Flag-raising events honor state's bicentennial

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ILLINOIS (WAND) – Cities across Illinois took steps to recognize the state’s bicentennial with ceremonies.

In central Illinois, the cities of Decatur, Springfield and Urbana raised flags in a series of Monday events. Sunday marked the official beginning of Illinois’ 200th birthday celebration, which has events scheduled throughout 2018.

Decatur city leaders held a flag-raising ceremony led by city mayor Julie Moore-Wolfe. People in the Macon County Honor Guard raised a bicentennial flag outside of the Decatur Civic Center and in front of a crowd of dozens.

Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus says Illinois as a state has a lot to be proud of.

“If you think about the state of Illinois, we’ve got an incredible and impressive history in terms of some of the things that have been done and some of the things that have happened here, and on the national level as well,” Tyus said. “For us to be able to be a part of a celebration of such a lengthy and prestigious history is exciting for us.”

In Urbana, Mayor Diane Marlin echoed those sentiments, saying Illinois’ contributions to history can be recognized in the bicentennial. Springfield’s ceremony happened Monday at the Old State Capitol.

The bicentennial celebration will end with a “Bicentennial Birthday Party”, a gala scheduled for Dec. 3, 2018 at the United Center in Chicago. 

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