"Hoosiers" Hometown Set to Celebrate Founding, "David vs. Goliath" Basketball Win and Miss Indiana 1954

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Milan, Indiana - "Follow the Tracks" to the small town where the real events that inspired the movie "Hoosiers" happened.

The Town of Milan, Indiana will host the Milan Sesquicentennial Celebration during scheduled festivities July 1-4, 2004. Well known for its annual Fourth of July activities, Milan is offering a jam-packed schedule of events to celebrate the triple anniversaries of the town's founding, the real "Hoosiers" Indiana State Basketball Champs, and the crowning of Miss Indiana. "Follow the Tracks to Milan" history exhibits and tours, as well as family friendly activities, live music, and special celebrity appearances are planned throughout the four day event. Members of the original 1954 basketball team will be in attendance as will the current Miss Indiana pageant winner and the 1954 Miss Indiana, Cecilia Dennis. The Milan '54 Museum, various antique shops, and a souvenir shop will offer mementos of this historic celebration. Food vendors and a special kids games area will also be open daily. Event schedules and registration forms along with food and lodging information can be found at http://www.milan150years.org

Officially declared a town in 1854, Milan was originally platted in 1836 and became a substantial business center on the crossing of two heavily traveled roadways, the Aurora-Napoleon and Madison-Brookville Pikes. The center of the town shifted to the south with the coming of the railroad - creating two new commerce areas, Brooklyn on the south side of the tracks on January 17, 1854 and South Milan on the north side of the tracks on September 22, 1854. The railroad still runs through Milan and many businesses honor its impact with train terminology in their names. In 1956, in an effort to modernize and speed up traffic to other parts of the county, State Route 101 came through bringing many more visitors to this small town. With a population of little more than a thousand, the community was known for its furniture factory and for the old Miwogco Mineral Springs Hotel, which rivaled the Springs Valley resorts prior to its destruction in a 1928 fire.

The "Heart" of Indiana Basketball - No discussion of basketball in Indiana would be complete without the mention of the "Milan Miracle of 1954." On a cold March night in Butler Field house, the Indians of tiny Milan High School (enrollment 162) defeated the mighty Muncie Central Bearcats (enrollment 1,662), to win the state championship and secure their place in Hoosier folklore. In the '50s, Indiana high school basketball teams were under a single classification so the meeting of a small school and a giant school was not only possible but the makings of three hit books and the movie "Hoosiers." This story continues to resonate through the years as it is consistently voted one of the top sports stories by the Indiana Sports Writers Association, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN.

The celebration sponsor, the Milan Sesquicentennial Committee, is a not-for-profit organization formed by the residents and the Town of Milan. Its aim is to promote Milan's unique history and further the economic development and community vitality in the area.

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