Brownstown woman honored for bicentennial work

The Hoosier state, Jackson County and Brownstown all celebrated 200th birthdays this year, and one local woman found herself right in the middle of the fanfare surrounding those events.

On Dec. 10, Arann Banks of Brownstown and other bicentennial county coordinators from across the state were invited to Celebrate Indiana: The Bicentennial Gala at the Pepsi Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

“It was a way to celebrate county to county,” said Banks, who also is executive director of the Jackson County Visitor Center in Seymour.

“They served us Indiana farm-fed bison,” Banks said with a laugh. “All year long, we celebrated the bison, and then we ate it. It was a very Hoosier thing to do.”

Banks also was awarded with a torch and a state bicentennial coin medallion during the invitation-only event.

“The state was absolutely amazing to work with,” Banks said. “On a personal level, I wanted to make sure the children in our county stop, examine, research and touch our history. I hope that investment in our county’s history continues. In 2016, tourism in our county and state increased because there were people staying in Indiana to do county tours.”

Jackson County’s bicentennial celebrations kicked off Jan. 1, the 200th anniversary date of the founding of Jackson County.

Banks, along with members of the Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County, organized a New Year’s Eve Ball at Celebrations in Seymour.

On April 9, there was a community celebration at Pewter Hall in Brownstown to celebrate the county seat’s 200th birthday. There was a more official ceremony April 8, the town’s official 200th birthday, but Brownstown Central High School’s prom was that night, so the community celebration was moved to the next night.

The state’s 200th birthday was celebrated Dec. 11 in Indianapolis. There were plenty of other activities conducted throughout the year.

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