Bicentennial torch makes its way through White County, beyond

Bicentennial torchbearers in White County pass the flame in Monticello.
Bicentennial torchbearers in White County pass the flame in Monticello.

MONTICELLO, Ind (WLFI) — Indiana is celebrating its 200th year by passing torches through all 92 counties — covering more than 3,200 miles.

On Friday, the bicentennial march continued through White County. The first torchbearer started at the Carroll County line, going over Lake Freeman and into Monticello. Twenty-four participants walked or ran about a quarter-mile before passing the flame onto the next person until reaching Cass County.

There was also a celebration at the White County Courthouse to honor local veterans.

Torchbearer Chris Dodson said the county has many reasons to be proud.

“Our communities are basically farm towns and so they represent small-town America,” Dodson said. “The lakes were founded under one of the presidents as they worked through rebuilding the country in times of depression and economic need, and it has caused a boom to the city of Monticello.”

Torchbearer Ralph Zarse said, for him, running with the torch is a way of saying thank you for years of happiness White County has given him.

“Anything that involves the community, I like to support that,” Zarse said. “It’s a great honor just to do this because I don’t think I’m going to be around for the next one. I figured I better do this one.”

The torch reaches Tippecanoe, Warren and Fountain counties on Oct. 12. The relay began on Sept. 9 in the southern part of the state and wraps up in Indianapolis on Oct. 15.