Coming up July 21 & 22, the City of Bloomington honors the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and his time in the Twin Cities with Lincoln's Festival in Bloomington. The two-day event features historic reenactments, walking tours, theatre, music and more. Jeff Woodard, Marketing and Community Relations Director at the McLean County Museum of History, says that although the festival has only been held since 2009, word has spread to out-of-state history buffs.
Woodard says the festival appeals to parents who want to interject some education into their family outings. This year, the Museum is trying to engage children by adding a scavenger hunt to the list of activities. A historic reenactment depicting a meeting of generals Grant, Lee and Sherman is also featured. Woodard says the museum tries to schedule events that will appeal to a wide variety of visitors, but that the real heart of the festival is the perennial appeal of the character of Abraham Lincoln.
Woodard adds that Lincoln is popular not only in America, but also in Japan. The weekly Japanese comedy variety show "Lincoln" uses an image of the president as its official mascot. Abraham Lincoln may have died almost one hundred-fifty years ago, but he's still very much a part of downtown Bloomington. Jeff Woodard feels one of the most affecting things to do during the festival is the walking tour through downtown Bloomington, retracing the steps of the man who practiced law here and who would one day lead the nation. Woodard says it's a great way to feel close to the man.
Woodard says this is the 4th annual festival and in just a few short years it has really caught on in the community, enough to inspire the city of Bloomington to expand the event, allowing the museum to use Franklin Park for the very first time.
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