On a blustery afternoon in Carbondale, elected officials and city employees gathered in front of the Carbondale Civic Center for a flag-raising ceremony to commemorate the state of Illinois' bicentennial anniversary in 2018.
The event in Carbondale was similar to ceremonies happening throughout the state -- all at noon on Dec. 4.
Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry hosted the event. He said Aug. 26, 2018 will mark the 200th anniversary of the Illinois Constitution signed at the Kaskaskia Convention in 1818. Dec. 3, 2018 will mark the 200th anniversary of Illinois being admitted into the union.
"There will be celebrations all throughout the state dedicated toward people and community," Henry said. The flag, he added, will fly in front of Carbondale City Hall throughout the year.
State Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, attended the short ceremony and called Carbondale a showcase for the region during the 2018 bicentennial year in Illinois.
She mentioned that the 12th Congressional District in southern Illinois has a few special spots highlighting aspects of state history, including places in Jonesboro and Alton, where Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated in 1858.
"The 12th Congressional District is the only district in (Illinois) that has two Lincoln-Douglas sites," Bryant said. "So there are going to be some great things throughout the year that will happen and we encourage everybody to be there."
Carbondale Tourism Executive Director Cinnamon Wheeles-Smith said Carbondale will host several bicentennial events.
"We are very fortunate that down here in the south that many of the events we have scheduled throughout the next year will have the opportunity to be a part of the bicentennial celebration," she said. "We want to invite everybody to be involved in those events."
For more information on the bicentennial, including for events listed all throughout the state during the next year, visit illinois200.com.