2018 Schedule

The festival planning committee is busy finalizing this year's schedule.  Check back often for updates!  

F R E E   E V E N T S

Friday, July 20
1 pm

Bloomington Public Library (205 E. Olive Street)
1 pm - A classic movie about Abraham LIncoln. - Community Room


5 pm

Bloomington Public Library (205 E. Olive Street)
 Deadline to submit Lincoln Coloring Contest entries at the Children's Department Desk
**When attending Lincoln Festival programs in the Community Room on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, be sure to enter your name into the drawing for a copy of the Illinois Blue Book 2017-2018 Bicentennial Edition.  the winner's name will be drawn on Monday, July 23.**

McLean County Museum of History, Ensenberger Condominiums and Heritage Plaza in Downtown Bloomington (200 N. Main Street and surrounding block)
 History comes to life in Downtown Bloomington with Encounters with Lincoln’s World.  Simultaneous performances by costumed actors will feature individuals who lives, worked and traveled through the McLean County landscape in the 1800s. 

In celebration of our state's Bicentennial, these dramatized stories of ordinary people adapting to extraordinary times commemorate real Hometown Heroes.  This historical journey with members of the Historic Acting Troupe spans the generations and the miles, highlighting sights, sounds and ideas that echoed throughout the state and the nation. 

Encounters performances will be held inside the McLean County Museum of History, Ensenberger Condominiums and Heritage Plaza in Downtown Bloomington.
(Helpful Hint: To see all performances, begin rounds by 6:20 pm.) The last performances will begin at 7:40 pm and end at 8 pm. 

Read More ...


Saturday, July 21
9 am

Bloomington Public Library (205 E. Olive Street) - Activities continue until 4 pm unless otherwise noted
Lincoln Craft for Children
Patriotic Pin Craft for Teens - teenZone. Enter to win a Lincoln-inspired gift!  The winner's name will be drawn on Monday after the festival
Children's Coloring Contest Winners Announced; entries on display

David Davis Mansion (1000 Monroe Drive) - Activities continue until 4 pm unless otherwise noted
Wheels Through Time: A Historic Bike Exhibit  
Enjoy tours of the Davis Mansion and Sarah's Garden given by docents
 Bloomington Cycle and Fitness will have the latest bikes on display, including electric bikes
Meet the Peoria Wheelmen
 Healing Rides, an organization that gives rides to folks who can no longer ride themselves

Franklin Park (Chestnut Street at Prairie Street) - Activities continue until 4 pm unless otherwise noted
Self-Guided Walking Historical House Tour (Pick-up guide at Information Tent) 
Picnic-Style Food available for purchase
Free Carriage Rides around the Franklin Park Neighborhood (Rides begin at the east corner of Chestnut Street at McLean Street) 

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) - Activities continue until 4 pm unless otherwise noted
Civil War Era Encampment - Visit the encampment and talk with the members of the Cavalry

McLean County Museum of History and Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center Opens (200 N. Main Street) - Activities continue until 4 pm unless otherwise noted
Museum Opens
 Finding Lincoln’s Friends Scavenger Hunt - inside the Museum (Continues until 4 pm)
 So You Think You Know Lincoln and Kicking It on Route 66 Trivia Games (Prizes will be awarded for correct answers!) - First Floor Rotunda
 Looking for Lincoln Scavenger Hunt - Downtown
 Pedal Power! On display will be the personal pedal car collection of long-time State Farm executive Bruce Callis. This exhibit will feature dozens of child-sized autos which spans fifty years of pedal car production from the 1920s through the 1970s. 

Ryburn Place @ Sprague's Super Service (305 Pine St, Normal, IL - Old Route 66)  Closes at 5 pm.
 Sprague's Super Service, a Tudor-Revival building, was completed in the early 1930s by local contractor William W. Sprague, with a restaurant, gas station, and garage to meet the needs of travelers along Route 66. The upstairs owner’s quarters and a small apartment for the gas station attendant helped Sprague's serve travelers and locals while keeping costs down.  Terri Ryburn purchased the building in 2006 and worked on the restoration.  The Town of Normal purchased it in 2016 and plans to finish the restoration.  Terri Ryburn has opened a gift shop in the building which features Route 66, vintage, collectibles, and local artists. 
 Electric Car Display.  If you think electric cars are a 21st century invention, you're in for a treat.  View a variety of new and old electric cars, including a 1975 Vanguard Citicar. 


