Macomb Local News
Illinois' big 200th birthday celebration is less than a year away. And planners say they're busy getting people across the state in the mood to celebrate. 
 
Illinois started its bicentennial celebration back in December. There will be an even bigger party December this year. 
 
Until then, Stewart Lane, the state's bicentennial director, said his staff is busy getting people in the birthday mood with flags, an ad campaign, and by pushing Illinois' 200th on social media.
 
Lane said there is a growing buzz. 
 
"It's evident that people are proud to live in Illinois. Proud that their ancestors are from here. Proud to have gone to school here. And proud to have built businesses here," Lane said. "And so that's really become our mission. To remind people why they are proud of Illinois. To inspire them to be Illinois proud."
 
State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said that may be a bit easier said than done in 2018. 
 
"For our 50th Anniversary, 150 years ago, crews started construction on the Capitol Building. One hundred years ago, crews started construction on the Centennial Building. That's now the Howlett Building. So we left some lasting memorials in previous celebrations," Butler said. "I would say that where we are at politically and in our budget times in Illinois, we're not going to build a new Capitol or anything like that."
 
There will, however, be a big party with the state's own bicentennial craft beer. The festivities are set for December 3.