Lincoln Festival in Bloomington, IL, Combines with Route 66 History

Painting of Abraham Lincoln in ornate room with 3 military men, 2 to his right, 1 to his left.

Central Illinois is proud of its connection to Abraham Lincoln; it’s not surprising to see references to the great president everywhere, even outside Springfield. Here in Bloomington-Normal, we have the inside track to something special: Abe Lincoln wanders around greeting people, telling stories, and posing for selfies. Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 brings out history buffs and people just looking for some summer fun.

Theater, Old-time Baseball

Plan to attend the entire festival, from July 19-21, to increase your chances of taking it all in. And there is a lot to take in! Attend the multiple plays, including Mr. Lincoln and a presentation by the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Lincoln & Shakespeare. Or maybe you’d enjoy an 1800-style baseball game or an orchestra performance of music from Lincoln’s day.

Antique Cars and Bikes and More 

Foggy black and white photo of civil war re-enactment with entrymen with rifles bunched on right headed toward trees and battle

You don’t want to miss the Civil War encampment and re-enactments or the antique car show or vintage bicycle show. Family-friendly activities include contests, crafts, trivia and more for kids and teens. What to do? Do everything!

And locate yourself near the festivities by staying with us at Vrooman Mansion. Activities will be happening in downtown Bloomington, in Normal, at Ewing Manor on the Illinois State campus, at Illinois Wesleyan University, and the David Davis Mansion, where Lincoln visited and dined with his friend Judge Davis.

Right on Route 66

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Route 66 while you’re here. Because many of the Lincoln festival events are at the McLean County Museum of History, it’s the perfect opportunity to visit the Cruisin’ with Lincoln on Route 66 Visitors Center housed there. From there, it’s easy to see and find Route 66 memorabilia. And there’s a lot of it here. The Mother Road traversed central Illinois, going through Bloomington.

Julia Vrooman Suite, blue with antique mirror, bed, chair, hatrack, sconces. Blue floral rug. French doors looking out to greenery.

We can’t help but wonder as we celebrate Lincoln why that other cross-country highway that bears his name, which is longer and older, doesn’t get the same attention and glory. We’ll have to head over the visitor center and ask some questions. Or we’ll ask you to inquire for us as we focus on making your stay with us special. From your suite to your amenities to your food, we’ll treat you like a president.

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