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Kaskaskia Island selected to host kickoff of Illinois Bicentennial Countdown

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — Kaskaskia Island has been selected at the site to being the 100 Day Countdown to the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration.

The decision was announced Friday by the Governor’s Office of the Illinois Bicentennial.

Events are scheduled for Constitution Day – August 26 – and will take place in front of the Liberty Bell of the West and along the Kaskaskia/Cahokia trail.

“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.

State, county, and local officials, along with state historians, will gather to mark the date with a ceremonial signing of the 1818 Illinois Constitution.

The signing will signal the countdown to December 3, the date Illinois was federally recognized as a state and the official start of the Bicentennial Celebration.

At the completion of the ceremony, the group will proceed on the Kaskaskia/Cahokia Trail and stop at the Pierre Menard home, recognizing the home of the first lieutenant governor of Illinois.

Fort de Chartres State Historic Site will be the next stop on the trail for more activities.

The special events are free and open to the public. Food and refreshments will be available.

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.”

The 100 Day Countdown will be commemorated each day through videos, produced by Illinois high school and college students, about the history of Illinois.

You’ll be able to view the videos here.