Illinois’ Bicentennial Year Begins

Alpha Media/Ed Hammond

The City of Peoria, Peoria County and the City of East Peoria joined municipalities throughout Illinois to mark the beginning of the state’s bicentennial year.

Bicentennial flags were raised to officially begin the celebration.

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis read a proclamation before the city’s flag was raised at noon Monday outside Peoria City Hall.

“The State of Illinois is reaching out to all counties and cities throughout this fine state to share in the celebration,” said Tim Cundiff, who represents Peoria on the state’s Bicentennial Commission.

Cundiff said the next major event in Peoria will be Feb. 3 opening of an exhibit at Peoria Riverfront Museum entitled “Celebrate Illinois: 200 Years in the Land of Lincoln.”

“That will be the first exposition of items, artifacts, history, people and objects that will tell the story of our state’s bicentennial,” Cundiff said.

Illinois’ recorded history began in 1673 when missionary Jacques Marquette and fur trader Louis Jolliet became the first Europeans to explore it. President James Monroe’s signature made it a state on Dec. 3, 1818.

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