Friday, July 25, 2014
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Tourism Bureau announces exciting changes for the 2015 event line-up

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[July 25, 2014]  LINCOLN - The Logan County Tourism Bureau has been working with local event organizers to more effectively plan events that will draw visitors to Lincoln many times throughout the year.

It is important to draw travelers to Logan County to support the businesses by eating in our restaurants, shopping in our shops, and staying in our hotels. Logan County has many great historical landmarks/sites to see and an amazing new museum that rivals the best in the Country. The Bureau and event organizers felt it important to enhance the visitors experience by creating more opportunities for people to come experience the uniqueness of the community.

Conversations began in September of last year among organizers of the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival and a few leaders in the community. The conversation soon expanded to include many others. The objective was clear: have more events to draw people to Lincoln. The first step was to spread out the events that currently existed throughout the year instead of all of them happening in a one or two-month period. Step number two was to add events that complimented our community and the other event schedule that currently existed. There were many meetings over the year that included thoughtful questions, discussions and much investigation of how this would work.

Ultimately it was decided that Logan County’s largest event needs to expand in order to allow each component the room it needs to grow on its own. The components of the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival will become four separate events:

  1. The balloon portion will become a stand-alone event, and activities will be added at the Logan County Airport during that weekend to enhance this large attraction.
  2. Landing on a different weekend during the year, the wildly popular Up in Smoke on the Square BBQ competition will be joined with the car cruise-in, craft fair/flea market, and what is currently known as the Art of Wine & Brew.
  3. The fine art fair and a version of the Art of Wine & Brew will be pared together to bring entertainment to the downtown on a separate weekend with the addition of live music.
  4. In addition, the group is exploring combining the 1800’s Craft Fair, that takes place at Postville Courthouse, with the National Railsplitter Festival on a weekend in early Fall.

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By expanding the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival and combining other events, Lincoln will have four events to draw tourists to our community. David Lanterman, owner of Lincoln Theater 4, participated in the discussions from the very beginning. Lanterman plans to bring a unique event to Central Illinois in the future that will likely draw a very large group of people from out of the community. He plans to host a film festival in Lincoln that will be co-hosted by friend and Academy Award winner, Brenda Chapman.

Additional benefits will likely emerge from the expansion of these events throughout the year. Currently organizers are competing for funding (sponsors), space, and volunteers. With the festival as it currently is volunteers, sponsors, and guests of the event are restricted to choosing one or two components to help/visit in one weekend. Under the new structure all of these people/businesses can participate in all of the events if they choose to do so. The community’s resources will not be as stretched by spreading out these events throughout the year, instead of having an ‘all our eggs-in-one-basket’ kind of event that the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival has grown into.

On Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 4:00pm the Logan County Tourism Bureau along with event organizers will hold a press conference to announce more details of the expansion and the 2015 calendar of events. The press conference will be held on the west side of the Logan County Courthouse lawn, where the BBQ awards will be announced following the press conference.

For questions concerning the 2015 calendar of events in Lincoln, IL or for details on the 2014 Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival (no changes to this schedule will take place this year), please contact Andi Hake at 217-732-8687 or 217-735-2385.


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