9:30 am

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Suds and Honey Pots


10 am

Bloomington Public Library (205 E Olive Street) 
Judging of Lincoln Coloring Contest Entries (Entries on display)
 The Pantagraph Presents Lincoln's in Town! a recording of an original dramatization of Abraham Lincoln's sojourns in Bloomington, Illinois - Community Room
This recording of an original dramatization of Abraham Lincoln's sojourns in Bloomington, Illinois was written by Robert C. Bray and Nancy Steele Brokaw.  The play was presented at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 13-15, 2009.  It follows Lincoln's Bloomington career from his initial appearance as a newly minted lawyer through all of his best-known legal and political appearances in town - including the famous "Lost Speech" of 1856, ending with his funeral train which ran through Bloomington.

Franklin Park (Chestnut Street at Prairie Street) - Activities continue until 4 pm unless otherwise noted
Mid State Cruisers Franklin Park Cruise-In (Continues until 2 pm)
Children's Activity Tent - 19th Century-style Saturday in the Park with crafts and children's period games
Professional Face Painting by Wild Style Design Company
Not-for-Profits with lots of activities for the kids
 Double Double by Nancy Steele Brokaw, directed by Enrico Spada.  Want to meet William Shakespeare AND Abraham Lincoln? How about three dastardly witches, a king or two, and a funny talking wall? You can! They are together in Double, Double, a fun, fast-paced show for the young and young-at-heart. Look over there! That's Abraham Lincoln sitting on a bench outside the McLean County Courthouse. He's wrestling with a decision that will change his life and the life of his country. Who can help him? Why, William Shakespeare, of course! This beloved writer has been Lincoln's go-to guy since childhood. Both Lincoln and Shakespeare rose from humble beginnings to outshine expectations and they will teach you how to do that, too. Join us as we meet two of history's biggest superstars, hear real Shakespeare words, have some laughs, be inspired, and even learn a line or two.

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street)
 
Suds and Honey Pots

McLean County Museum of History and Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center Opens (200 N. Main Street) 
  Lincoln and Route 66 Craft Activities - First Floor Rotunda (continues until 1 pm)
  Watch for President Lincoln on walk around around the museum and at the Farmer's Market.


10:30 am

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street)
Nursing the Soldier Back to Health


11 am

Bloomington Public Library (205 E Olive Street) 
 Enjoy the music of Dale Evans on the Dulcimer - Patio (continues until 2 pm) - while waiting for the wagon ride between the Library and Franklin Park

David Davis Mansion (1000 Monroe Drive) 
 Two Hundred Years of Bicycles: Technological Development and Changes in Social Acceptance, 1817-2018 with Dr. Thomas Burr, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Illinois State University
Early History of Bicycling in Illinois presented by Christopher Sweet, Bicycle Historian, Illinois Wesleyan University
Illinois has a rich bicycling history.  This presentation by Christopher Sweet will cover bicycling in Illinois from its beginnings in the 1860s through the end of the bicycle boom of the 1890s.  It will examine manufacturing, racing and social issues.

Franklin Park (Chestnut Street at Prairie Street)
  
President Lincoln will be on-hand, interacting with visitors enjoying all the activities at the park (see listings above) until Noon  

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Firearm Safety

McLean County Museum of History and Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center Opens (200 N. Main Street)
Lincoln in Downtown Bloomington Walking Tour with Greg Koos starts inside Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center at the Museum
Party Animal Balloons will be making Lincoln inspired balloon hats and a variety of other fun balloon creatures. (continues until 1 pm)


11:30 am

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street)
Games Horses Play


Noon

David Davis Mansion (1000 Monroe Drive) 
Slow Bike Races - Bring your bike and and participate in a slow race. The objective of a slow race is simple: to be the last one across the finish line without putting a foot down.  No backward movement allowed.  The course will be about 30 feet long.  Depending on interest there will be multiple heats and categories.  Prizes will be awarded. 

Franklin Park (Chestnut Street at Prairie Street) 
The Clinton Uke Crazies - enjoy this popular group’s performance of Civil War songs on ukuleles (continues until 2 pm)

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Bugle as Communication


12:30 pm

David Davis Mansion (1000 Monroe Drive) 
Slow Bike Races - Bring your bike and and participate in a slow race. The objective of a slow race is simple: to be the last one across the finish line without putting a foot down.  No backward movement allowed.  The course will be about 30 feet long.  Depending on interest there will be multiple heats and categories.  Prizes will be awarded. 

McLean County Museum of History and Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center (200 N. Main Street) 
 The True Story of Mary Lincoln
presented by historical actor Betty Kay - 2nd Floor Courtroom
Ms. Kay tells the story of the Lincolns through the eyes of Elizabeth Todd Edwards, sister of Mary Todd Lincoln, who was among the people most closely acquainted with the Lincolns.  She held Mary in her arms on the day she was born and again on the day she died in the Edwards' home in 1882.  She begins her presentation by comparing Mary's childhood experiences with Abraham's and then weaves their lives together.  


