For 2-1/2 hours Thursday, Sept. 29, the roads of Kosciusko County will feature a traveler never again to be seen in our lifetime.
From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the Indiana Bicentennial Torch will wend its way through the county via 22 torchbearers.
The torch will enter the county’s southern border on SR 15 and will proceed north on Buffalo Street in Warsaw and then stair-step north east and north along Center, Indiana, Canal and Detroit streets.
From Warsaw, the torchbearers will relay north on SR 15 to Leesburg, where they will turn east on Van Buren Street, south on Old SR 15 and east along Armstrong Road and CR 500N into North Webster.
The procession will head through North Webster on SR 13 to Syracuse before it turns northeast on Main Street to North Long Street.
The relay will end with a celebration at Lakeside Park and the torch will proceed to CR 1400N and north on SR 13 out of the county.
Signs will be posted along the route to inform spectators of handoff locations.
The torch relay will be followed by three days of bicentennial celebration, beginning Thursday with a “Decades of Music” program featuring area bands and choirs at 7 p.m. at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center at Grace College in Winona Lake.
On Friday, Sept. 30, the celebration will continue with music, food vendors and a beer tent in downtown Warsaw and a Wawasee homecoming celebration and parade in Syracuse.
Saturday’s activities will commence at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds.
A parade will step off at 10 a.m. from West Center Street.
Other fairgrounds events include a classic car cruise-in, antique tractor show, kids activities, bingo, corn hole tournament, beard contest, egg toss and vintage base ball match.
NASA will present “The Journey to Mars Begins Here,” a PowerPoint and video presentation about the agency’s current quest to send a manned space flight to Mars and back.
The 90-minute program will start at 4 p.m. in the Lakeview Middle School auditorium, 848 E. Smith St., Warsaw.
A hot air balloon glow will lift off at dusk on the shore of Winona Lake.
The weekend festival will culminate Saturday with a doubleheader of live musical performances at the grandstands.
Janice Anne and Miss Kitty’s Revenge will perform at 7:15 p.m. and Jason Michael Carroll will take the stage at 8 p.m. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Diane Wulliman, the event’s coordinator for Kosciusko County, invited all comers to the family-friendly events, which the six-member committee has been planning since October 2014.
“With three days of events, we are hoping everyone can find something they are interested in and they will come out to see what is happening,” she said.
“Almost everything is free,” she added, “so if you just come out Saturday for an elephant ear, you can walk around, listen to the music and see what else is going on at the fairgrounds.
“As a committee we wanted to do something to appeal to a broad audience, bring the county together to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion and show off Kosciusko County to the rest of the state.”
For more information, visit www.2016kosciuskocelebrates.com (Facebook link available on home page) or e-mail [email protected]