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2008 Media Releases

January 25, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831

Event to feature "Abraham Lincoln in Song"

The Cityís eighth annual Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration is set for the evening of Tuesday, February 12 at Lincoln High School Auditorium, 2229 "J" Street. The free celebration will feature Illinois musician Chris Vallillo in a program called "Abraham Lincoln in Song." Doors will open at 6 p.m., and Lincoln musician Chris Sayre will perform at 6:30 p.m. Vallillo will take the stage at 7 p.m. All children and students attending will receive free souvenirs. Area Civil War re-enactors in authentic uniforms will mingle with the crowd and answer questions.

The celebration is sponsored by the City of Lincoln and the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau with support from the Nebraska Humanities Council and Lincoln Benefit Life.

Vallillo researched and created ďAbraham Lincoln in SongĒ in 2005 under the auspices of the Illinois Humanities Council. He uses historical narratives, contemporary folk music and period folk songs to bring Lincoln and his era to life. He has presented the program at locations throughout the Midwest, including the Lincoln Presidential Museum, the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. Vallillo currently serves as the Illinois State Scholar for the Smithsonian Institutionís traveling exhibition on roots music. He is a member of the Illinois Arts Councilís Artists in Education and Artstour rosters, the Illinois Humanities Councilís Road Scholars Speakers Bureau and Arts Midwestís Performing Arts Fund.

Sayre has performed at all seven of the Cityís previous Lincoln celebrations. He is self taught on more than a dozen instruments, and has dedicated more than 25 years to the performance and promotion of traditional and contemporary folk music. He has performed nationally at more than 1,000 schools and is in his 20th season in the Artists in Schools/Communities Program, co-sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council.

The Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration has traditionally been held on a Sunday afternoon. The organizing committee changed the format this year to allow more time to prepare for the 2009 event. The nation will celebrate Lincolnís 200th birthday next year, and the local committee is planning a four-day event from February 12 through 15, 2009.

More information is available by calling 441-7831. Vallilloís Web site is

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