Tracking the Indiana Bicentennial Relay: Days 6–9

Check back for a weekly look at where the Torch is now.

With an estimated 388 miles and 14 counties covered this past week, the Bicentennial Torch Relay is moving right on schedule. Bright and early Tuesday morning, the Relay takes off again in Brown County. Just a reminder: Brown County State Park admission will be free for the day in honor of the visiting Torch. Continuing to look ahead in the week, it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a state park near you, free of charge, of course. After Brown County State Park, the Torch visits McCormick’s State Park this Wednesday (September 21), and Turkey Run State Park, Thursday (September 22). That’s in the Relay future, but let’s take a leap backward and recap this past week.

Washington County was the middle stop of last Thursday, Day 6. The community gathered to watch the Torch pass by, and there’s no better way to be remembered than making an antique car perform a wheelie while the Torch is thrust into the air in triumph (sans the scared little child in the right-rear of the car). Surely, this maneuver will be added to the Torch Relay’s list of acceptable methods of transportation.


A moment from Washington County Thursday, Sept. 15. #INTorchRelay 📷: Chris Flook

A photo posted by IN Bicentennial Torch Relay (@intorchrelay) on

Day 7, in Jefferson County, ended not with a bang, but with a historical undertone that will be hard to forget. The Torch caught a boat ride down the Ohio River and back in order to remember its ties with slavery. The River was used as part of the Underground Railroad system, and it is said that anti-slavery supporters would ferry slaves from one side of the River to the other. After returning from the River, the Torch was delivered by horseback to its closing ceremony.

Switzerland County showcased one of the youngest torchbearers on Day 8. Fortunately, there’s a special rendition of the Torch made for much smaller hands. Weighing considerably less than the nearly five-pound adult Torch, the kid-friendly version is less than a pound. We have its plastic housing to thank for that—3D-printed housing, to be exact. Just because it’s not a real flame doesn’t make it any less cool. Instead, the flame still resembles the symbol on the Indiana state flag with an LED that gives off a realistic flame, or some entertaining light patterns. This wee fixture may not come with all the gadgets as the adult version, but it clearly still puts a smile on little ones’ faces.

This Decatur County torchbearer receives an A-plus for sheer dedication and creativity. Swimming alone proves difficult for most people—myself included—but swimming one-armed while holding a near-five-pound torch over your head takes the art of swimming to a whole new level.

Though Monday is a rest day for the Relay group, that didn’t stop Food Network chef, Hamilton County torchbearer, and acclaimed Girl Scout Cookie super-seller, Sabrina Richard from celebrating on Indy Style this morning with a duck entrée featuring local ingredients, including Conner Prairie’s apple cider for the glaze. Delish!

Holding their foam torches high in pride, these kids embody the goal behind the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay. Hopefully, someday that same pride and spirit will allow them to carry the actual torch across their county. Here’s to the future generations!