200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428
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July 2018

July 20th, 2018 / 5:00 PM

Lincoln's Festival on Route 66

It’s time once again for the annual Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66, this year being held on July 20, 21, and 22. Activities during the festival weekend will include: living history performances, car shows and cruise-ins for car enthusiasts, period crafts and children’s activities, Civil War skirmishes and cavalry encampment, walking tours, a vintage bicycle display, plus speakers and musicians to share the journey along the prairie path, to the steel rails, and on to the Mother Road.

The Museum will be hosting a variety of activities on all three days of the festival this year. The free, family friendly activities begin on Friday, July 20 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. with Encounters with Lincoln’s World, celebrating our state’s Bicentennial through dramatized stories of ordinary people who became real “Hometown Heroes” by adapting to extraordinary times. Members of the Historic Acting Troupe will portray men and women whose experiences provide a travelogue that spans the generations and the miles, highlighting sights, sounds and ideas that echoed throughout the nation.Performances will be held inside the Museum and several other locations in Downtown Bloomington. The Museum will serve as the starting point, and visitors are urged to arrive no later than 6 p.m. in order to see the entire presentation. Performances will begin every 20 minutes with the last performance at 7:40 p.m.

The Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 is an Illinois Route 66 Red, White, and Blue Corridor signature event and is a proud partner in the 42-county Looking for Lincoln Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. For more information about any of the activities and programs occurring at the Museum during Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66, please contact the Education Department at education@mchistory.org.

Other locations participating in the festival include: Downtown Bloomington, McLean County Museum of History/Cruisin’ with Lincoln on Route 66 Visitors Center, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin Park, Bloomington Public Library, David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, Illinois Wesleyan University Ames Library, Sprague Service Station/Ryburn Place, and Ewing Manor Cultural Center.

For more information about Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 and a complete listing of activities at all participating locations, please visit http://www.lincolnsfestival.net/.

July 21st, 2018 / 10:00 AM

Lincoln's Festival on Route 66

It’s time once again for the annual Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66, this year being held on July 20, 21, and 22. Activities during the festival weekend will include: living history performances, car shows and cruise-ins for car enthusiasts, period crafts and children’s activities, Civil War skirmishes and cavalry encampment, walking tours, a vintage bicycle display, plus speakers and musicians to share the journey along the prairie path, to the steel rails, and on to the Mother Road.

Museum activities will continue on Saturday, July 21 beginning at 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. with the highly popular So you think you know Lincoln and Kicking it on Route 66 trivia games! Contestants can test their knowledge about our 16th President of the United States and about the entire Route 66. Prizes will be awarded for correct answers! Trivia will continue on Sunday, July 22 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Lincoln and Route 66 themed crafts for children of all ages will also be offered from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. From 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Party Animal Balloons will be at the Museum making Lincoln inspired balloon hats and a variety of other fun balloon creatures.

Saturdays line up of speakers starts at 11:00 a.m. with the Museum’s Executive Director Emeritus, Greg Koos, who will lead the highly popular walking tour of Lincoln sites in Downtown Bloomington. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and participants will be able to gain unique insight into Lincoln, his friends and associates in Bloomington, and about the town where he spent more time than any other place outside of Springfield. Those interested in joining this tour must meet inside the Museum’s Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center, located on the ground floor of the Museum.

At 12:30 p.m. in the second floor Governor Fifer Courtroom, retired historical actor and elementary school teacher Betty Kay, will present The True Story of Mary Lincoln. Kay will tell the story of the Lincolns through the eyes of Elizabeth Todd Edwards, sister of Mary Todd Lincoln, who was among the people most closely acquainted with the Lincolns. Kay taught elementary school for more than 30 years. She has written twelve children’s books, including Illinois from A to Z (University of Illinois Press, 2000). After retiring from teaching, Kay began visiting schools in period clothing to bring Illinois History to life. As a historical actor, she has given numerous presentations throughout Illinois and is a member of the Illinois Humanities Council Roads Scholar Speakers Bureau. This program is sponsored by a grant from Illinois Humanities. Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.

At 2:00 p.m. in the Governor Fifer Courtroom, Route 66 historian Cheryl Eichar Jett, will present a program on Writing Women into Route 66 History. Jett will share stories of women who blazed trails in traditionally-male careers, “moms” in mom and pop businesses along the route, and female adventurers and entrepreneurs. She’ll also discuss how various women made their mark on Route 66, why it matters, and how Route 66 women’s history is evolving. Jett is the author of six books and is currently working on her seventh which will explore women’s contributions to the culture of “The Mother Road.” She is a regular contributor to Show Me Route 66, The 66 News, and the Prairie Land Buzz, and has been published in numerous other magazines and newspapers.

Keep an eye out for Mr. Lincoln who will be visiting the Museum during the festival too. He will be available to meet visitors and even do a photo or two. Check back in our July monthly mailer for more details about his visit.

Don’t forget to visit the Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center located on the ground floor of the Museum. You can explore our exhibit to learn what traveling in Lincoln’s era was like and about Route 66 in McLean County! You can also pick up many local favorites like Beer Nuts Brand Snacks, Funks Pure Maple Sirup, Steak ‘n Shake souvenirs and seasonings, great local history books, and of course books and souvenirs about Abraham Lincoln!

The Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 is an Illinois Route 66 Red, White, and Blue Corridor signature event and is a proud partner in the 42-county Looking for Lincoln Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. For more information about any of the activities and programs occurring at the Museum during Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66, please contact the Education Department at education@mchistory.org.

