Illinois Bicentennial Officials and Commissioners announced on Aug. 2 the preliminary details of Illinois’ 200th birthday celebration to be held
at the United Center on Dec. 3, 2018. The event will celebrate the 200th
anniversary of Illinois’ recognition as the 21st state of the union.
Illinois celebrities and contributors confirmed to participate include, Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Styx, Blues legend Buddy Guy, the Chicago Bears, Olympic Champion Jackie Joyner Kersee, Bill Kurtis and Joe Mantegna.
A Veterans commemoration, hosted by actor Joe Mantegna, will recognize the sacrifice Illinoisans have made over 200 years. There will be recognition of the Bicentennial’s HONOR 200, Veterans chosen across the state for going above and
beyond service to their fellow Veterans, with a performance by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
The evening’s programming will mix historical video and live entertainment, including musical performances by an array of Illinois artists of different genres, including performances by Styx and other to be announced musical guests.
Additionally, the event will reflect on great events in Illinois sports, including a look back at the birth of the NFL, which had its roots at the University of Illinois with George Halas and Red Grange, as well as a presentation entitled Chicago – The City of Champions, a salute to all of the professional championship teams featuring players, trophies and special guests.
Other segments are being developed and invitations to many celebrities are being
extended ensuring this will be a night to remember for the next 200 years.
The evening finale will chronicle the story of how jazz and blues migrated from
Louisiana through East St. Louis and to Chicago. A tribute to Chicago Blues will feature a performance by Buddy Guy and his band. At 81 years old, Guy continues to be the King of Chicago Blues and has just released his 18th studio album, “The Blues is Alive and Well.”
Tickets will be sold through Ticketmaster and the United Center Box Office and Ticketmaster.com. Details on ticket sales will be announced later.
All Bicentennial events and programs are privately funded. Lead sponsors for the
Birthday Party include Wintrust Bank and Bicentennial Veteran’s program sponsors Boeing, Walgreens and ComEd.