Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66


Friday, July 20, 2018 - Sunday, July 22, 2018


McLean County Museum of History (and other various locations), 200 N Main St, Bloomington, Illinois


1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 is a free, annual, community-wide event produced by a collaborative partnership of fourteen cultural organizations that host activities in ten Bloomington-Normal locations: McLean County Museum of History; David Davis Mansion; Franklin Park; IWU Library lawn; Sprague’s Super Service; ISU Library; Ewing Manor; Bloomington’s public library, performing arts center, and historic downtown.

This year’s Festival features Bicentennial-specific programs celebrating highlights of Illinois’ 200-year history:

Abraham Lincoln (one of four presidents who called Illinois home) — was the only president who had spent significant time in Bloomington. Programs: historic walking tours; lectures; hands-on activities for children and adults; Lincoln re-enactor; Civil War encampment, reenactments

Route 66—wound throughout Bloomington-Normal. Programs: car show; vintage bicycle show; presentations on Women and Route 66.

Musical performances—showcase tunes that Lincoln loved, band concerts, and early years of rock and roll

Transportation programs — include stories about how new technologies (such as the Illinois Central Railroad) transformed the rural world of Lincoln’s circuit-riding years into an urban landscape dominated by railroads in Lincoln’s day and paved roads in the 20th century.

Programs in Literature and the Arts—explore the impact of Shakespeare’s tragedies on Lincoln’s feelings about leadership and war: lectures by Lincoln literary scholars; exhibits of rare Lincoln artifacts related to Shakespeare; children’s Shakespeare; and Ewing Manor performances of Henry V, one of Lincoln’s favorite Shakespearean tragedies.

Hometown Heroes—are commemorated in Encounters with Lincoln’s World, the dramatized stories of real Bloomington-Normal residents who were ordinary people adapting to extraordinary times.

Cost of Admission: $Festival events are free except for BCPA concerts

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