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From the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce

[JUNE 30, 2003]  The arrival of the Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival merchandise is always a time of major excitement for the staff at the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce. The realization that the countdown is beginning for this special event is first and foremost in our minds, the dates of the festival being Aug. 21-24.

Part of the excitement regarding the festival merchandise is the fact that the prices remain the same as last year, with the exception of the license plates. License plates are in and can be put on your car immediately. A new array of T-shirt colors, in addition to the white and ash gray, are available this year -- pink, butter (yellow) and sand (khaki) with the festival logo. The polo shirts are in birch (gray) and butter. The official pilot shirt has the racing checked collar. Pretty snappy! Our denim offering this year is short-sleeved with the embroidered logo. A red sandwich-billed cap or a khaki and black low-profile cap looks great with the rest of the merchandise.

Two new venues will be unique to the festival this year. The Art of Wine, sponsored by Main Street Lincoln, promises to be a tasty addition to the weekend. The traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall will be a major addition to the 2003 festival. The wall, displayed on the east side of the main drive at Lincoln Christian College, will be open around the clock for visitors, starting at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, through 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24. Local veteran groups will provide information and honor guards at the site.

Following their visit to the Vietnam Memorial Wall, visitors can see and hear more military history by driving a short distance from LCC. Around the field to the north and west, Heritage in Flight, located at the Logan County Airport, will host an open house Saturday, Aug. 23. Tours of the military museum (housed in a historic prison camp bunker), displays in the hangar and outdoor static displays that include military vehicles and aircraft will be provided by HIF members.

A record number of balloon pilots and sponsors (50) and a full slate of artists are contracted for this red-letter year. Calls come in daily for crafters, commercial vendors and flea market applications. The YMCA staff is making changes to the Adventure Zone, which will prove to be a great place for the kids. The Soap Box Downhillers, sponsored by Graue Inc., Lincoln Kiwanis and Insight Communications, will race down South Kickapoo Street on Saturday, and the classic car cruise-in, sponsored by the Cool Cruisers, will be around the Logan County Courthouse on Sunday.


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There will be something for everyone to enjoy over the weekend, including a wonderful exhibit of fireworks following the glow on Saturday night. Fireworks are being sponsored by S & N Fireworks and the chamber.

A free showing of Underground Railroad and Civil War quilts will be displayed in the Logan County Courthouse rotunda Aug. 21-24. Dr. Clarice Boswell, an Underground Railroad expert and author, will give a free program in the third-floor courtroom at 6:30 p.m.

Aug. 21. Author and quilter Susan Kirby will be at the show all day Aug. 23 to sign books and show her quilts. Hours for the exhibit are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 21 and 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 23, and from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 24.


In a separate location, the Layman Gallery, on the Lincoln College campus, will host a free Underground Railroad and black history exhibit Aug. 16 through Sept. 6. The gallery will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (except Labor Day) and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or by appointment.

Special-shape balloons to be featured this year are the three-tiered Birthday Cake, to celebrate Lincoln's 150th birthday; Arky, Noah's Ark filled with animals; Coco the Clown; Air Bear; and Freedom Flight. These balloons are locally sponsored by the city of Lincoln; Animal Crackers Childcare, Inc.; Britsch Mobile Homes, Home of Britsch Towing; Area Disposal and Lincoln Land Communications; and Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Homes, Holland & Barry Ltd., and Kerrigan-Peasley Funeral Home.

Brochures featuring both the Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival and the Lincoln Sesquicentennial have been delivered to area businesses, and many have gone out all around the state. If you need any additional information, give the chamber a call at (217) 735-2385 or write to 303 S. Kickapoo St., Lincoln, IL 62656.

[Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce]

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