KOSCIUSKO — Indiana is celebrating its 200th birthday and Kosciusko County residents have a chance to join in the celebration with a weekend of fun. Events will take place starting on Thursday, Sept. 29 and run through the weekend.
The celebrations will start on Thursday at 10 a.m. with the opening ceremony of the Bicentennial Torch Relay. The torch will travel through all 92 counties during the bicentennial and will be in Kosciusko County from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
An opening ceremony will take place at around 9:45 a.m. at Warsaw High School. The torch will then be passed along by the 22 local torch bearers as it travels through Warsaw, Leesburg, North Webster and Syracuse. The relay will conclude at Lakeside Park in Syracuse where there will be a closing ceremony. Signs are now placed around the county at various stops listing the approximate times the torch will be there.
During Thursday evening there will be a Decades of Music program at Grace College MOCC at 7 p.m. The performance will feature area bands and choirs.
The fun will continue on Friday with Music and food vendors in Downtown Warsaw and homecoming celebration events, including a parade, in Syracuse.
More fun is planned for Saturday as the celebrations move to the Kosciusko County fairgrounds. A pancake breakfast begins at 7 a.m. with a $5 charge. There will be a bicentennial themed parade with line-up beginning at 9 a.m. at West Center Street and the parade officially starting at 10 a.m.
Food vendors, registration for the classic car cruise-in, the antique tractor show and kids activities all start at 11 a.m. Those feeling a little more competitive can participate in bingo, a corn hole tournament, beard judging contest and even an egg toss.
A NASA program, “The Journey to Mars Begins Here” will be held at 4 p.m. Norman Tokarz, operations manager for ground systems development and operations at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida will be present. He will talk about developing the new rocket that will carry astronauts boldly, where no one has gone before — Mars.
When dusk hits, residents can participate in a balloon glow event.
Live entertainment will start at 1 p.m. Big acts for the evening will include Janice Ann and Miss Kitty’s Revenge and 7:15 p.m. and Jason Michael Carroll at 8 p.m. The grandstands will open at 6:30 p.m. for those events.