Did you know the state of Illinois is turning 200 years old on Dec. 3, 2018?
“And it doesn’t look a day older than 190,” quipped actor Tim Kazurinsky, who helped announce the lineup for the upcoming bicentennial gala at the Museum of Broadcast Communications Thursday.
The event, being held at the United Center on the state’s birthday in early December, will feature many celebrities, including musicians, sports icons and comedians.
“I’m very excited about the entertainment,” said Kazurinsky, who lives in Evanston and is a Second City and “Saturday Night Live” alum. “The music, the actors, comedians and a lot of my friends will be coming home — the birds will be coming home to roost.”
While dozens of famous participants with ties to Illinois are expected to take part, confirmed guests include blues legend Buddy Guy, actor Joe Mantegna, Olympic track and field gold medalist Jackie Joyner Kersee, members of REO Speedwagon and Chicago “Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes.
“We are celebrating everything that was born, built and grown in Illinois,” said Illinois Deputy Gov. Leslie Munger. “Who knew that the cellphone was invented in Illinois? And so was the Ferris wheel, Radio Flyer wagons, Tootsie Rolls, the automatic washing machine — just to name a few.”
The event will be open to the public and tickets, which range in price from $50 to $75, are available through Ticketmaster or the United Center box office.
“There is a great quote that came from one of our earlier governors, Adlai Stevenson: ‘When you look at our prairies and plains, some see boring monotony. We see endless possibilities,’” said Munger. “Makes us proud to be Illinoisans — it makes me proud, and I’m a lifelong Illinoisan.”
The Chicago Sun-Times is a media sponsor for the event.