State kicks off year-long Illinois Bicentennial celebration at Navy Pier

Gov. Rauner and the Illinois Bicentennial Commission kicked off the state’s year-long tribute to Illinois’ 200th birthday at Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier on Dec. 3.

The Illinois Bicentennial will devote the next 365 days to honoring the state’s rich history and growth over the past two centuries. Each celebration and event will showcase individuals, attractions and goods that are born, built and grown here in Illinois, as well as promote ongoing development for future generations to enjoy for years to come. 

As part of the festivities at Navy Pier, the Governor made his Illinois Bicentennial Address, and the cast of “Hamilton” and 100 winners of the commission’s 100-Day Countdown Video Contest joined the Governor on stage.

In Springfield, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library previewed the new Illinois Bicentennial Exhibit, which featured music by the Illinois Symphony.
Municipalities across the state also participated in simultaneous Bicentennial flag-raising ceremonies to honor the state’s momentous birthday.

For more information on the Illinois Bicentennial, and how and where to celebrate, please visit

Chapin Rose

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