InterLinc Home Page
city of lincoln  
City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2008 Media Releases

July 24, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Wayne Boles, Celebration Chair, 434-5973

Free lecture by Doris Kearns Goodwin to cap celebration

Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that the City is expanding its annual Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration to four days in 2009 to mark President Lincoln’s 200th birthday. Highlights include a concert by the Jay Ungar and Molly Mason Family Band February 12; a new Civil War musical February 13; the traditional Family Day event February 14; and a lecture by author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin February 15.

“As the largest city in the world to be named for this beloved leader, Lincoln, Nebraska is proud to present this once-in-a-lifetime festival,” Beutler said. “I want to thank the volunteer committee for organizing a festival that includes favorites from past celebrations and exciting new events. I urge the entire community to support this celebration.”

This will be the City’s ninth annual Abraham Lincoln Birthday Celebration. Event Chair Wayne Boles said the event will be funded through grants and donations, and a small admission fee will probably be charged for the events on February 12 and 13. Events on February 14 and 15 will be free. Local advertising agency Bailey Lauerman has donated the services of its designers to create the celebration logo with the theme, “10 score.”

Boles said the volunteer committee began planning the 2009 event in 2007. “Abraham Lincoln remains one of the most compelling figures in history, and his 200th birthday is generating renewed worldwide interest in this amazing man and his times,” Boles said. “We plan to market this outstanding festival to the entire region to draw visitors to our community.”

Boles said the committee hopes other community organizations will plan events or exhibits to complement the four main events:

  • February 12 – The Jay Ungar and Molly Mason Family Band will give a concert at the Lied Center. This will be their third appearance in Lincoln. They have performed on “A Prairie Home Companion” and their own public radio specials and have worked on soundtracks for films and for Ken Burns’s documentaries. (More information is available at
  • February 13 – “Civil War Voices,” a new musical, will be presented on the Lied main stage. The piece was written by Lincoln attorney Jim Harris based on Civil War correspondence, including some from the playwright’s great-great uncle. Internationally-known composer Mark Hayes of Kansas City arranged the music.
  • February 14 - The annual free Family Day event will include music and dancing from the Smith Family Band, which has performed for six previous celebrations. Also returning is local favorite Chris Sayre, the only musician who has performed at all previous eight celebrations. Illinois actors Michael Krebs and Debra Ann Miller will return as the President and Mary Todd Lincoln. They performed in Lincoln in 2007. The event also will include Civil War re-enactors, historical exhibits, children’s activities and the annual Lincoln impersonators contest. (Krebs’s Web site is
  • February 15 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will give a free lecture at the Lied Center. Her latest book, “Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” was a number one New York Times bestseller. (More information is available at

Information on the celebration will be posted on the City Web site,, beginning in September. Those wanting to support the event can contact Boles at 434-5973 or Diane Gonzolas in the Mayor’s Office, 441-7831.

Mayor's Office    Media Releases