SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) – Illinois is gearing up for its 200th birthday.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed an executive order that creates an Illinois Bicentennial Commission to start planning festivities for 2018.

The governor has hired Stuart Layne as Illinois Bicentennial Executive.

Layne has extensive marketing experience and a news release points out that he also has a strong background in research, branding, publicity and events planning.

Rauner says the Bicentennial will be a chance to celebrate Illinois’ contributions to the country and the world, while also planning for the state’s next 200 years.

Illinois became the nation’s 21st state on Dec. 3, 1818.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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