It wasn’t just a big year for Illinois, it was the state’s 200th year.
Illinois celebrated its 200th anniversary on Dec. 3.
There was a year of celebrations leading up to the big day. Illinois put together and fun and imaginative Top 200 List, there were a number of local events, there was even an Illinois bicentennial beer.
But the big celebration, on the state’s birthday, was lackluster. A small crowd gathered in Chicago on a Monday, there were some musical guests, a Super Fans bit, and Gov. Bruce Rauner made some comments.
Organizers blamed a small budget for the muted finale. Illinois spent about a $1.4 million on the bicentennial. That’s a pittance compared to other states. Indiana spent $55 million and Mississippi spent $90 million for its 200th birthday.
Looking forward, it’s going to be a long, long time before Illinois has to worry about its next centennial.