locations and other designated places around the county throughout the remainder of this year. The Peoples Bank is a co-sponsor of the contest.

Earlier Legacy Projects approved for Jackson County include the seventh annual Jackson County Antique Farm Machinery Show and the 50th anniversary of the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge.

The Indiana Bicentennial Commission is a 15-member body, chaired by Becky Skillman and Lee Hamilton, charged with overseeing the planning and execution of a statewide celebration for Indiana’s 200th birthday.

The commission encourages every community in Indiana to take part in this unique celebration.

Arann Banks, the Jackson County coordinator for the Legacy Project, said any local group planning an event tied to the bicentennial may submit an application to the state commission.

They also can contact her at arann@jackson countyin.com.

At a glance

If your organization would like to create a Legacy Project for the bicentennial, contact your local county coordinator, Arann Banks, at arann@jacksoncountyin.com. Legacy Project applications are considered for approval at every meeting of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission.

Visit indiana2016.org to learn more about Indiana’s bicentennial history in the making.

For information about the 41st annual Crothersville Red, White and Blue Festival, visit crothersvillerwb.com.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.