By Adrianna Pitrelli
Hundreds of Hoosiers, including Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb, made their way to the state’s capital to celebrate its 200th birthday with song, dance and sermon Sunday.
“It is my privilege to say that Indiana is 200 years young today,” Pence said.
Pence started the final bicentennial celebration Sunday by thanking those in attendance for their continued support to ensure the state’s future continues to become brighter.
The event —“Ignite the Future: Celebrate Indiana” — was a two-hour interfaith service. Leaders from different religions spread the word of their beliefs with the crowd. The event was hosted by former Colts punter Hunter Smith.
Pence said as he moves to his new position, he is proud to have governed what he pegs as a state that works.
“Indiana began as what we described ourselves as the beacon of enlightenment of the midwest,” Pence said. “And as I can tell you, after traveling across the country applying for another job, Indiana is everything that is good and strong about America.”
With Holcomb once being appointed by Pence as the 51st lieutenant governor, Pence said he is confident Holcomb will continue to best serve Indiana.
Holcomb then took the stage and thanked Pence and first lady Karen Pence for their commitment to the Hoosier state.
“We as Hoosiers now understand in large part that you belong to the nation,” Holcomb said about the Pences. “But we are proud that your family roots are so deep in the state of Indiana and always will be.”
As Holcomb prepares to take over as governor, he said he is proud of the plans he has for “igniting the future.”
“Together we will build Indiana to become a better place with strong Hoosier values,” Holcomb said.
And Holcomb said the only way to ensure this happens is by working together.
“So let’s practice working together,” Holcomb said to the crowd, “by wishing Indiana a happy birthday together.”