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Gwinnett 200: Bicentennial torch comes to GJAC


Gwinnett County’s bicentennial torch arrived at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center on Tuesday, December 19 for a special presentation.

The bicentennial torch will be carried to various historic sites, public facilities, and cities in Gwinnett throughout the bicentennial year. A traveling Gwinnett County history exhibit will accompany the torch to many of these locations, including GJAC. The exhibit will be on display at GJAC for self-guided tours until January 29.

The bicentennial torch made its debut on December 15 at the bicentennial celebration’s first official event, A Frontier Affair: Prelude to Gwinnett’s Bicentennial, held at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse. On December 19, the LED-powered torch was carried into GJAC by a group of 12 students representing various county high schools.

The bicentennial torch relay was first suggested by Bicentennial Advisory Committee member and Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson as a way to promote Gwinnett’s Bicentennial Year of Celebration, which will span from December 15, 2017, to December 15, 2018.

“Light, whether it be from a candle, a Christmas tree, or a torch, illuminates,” Johnson said. “As the torch is carried to historical sites, I hope the past is illuminated; when the torch stops at city halls, I hope the present is illuminated; and as the torch is carried by young runners, I hope the future is illuminated.”

Like the torch of the Olympic Games, the bicentennial torch represents goodwill and the connection between communities. The relay represents the journey that Gwinnett County has undergone from 1818 to today, from a largely agrarian community to one of the fastest growing, most diverse counties in the Southeast.

Mayor Johnson recruited cross country and track teams from Gwinnett County Public Schools and Buford City Schools to serve as torchbearers in the yearlong relay.

Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash welcomed the high schoolers to GJAC and thanked them for volunteering to be bicentennial torchbearers.

“My fellow commissioners and I are very excited about the bicentennial’s potential to get our residents involved with their local government,” Nash said. “The torch relay gives our high schoolers the opportunity to contribute to the celebration, and we love seeing them excited about the important role they get to play.”

The runners will carry the torch to various historic sites, public facilities, and cities in Gwinnett throughout the bicentennial year. A traveling Gwinnett County history exhibit will accompany the torch to many of these locations, including the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. The exhibit will be on display at GJAC for self-guided tours from December 19 to January 29.

The torch relay will culminate at the County’s 200th Birthday Celebration on December 15, 2018, at the Infinite Energy Center.

Photos from the run and presentation are available on Flickr.