1 pm

Bloomington Public Library (205 E Olive Street) 
 
Jesse Fell, Lincoln and Illinois State University presented by April Anderson, University Archivist of Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives at Illinois State University - 
Community Room  
Ms. Anderson will explore the friendship of Jesse Fell and Abraham Lincoln in their early law days, how this friendship led to Lincoln's serving as the Board of Education's lawyer for Illinois State University, and Fell's influence on Lincoln's run for president.
 Don't Lose Your Marbles ... Modern Marble Games and Activities.  Lincoln loved books, but he also enjoyed the game of  marbles.  Join us for marble games, marble painting, marble racing, and marble bowling - Children's Story Room (continues until 4 pm)

David Davis Mansion (1000 Monroe Drive) 
Keep an eye-out for President Lincoln.  He's happy to pose for pictures with guests of all ages.

 IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Firearms, Saber and Fencing Tactics


1:45 pm

 IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street)
Horse Hoof Care and Trimming 


2 pm

David Davis Mansion (1000 Monroe Drive) 
Two Hundred Years of Bicycles: Technological Development and Changes in Social Acceptance, 1817-2018 with Dr. Thomas Burr, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Illinois State University
Early History of Women's Cycling in Illinois presented by Christopher Sweet, Bicycle Historian, Illinois Wesleyan University
Christopher Sweet notes, women first began riding in great numbers during the 1890s.  Bicycling gave women greater independence through freedom of movement, spurred on dress reform, and challenged gender roles.  Whether women should ride at all was hotly debated.  This presentation will cover these topics through 1900 and has options for audience participation.

Franklin Park (Chestnut Street at Prairie Street) 
From Obscurity to Greatness: Illinois and Lincoln, 1830 to 1861 presented by Abraham Lincoln (Kevin Wood)

In 1830, the young State of Illinois – only 12 years old – was the fifth smallest in the nation in terms of population.  It was a relatively unknown and mostly undeveloped land with an uncertain future and not necessarily destined for any measure of greatness.  That same year, a young man arrived in Illinois with his family and the same could be said about him: unknown, undeveloped, an uncertain future and not apparently destined for much.  The next 31 years would see the transformation of both the state and the man, of both Illinois and … Abraham Lincoln.

By 1860, Illinois would grow more than tenfold to become the nation’s fourth largest state, full of energy and promise and a microcosm of the entire nation: a mix of northerners and southerners, native-born and immigrants, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, urban and rural.  These groups clashed at times, but also learned how to live and work together to further the interests of all.  And Abraham Lincoln would grow tremendously, too, to become known throughout the country as the President-elect of a nation in crisis, on the verge of disunion and perhaps even civil war, the leader who would need to try to keep a divided nation (and state) together, yet without abandoning his principles.

It is the story of how Illinois, and Lincoln, grew from obscurity to greatness during Illinois’ early years.

 IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street)
 
Move to Battlefield at 2:45 pm

McLean County Museum of History and Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center (200 N. Main Street) 
2 pm - Writing Women into Route 66 History with Cheryl Eichar Jett - 2nd Floor Courtroom
Cheryl Eichar Jett, author, historian and founder of the Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference (Edwardsville, IL), will discuss how various women made their mark on Route 66, how women's Route 66 history is evolving and why it is important.  She'll share stories of women who blazed trails in traditionally-male careers, wives who gained fame as the female influence in mom 'n pop hospitality businesses, a few outlaws, free spirits, and others on the fringe of society.


3 pm

Bloomington Public Library (205 E Olive Street) 
 The Building of the Illinois Central Railroad
presented by Don Chamberlain (3) - Community Room
Mr. Chamberlain's presentation will include the reasons for and challenges of building the first major railroad in Illinois.  He will examine why it was built, where it was built, how it was built, how the state's population and identity changed as a result of the building of the Illinois Central and what part did Lincoln play in Illinois Central history.    

David Davis Mansion (1000 Monroe Drive) 
 Casual Ride – All are invited to join us for a cycle down the Constitution Trail and back ending at the new brewpub, Keg Grove.

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Skirmish at Battlefield
President Lincoln will be on-hand at the battlefield and encampment


3:30 pm

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Visit the Encampment  (Closes at 4 pm)


4 pm

Ewing Manor Cultural Center - 48 Sunset Road, Bloomington (Emmerson & Towanda) 
 Lincoln and Shakespeare (3rd presentation in Shakespeare in the Land of Lincoln Symposium) - Spotlight Speaker, Michael Anderegg, Ph.D., a professor of English and author of Lincoln and Shakespeare. (7)  Dr. Anderegg has also written several other books including Cinematic Shakespeare and Orson Welles, Shakespeare, and Popular Culture.  (Reservations are recommended - Click Here).
Dr. Anderegg describes how Lincoln discovered the Bard's works at a time when they were first being widely distributed and read in America.  The words and stories resonated with the future President.  Anderegg states, "It was to Shakespeare's dramatic universe that Lincoln turned to again and again for intellectual nourishment, emotional support, and sheer pleasure that he could find nowhere else."


