Gov. Rauner pops the first Illinois Bicentennial Pepsi can

MARION (Dec. 15, 2017) — Gov. Bruce Rauner today joined Pepsi MidAmerica COO John Rains to unveil the limited edition Illinois Bicentennial Pepsi can and pop open the first edition to come off the production line.

The commemorative can will be immediately available at stores and markets in the Pepsi MidAmerica distribution territory – principally central and southern Illinois – throughout the Bicentennial year.

“The Bicentennial Pepsi can puts Illinois’ 200th birthday literally in the hands of thousands of Illinoisans,” Rauner said while touring the Marion Pepsi MidAmerica bottling plant. “The way I see it, two great brands have come together to put a spotlight on Illinois and the accomplishments of its people. High on that list is the Crisp family’s stewardship of Pepsi MidAmerica.”

Pepsi MidAmerica is a family-owned business started by the Crisp family in 1936 and run by three generations of family members, including CEO Harry L. Crisp III, who serves on the Illinois Bicentennial Commission.

“Illinois is a great state with great resources, and even better people,” Crisp said. “Celebrating 200 years gives us all an opportunity to look forward and plan for a wonderful future.”

“We are honored to be a part of the Illinois Bicentennial celebration,” said John Rains, Pepsi MidAmerica Vice Chairman and COO. “Pepsi MidAmerica will produce and distribute over 5 million commemorative Pepsi cans throughout our service area.”

“In addition to signature events and projects being held throughout the celebratory year, commemorative merchandise like these Bicentennial Pepsi cans will help inspire pride in Illinois and show the world what makes this state so great,” said Randy Dunn, Illinois Bicentennial Commission co-chairman and Southern Illinois University System president.

“This commemorative Bicentennial Pepsi can is a great way to bring more exposure to Illinois, highlighting not only a successful southern Illinois business, but also working to communicate the importance of Illinois’ Bicentennial celebration and the many reasons we should be proud of our state,” said state Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg.

“The purpose of this yearlong Bicentennial celebration is to showcase the history, transformation and growth that makes Illinois the great state we know and love,” he continued. “I, for one, am extremely grateful that Pepsi MidAmerica is lending their product to the celebration efforts and providing Illinois with a unique platform to promote Illinois’ Bicentennial.”

“Pepsi MidAmerica is one of the greatest family-owned companies in southern Illinois,” said Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton. “They’ve done a phenomenal job providing jobs for the people of this area. What an opportunity for this company to be part of celebrating 200 years of greatness in Illinois.”

The artwork on the Pepsi can was designed by Ben Olson of 3 Monkeys and Aardvark Studios in Schaumburg. Olson also designed the Bicentennial logo.

View the Pepsi can and other commemorative merchandise at


Two hundred years ago, on Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the Union. Since then, the people of Illinois have banded together to transform this once-barren and uninviting land into a remarkable place of awe-inspiring beauty, accomplishment and culture. The Illinois Bicentennial is a yearlong celebration of what has been BORN, BUILT & GROWN in the state and an invitation to fall in love with Illinois all over again.

Citizens are encouraged to participate in the celebration by visiting and using the hashtag #IllinoisProud.

Partners and event and project managers planning activities between Dec. 3, 2017, and Dec. 3, 2018, can apply for endorsement to become an official part of Illinois Bicentennial by visiting the PARTICIPATE page at

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