FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12/3/2017
Contact: Elizabeth Tomev

 Cast of Hamilton Celebrates the start of Illinois Bicentennial by unveiling the Bicentennial Flag of Illinois

Governor Rauner greets 100 students at the performance who won the Bicentennial Countdown Video Contest featuring “Something to Learn About Illinois History”

CHICAGO - The cast of Hamilton at the CIBC Theatre in Chicago officially began the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration by unveiling the Bicentennial Flag from the stage.

Alexander Gemignani, who plays King George III, declared, “Today marks the birthdate and the kick off to the Illinois Bicentennial. We are honored to reveal to you the new bicentennial flag and celebrate 200 years of history with the Governor and all the people of Illinois.”

In attendance were 100 Illinois high school and college students whose videos were chosen as part of the 100 Day Countdown to the start of the Bicentennial. The videos theme was ‘Something to Learn about Illinois History’.

Gemignani gave a special shout out to the students who distinguished themselves with winning videos, highlighting the people, places and things that make Illinois so great. "We are all Illinoisans today!" he decried.    

“What a great way to begin this very important year-long celebration of our 200 year history,” said Gov. Rauner. “I am so proud of the work these students have done. Let the Bicentennial begin.”

The 100 Day Countdown to the Bicentennial Celebration was sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, who celebrated its 200th Birthday in 2017.  We are excited to support the Illinois Bicentennial especially as we conclude celebrations for BMO Harris’ 200th birthday,” BMO Harris President & CEO Dave Casper said. 

Illinois was recognized as a state on Dec. 3, 1818, and the official Illinois Bicentennial will be celebrated in 2018 with events planned across the state on Constitution Day, Aug. 26, 2018, and the grand birthday celebration at the United Center on Dec. 3, 2018. Municipalities and organizations that are planning Bicentennial activities between Dec. 3, 2017, and Dec. 3, 2018, can apply for endorsement by the Illinois Bicentennial. Visit the Participate page at www.illinois200.com for more information and to submit an application for endorsement.