Bicentennial announces plans for Aug. 26th Constitution Day

Bicentennial announces plans for Aug. 26th Constitution Day

Signature events scheduled to mark ratification of state Constitution in 1818

CHICAGO — The day 200 years ago – August 26th – that Illinois adopted its state Constitution is the focal point for anniversary celebrations across the state highlighted by the dedication of a new Bicentennial Plaza in Springfield adjacent to the Illinois Governor’s Mansion.

Gov. Bruce Rauner kicks off the anniversary in Shorewood with his annual Route 66 Motorcycle Ride which culminates at the new Plaza where he will preside over the dedication and then host a BBQ for riders at the Mansion. Those interested may register at

“I am very excited to get the Constitution anniversary underway,” said Rauner. “Illinois history is rich with achievement and we owe it to ourselves and our children to pause and reflect on our past as a way to inform our future. As we travel Route 66 through Pontiac and Lexington to Springfield, we’ll keep an eye out for things born, built and grown in Illinois.”

Signature celebrations will take place in many other regions of the state – from Kaskaskia to Highland Park – to mark the occasion in 1818 when the state ratified its Constitution.

ADM and Ameren Illinois are major sponsors of events in Springfield and East St. Louis. All of the events staged for the Bicentennial are privately or locally funded and are coordinated by the Illinois Bicentennial Commission and its community partner organizations.

“All year long we’ve been highlighting the people, places, events and innovations that over 200 years have made us Illinois Proud,” commented Stuart Layne, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of the Bicentennial.  “The statewide Constitution Day activities are designed to allow people to travel a short distance to participate in local celebrations.”

The full list of events and details can be found at www.illinois200.comThe list includes:


  • Governor’s Route 66 Motorcycle Ride – Shorewood to Springfield, IL.


  • East St. Louis Heritage Festival in partnership with Ameren Illinois and City of East St. Louis- East St. Louis, IL


  • Where Illinois Began Dedication in partnership with Liberty Bell of the West Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution – Chester, IL


  • Bicentennial Plaza Dedication in partnership with the Illinois REALTORSÒ Association and City of Springfield– Springfield, IL


  • Du Quoin State Fair Veteran’s Day Celebration in partnership with Illinois Department of Agriculture – Du Quoin, IL


  • Addison Bicentennial Parade & Bash in partnership with the Village of Addison and the Medinah Shriners – Addison, IL


  • Galena Constitution Day Celebration in partnership with Visit Galena and the Grant Home– Galena, IL


  • Dixon Constitution Day Celebration – Dixon, IL


  • Ravinia Concert featuring New Orleans musical tribute to Chicago Blues– Highland Park, IL


On Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the union. The Illinois Bicentennial is a yearlong celebration of what has been BORN, BUILT & GROWN in the state and a reminder of why we are #IllinoisProud.  Citizens are encouraged to participate in the celebration by visiting and using the hashtag #IllinoisProud.


A statewide multimedia campaign will celebrate Illinois' influence on the world through music, sports, agriculture, literature, commerce, history, technology and innovation, transportation, and art and architecture.

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