Other locations participating in the festival include: Downtown Bloomington, McLean County Museum of History/Cruisin’ with Lincoln on Route 66 Visitors Center, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin Park, Bloomington Public Library, David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, Illinois Wesleyan University Ames Library, Sprague Service Station/Ryburn Place, and Ewing Manor Cultural Center.

For more information about Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 and a complete listing of activities at all participating locations, please visit http://www.lincolnsfestival.net/.

July 22nd, 2018 / 10:00 AM

Lincoln's Festival on Route 66

It’s time once again for the annual Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66, this year being held on July 20, 21, and 22. Activities during the festival weekend will include: living history performances, car shows and cruise-ins for car enthusiasts, period crafts and children’s activities, Civil War skirmishes and cavalry encampment, walking tours, a vintage bicycle display, plus speakers and musicians to share the journey along the prairie path, to the steel rails, and on to the Mother Road.

Museum activities will continue on Sunday, July 22 beginning at 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. with the highly popular So you think you know Lincoln and Kicking it on Route 66 trivia games! Contestants can test their knowledge about our 16th President of the United States and about the entire Route 66. Prizes will be awarded for correct answers! Lincoln and Route 66 themed crafts for children of all ages will also be offered from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. as well.

At 1:00 p.m. in the Governor Fifer Courtroom, retired lawyer and local Lincoln historian Guy Fraker, will present an illustrated program traveling the Eighth Judicial Circuit. Fraker’s Images of Lincoln’s Eighth Judicial Circuit will take participants on a tour of the sites Lincoln visited and the roads he took to get there as he practiced law and politics in central Illinois.

Keep an eye out for Mr. Lincoln who will be visiting the Museum during the festival too. He will be available to meet visitors and even do a photo or two. Check back in our July monthly mailer for more details about his visit.

Don’t forget to visit the Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center located on the ground floor of the Museum. You can explore our exhibit to learn what traveling in Lincoln’s era was like and about Route 66 in McLean County! You can also pick up many local favorites like Beer Nuts Brand Snacks, Funks Pure Maple Sirup, Steak ‘n Shake souvenirs and seasonings, great local history books, and of course books and souvenirs about Abraham Lincoln!

The Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 is an Illinois Route 66 Red, White, and Blue Corridor signature event and is a proud partner in the 42-county Looking for Lincoln Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. For more information about any of the activities and programs occurring at the Museum during Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66, please contact the Education Department at education@mchistory.org.

Other locations participating in the festival include: Downtown Bloomington, McLean County Museum of History/Cruisin’ with Lincoln on Route 66 Visitors Center, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin Park, Bloomington Public Library, David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, Illinois Wesleyan University Ames Library, Sprague Service Station/Ryburn Place, and Ewing Manor Cultural Center.

For more information about Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66 and a complete listing of activities at all participating locations, please visit http://www.lincolnsfestival.net/.

July 28th, 2018 / 9:00 AM

Car Art

Art-making materials are all around us! Make a pit stop at the Museum’s booth at the DBA’s Farmers’ Market Kids’ Zone (intersection of Jefferson and Center Streets) to discover a new use for old toys.

This month, we’ll create a masterpiece using toy cars, paint, and our imaginations! Explore patterns and color, and walk away with instant abstract art.

Before you leave downtown, be sure to visit the Museum to explore Pedal Power!, our newest exhibit featuring the Bruce Callis Pedal Car Collection. Museum admission (and air conditioning) is free until noon. Pedal Power! is generously sponsored by State Farm.

July 28th, 2018 / 1:00 PM

McLean County before McLean County

In commemoration of the Illinois bicentennial, Museum librarian Bill Kemp will look back at McLean County prior to statehood and the pioneer settlement era. His presentation will emphasize the area’s natural environment and landscape, its flora and fauna, and the native people that called it home. This free, public program will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, in the Museum’s Governor Fifer Courtroom.

Bill Kemp has served as librarian for the McLean County Museum of History for 14 years. He has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois Springfield and a master’s in history from Illinois State University. Kemp’s weekly Pantagraph column, “A Page from Our Past,” debuted in 2005. Since then, there have been more than 600 original columns in the award-winning series.

For more information about this program, please contact the Education Department at education@mchistory.org or 309-827-0428. Free parking is available on the Museum Square and surrounding streets or at the Lincoln Parking Deck located on Front Street.

July 31st, 2018 / 6:30 PM

Movies Under the Dome: The Visitor

See Richard Jenkins, two-time Oscar nominated actor and Illinois Wesleyan University alum (’69), star in The Visitor (2007) on Tuesday, July 31 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Museum’s ongoing Movies Under the Dome series.

Walter Vale (Jenkins) is a widowed Connecticut College economics professor who lives a fairly solitary existence. When he is asked to present a paper at an academic conference at New York University, he is less than enthusiastic about making the trip. When he arrives at his former Manhattan apartment, he is startled to find a young couple living there. Knowing the couple has nowhere else to go, Walter lets them stay. Through this framework, the film explores themes of friendship, citizenship, identity, and cross-cultural communication in a post 9/11 world.

The Visitor has a run time of 1 hour 37 minutes and is rated PG-13 for brief strong language. Commentary from award-winning author and screenwriter Dennis Brown (IWU, ’67) will precede and follow the film. Brown’s introductory remarks, “Meeting The Visitor,” will provide context as to how the film came to be and why the movie remains so immediate.

This program is free and open to the public. Popcorn and beverages will be available for purchase. For more information, contact the Education Department at education@mchistory.org or 309-827-0428.