200 Miles for 200 Years
By Tracey Moro
Coming up with a way for Macomb County to pay tribute to its last 200 years and include all of Macomb County’s communities was a task the Bicentennial committee has worked on the past year. A Torch Relay was chosen as the best idea; however, an event of this magnitude would need a great deal of planning and execution by many people.
The committee worked diligently for months coming up with the perfect route that goes through each and every community covering 200 miles across Macomb County, symbolizing the 200 years. Every mile a new runner will exchange a torch, which will zig-zag throughout the entire county passing farmland, downtowns and stopping at additional attractions such as Selfridge Air Base, Lake St. Clair and Stony Creek Metroparks.
A great deal of time was also put into the making of the torches. Eight torches were made by faculty and students at Macomb Community College. Together they designed the torches keeping in mind the runner’s ability to run with it, the weight, the fuel needed for the flame and any heat that would affect it. They also wanted to include some symbolism of the county with such design elements as waterways, tire spokes and even an apple on the handle.
The event will begin Thursday, June 21 around 5 a.m. There will be a brief introduction before County Executive Mark Hackel leads off with the torch in downtown Mount Clemens near the County building. From Mount Clemens the torch will travel north, then west and south circling back. Each community will have the opportunity to elect a runner(s) for one mile of the route going through their town. The torch will travel at a pace of about 12 minutes every mile until it returns back to downtown Mount Clemens in time for the Bicentennial Fireworks Show Friday evening on the riverfront at 9:45 p.m.
A map of the route with a time period to see when the torch will be going through your community and more information on the torch design can be found online at Macomb200.org. There will also be live video and many photos posted during the event on social media.