Lincoln ready for the good times to roll Aug. 21-31     Send a link to a friend

[AUG. 21, 2003]  Lincoln's sesquicentennial committee has prepared the grandest celebration that Lincoln has seen in 50 years. A few minor changes have occurred, but all in all, the vision created by the committee is falling into place.

Thressia Usherwood told the committee that Picture This Photography Studio has offered to match funds for a pictorial CD of the sesquicentennial. This CD will enable people to purchase memories of Lincoln's 150th anniversary as a keepsake for years to come. The CD will serve a purpose similar to a movie that was taken at the 1953 celebration.

The chair of the queen contest, Pat Geskey, said there are five contestants competing to be crowned sesquicentennial queen. The tiara has been donated, and Jim Xamis has donated the roses and cars. One savings bond in the amount of $100 and two $50 bonds will be given away. A total of 1,435 tickets have been sold for the contest, with another 600 expected to be sold.

Paul Beaver reported that the sesquicentennial book covering Lincoln's history over the past 50 years is now at the printers.

On Monday, Aug. 25, the Lincoln Heritage Day "Abraham Lincoln & Lincoln, Illinois" program will be presented at Lincoln College at 7 p.m. This event is free but requires a ticket. As of today only 80 tickets are still available. Tickets can be acquired by calling the tourism office at 732-8687.

Tuesday, Aug. 26, is Business and Industry Day. There will be tours and open houses at local businesses and industries. One thousand business passports will be available for people to use during the tours and open houses.

Preparations are ready for the 1860s baseball game. The ballgame will be played at the Lincoln Junior High School's ball diamond at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 10 a.m. the christening re-enactment and speeches will take place just outside of the Lincoln Depot. Watermelons will fill the wagon outside the entrance to the restaurant. Mayor Davis said that numerous dignitaries from both political parties have been invited to participate. The mayor encouraged people to come dressed in period clothing for the event. A video of the christening will be made.

The Brothers of the Brush and Sisters of the Swish preparations for Saturday, Aug. 30, are completed.

The Railsplitters' booth has been moved to the Russell Stover store on Route 10 by Interstate 55. The booth will serve as an information booth for the sesquicentennial and will sell souvenirs. There is a need for volunteers to man the booth during the festivities.


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Cindy McLaughlin has met with WICS Channel 20 in Springfield and did a "Spotlight 20" feature plugging the sesquicentennial. McLaughlin also indicated that the "Who Let the Dogs Out" statues that local artists created for Dog Daze will be auctioned off during the break between the bands American English and Hairbanger's Ball on Friday, Aug. 29.

Bobbi Abbot told the committee that on Education Day, Friday, Aug. 29, people who want to visit their old schools can simply notify the school and go to their schools for a tour.

Greg Pelc, the music chair, told the committee that volunteers are needed to drive to St. Louis and pick up members of the bands playing during the sesquicentennial. Anyone with a valid driver's license can volunteer. Lincoln College has lent the committee a 15-person van for the pickups.

There have been some changes to the sesquicentennial schedule. The 33rd Infantry Band, originally scheduled for Friday, Aug. 29, will be playing Saturday, Aug. 30, at 3 p.m. at Postville Courthouse.

Brian Fox Ellis, a storyteller who had been listed on the schedule for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29 and 30, will be at the sesquicentennial on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 28 and 29. During the day he will visit Lincoln schools to tell his stories. He will also do presentations on Thursday evening at the Postville Courthouse and on Friday evening at Scully Park.

The Illinois Brass Works, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 31, canceled due to scheduling problems. The Illinois Brass Works has found a replacement. Phat Tuesday, a popular band from the Bloomington area, will play in their place.

Back-to-back, the Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival and the Lincoln Sesquicentennial have packed together a wide array of entertainment and events to pique your interests and tantalize your palates during these 10 days of August. Music will fill the air, battle re-enactments will be fought, christenings done, and ethnic foods will be available to quench any appetite.

The sesquicentennial committee has put in their time and made their plans. It appears that they will even meet the budget that they set for themselves. They have made the big party accessible to everyone. Their goal was to put on a rousing party for all who will be attending the city of Lincoln's 150th birthday, and from the looks of things, they will be successful. So everyone get ready for a good time.

[Don Todd]

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