Rauner, Pritzker to make joint appearance at Bicentennial Birthday Party

Commission announces change of venue for 200th birthday bash
CHICAGO –Gov. Bruce Rauner and Governor-elect JB Pritzker will make a joint appearance at the state’s 200th Birthday Party on Dec. 3, the day in 1818 when Illinois became the nation’s 21st state.
 
Both men rallied around a unity theme in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election. “There is no better place to start uniting than at an event that celebrates the greatness of Illinois,” Rauner said.
 
“The milestone represented by our 2ooth birthday is especially important as we turn our focus to the future,” Rauner said. “The state possesses a legacy of invention, persistence and economic vitality. This is the time to reflect on those assets and come together to put them to work for the people of Illinois.”
 
“Just as Illinoisans of all backgrounds have united and pushed our state forward for 200 years, we will celebrate our bicentennial as one Illinois,” said Governor-elect JB Pritzker. “We are the land of Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama, home to the world’s leading companies and universities, an economic powerhouse of the Midwest and agriculture powerhouse of our country. Together, we will ring in our third century with hope and optimism and strive to build on the progress of the 200 years before us.”
 
The Bicentennial Commission also announced a change in venue for the official Bicentennial Birthday. The celebration is moving from the United Center to the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier.
 
The Birthday Party program will remain largely the same. People attending the affair will be treated to a star-studded presentation of things BORN, BUILT, and GROWN in Illinois.
 
The highlights include an original Gettysburg Address Rap – “All People are Created Equal” – by Miguel Cervantes (Hamilton, Chicago), performances by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Buddy Guy; a special acoustic performance by Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon; and a Championship Parade featuring star athletes marching with Chicago team championship trophies.
 
According to Stuart Layne, executive director of the Governor’s Office of the Bicentennial, the venue change makes it possible to produce a more intimate event for sponsors, partners and attendees. The change was necessitated in part by weaker than expected tickets sales during the month preceding the election.
 
“The Bicentennial celebration has been staged without the benefit of any state funding,” Layne said. “This move means that we can stay on budget and still put on a memorable party for this landmark occasion.”
 
People who have purchased tickets for the United Center may use them for the party at Navy Pier or contact Ticketmaster for a refund prior to Dec. 2. Future ticket purchase opportunities will be announced as they become available.
 
ABOUT ILLINOIS BICENTENNIAL: 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. 
 
For more information about the Illinois Bicentennial celebration visit www.illinois200.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using the hash tag #IllinoisProud.

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