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Celebrate 200 Years of Illinois History at Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66

This is a big year for Illinois, and the 2018 Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 will be a great celebration for all ages.
 


The festival, now in its tenth year, will run July 20 to 22 and offer many new activities, in addition to old favorites to honor the Illinois Bicentennial and the tenth anniversary of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. The Trails, Rails & Roads theme will encompass tours, presentations, games, concerts, cars, bicycles, trains, and horses, plus living history performances, all highlighting
local connections to Lincoln and Route 66.

 

"Encounters with Lincoln’s World” will be presented by the Historic Acting Troupe Friday evening, in Downtown Bloomington. Performances will be held simultaneously at the Ensenberger Condominium lobby, Heritage Plaza, and the McLean County Museum of History.

 

The Museum of History will also host activities Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Greg Koos will lead a walking tour of Lincoln sites in Downtown Bloomington. Betty Kay will present the “True Story of Mary Lincoln,” and Cheryl Eichar Jett will talk about the role of women in Route 66 history. Guy Fraker will offer an illustrated tour of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Sunday afternoon. Visitors can participate in activities featuring Lincoln and Route 66 and view the new Pedal Power! exhibit.

 

The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site will feature “Wheels of Time: A History of Bicycles” on Saturday with presentations by bicycle historians Dr. Thomas Burr and Christopher Sweet. Mansion tours, slow bike races, and a bike ride on Constitution Trail with a visit to Keg Grove Brewing Company will also be offered.
    
Franklin Park will be another hub of activity on Saturday. The Bloomington-Normal Jaycees will host an expanded car show from 9am to 1pm. Double, Double will offer a theatrical meeting of Lincoln and Shakespeare by local playwright Nancy Steele Brokaw. The Clinton Uke Crazies band, plus games and activities for children will also be featured. Picnic food will be available for purchase.

 

Bloomington Public Library will offer Lincoln-themed activities Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, including films and modern marble games. Musical entertainment will be provided by Dale Evans and by the Orpheus Mandolin Orchestra. On Saturday, featured programs will include Lincoln, Jesse Fell, and Illinois State University with April Anderson, and the building of the Illinois Central Railroad with Don Chamberlain. Lincoln interpreter Kevin Wood will deliver Lincoln’s Lost Speech on Sunday.

 

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival will present Dr. Michael Anderegg (author of Lincoln and Shakespeare) on Saturday as part of the “Shakespeare in the Land of Lincoln Symposium Series” at Ewing Cultural Center. Illinois State University’s Milner Library will display special collections on Shakespeare and Lincoln on Sunday afternoon.

 

The Ames Library lawn at Illinois Wesleyan University will be the site of an encampment and presentations by the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry on Saturday and Sunday. Troop skirmishes will be held both days.

 

Sprague’s Super Service on Route 66 in Normal will welcome visitors on Saturday and Sunday, with a display of electric cars on Sunday.

 

The Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts will host ticketed lawn concerts with the Neverly Brothers on Friday evening, and Mojo and the Bayou Gypsies on Saturday, plus a free family lawn concert on Sunday.

 

Abraham Lincoln will be portrayed by Kevin Wood at various venues on Saturday and Sunday. Carriage, wagon, and trolley rides will be available on Saturday.

 

Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 is a 2018 Looking for Lincoln Signature Event, and a Signature Event for the Illinois Route 66 Red, White, and Blue Corridor highlighting the heritage of Route 66 in Illinois.

 

For schedules and details on activities at all locations, visit www.lincolnsfestival.net or call 309-824-8862.

 

The festival is sponsored by Lincoln’s Festival in Bloomington Committee, David Davis Mansion Foundation, McLean County Museum of History, Bloomington Public Library, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Sprague’s Super Service, and the Bloomington-Normal Jaycees. Additional support comes from the Downtown Bloomington Association, Bloomington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts, Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, and Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 is a proud partner in the 42-county Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition and Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. For details, visit lookingforlincoln.com.


 

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