*****  Free Wagon Ride between the Bloomington Public Library and Franklin Park - 10 am - 4 pm  *****
*****  Free Trolley Rides take visitors to a number of festival sites in Bloomington (See Map) - 10 am - 4 pm  *****


Sunday, July 22
9 am

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Church Service

Ryburn Place @ Sprague's Super Service (305 Pine St, Normal, IL - Old Route 66)  Closes at 5 pm.
 Sprague's Super Service, a Tudor-Revival building, was completed in the early 1930s by local contractor William W. Sprague, with a restaurant, gas station, and garage to meet the needs of travelers along Route 66. The upstairs owner’s quarters and a small apartment for the gas station attendant helped Sprague's serve travelers and locals while keeping costs down.  Terri Ryburn purchased the building in 2006 and worked on the restoration.  The Town of Normal purchased it in 2016 and plans to finish the restoration.  Terri Ryburn has opened a gift shop in the building which features Route 66, vintage, collectibles, and local artists. 


10 am

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Safety Demonstration

McLean County Museum of History and Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center (200 N. Main Street)
 So You Think You Know Lincoln and Kicking It on Route 66 Trivia Games (Prizes will be awarded for correct answers!) - First Floor Rotunda (continues until 2 pm)
 Lincoln and Route 66 Craft Activities - First Floor Rotunda (continues until 1 pm)

Ryburn Place @ Sprague's Super Service (305 Pine St, Normal, IL - Old Route 66)  Display closes at 1 pm.
 Electric Car Display.  If you think electric cars are a 21st century invention, you're in for a treat.  View a variety of new and old electric cars, including a 1975 Vanguard Citicar.  


10:30 am

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street)
 
Games Horses Play


11 am

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Nursing the Soldier Back to Health


11:30 am

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street)
Firearms, Saber and Fencing Tactics 


12:15 pm

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Horse Hoof Care and Trimming


12:45 pm

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Bugle as Communication


1 pm

Bloomington Public Library (205 E Olive Street) - Activities continue until 5 pm unless otherwise noted
Lincoln Craft for Children
Patriotic Pin Craft for Teens - teenZone. Enter to win a Lincoln-inspired gift!  The winner's name will be drawn on Monday after the festival

McLean County Museum of History and Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center (200 N. Main Street)
 Images of Lincoln's Eighth Judicial Circuit presented by Guy Fraker - 2nd Floor Courtroom
The program consists of 50 images, some historical, some current.  They are pictures of the sites Lincoln  visited and the roads he took to get there,  as he practiced law and politics in central Illinois.

Milner Library at Illinois State University (201 N. School Street - Normal)
 View the special collections on Shakespeare and Lincoln (On display until 3 pm)


1:15 pm

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Suds and Honey Pots (Move to Battlefield at 1:45 pm)


1:30 pm

Bloomington Public Library (205 E Olive Street)
 
1:30-2:45 pm - Lincoln's Lost Speech presented by Abraham Lincoln (Kevin Wood) - Community Room
Join us as Abraham Lincoln recreates and reminisces about the "Lost Speech" that was delivered in Bloomington, Illinois on May 29, 1856 in Major's Hall at the Anti-Nebraska Bloomington Convention.  This convention culminated in the founding of the Illinois Republican Party.  Time for questions and answers and a photo-op follow the presentation.


2 pm

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Skirmish at Battlefield


2:30 pm

IWU Ames Library Lawn - 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Empire at East Street) 
Visit Encampment (Closes at 3 pm)


3:15 pm

Bloomington Public Library (205 E Olive Street)
 3:15 - Music of Lincoln and the American Civil War played by our local Orpheus Mandolin Orchestra 


Events with Entrance Fees

Lincoln's Festival on Route 66 Concerts

 
Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts Logo_w.jpg
 

Gates open at 5 pm
CEFCU Outdoor Summer Stage
Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts (BCPA) - 600 N. East Street, Bloomington

Friday, July 20 @ 6 pm
The Neverly Brothers


Saturday, July 21 @ 6 pm
Mojo and the Bayou Gypsies

Admission for each night is $20.  Weekend passes good for both nights - $35. 
(Discounted passes ONLY available in advance)
Ticket Office: 309.434.2777 or Buy Tickets

Enjoy great music on the lawn, under the stars, food truck fare, craft and domestic beers.