Downtown Festival spurs sidebar events
Lincoln Welcome Garden, A taste of Railsplitter, Neal tire Car Cruise in

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[September 15, 2018]  This weekend, the Pigs & Swigs Festival is going to fill the downtown area with out of town visitors and local folks. The diversity of the festival is so great that those visiting the heart of the city are certain to find at least a few things that will peak their interest.

As the day goes along on Saturday, visitors will also be able to take in some sights that are not officially part of the Festival, but will be going on nearby, within easy walking distance of the downtown area.


Ribbon cut at the new Lincoln Welcome Garden

First on the list will be a ribbon cutting and opening of the new Lincoln Welcome Garden. Located at the corner of Pekin and north Kickapoo Streets, just one block north of the Logan County Courthouse Square, the garden will pay homage to our Route 66 Heritage as well as our rich agricultural background. Items located in the garden will speak to who we are as a community in a fun and quirky Route 66 way.

The ribbon cut will commence at 10 a.m. Afterward folks will be encouraged to walk about a bit and see what is in the garden now. There may also be an opportunity to speak with the garden designers about what the future plans for the Welcome Garden will be.

The garden is the first product of a new Lincoln Pride Initiative that is being backed by the Logan County Tourism Bureau.

From 1926 to 1930, Route 66 came into the downtown area. The path it followed ran along North Kickapoo at the north edge of town all the way to Broadway Street in downtown Lincoln. At Broadway it turned west and went to north Logan Street, then followed Logan/Fifth Street to south Washington Street, past the Mill on Route 66, then on out to what is now the Route 66/Lincoln Parkway loop around town.

From Chicago to Los Angeles, Route 66 is adorned from time to time with colorful, fun attractions that invite visitors to stop, take photos and create memories. The downtown Welcome Garden will be such a location for visitors traveling Route 66 through the heart of the city.

Depot Visitors Center to feature a sampling of the Railsplitter Festival

With there being no Balloon Festival this year, the Logan County Fair, and the National Railsplitting Festival are going to be the two biggest draws for out of town visitors after the Pigs & Swigs Festival this year.

On Saturday, the Logan County Tourism Bureau working with the Logan County Railsplitting Association will give visitors a glimpse of the fall event with hopes that some will return to town in September for that event.

Tagged as “A taste of Railsplitter,” crafters typically found at the Railplitter will be set up inside the Depot. Look for Nancy Robbins who will be demonstrating the 1860’s style of making rugs on a loom. Nancy Vannoy will offer demonstrations on twining and Judy Ballinger will show guests how to spin wool into yarn. Dianne Skelton will be on hand offering demonstrations on crocheting and David Boward will talk about and demonstrate working with wood. All of these are skills that were important to the daily lives of local residents in the Abraham Lincoln era of the mid 1800’s.

One local musician who often performs at the Railsplitter has also been invited to take part and has tentatively accepted.

The Taste of Railsplitter will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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At 11 a.m. Abraham Lincoln will be outside at the depot visiting with folks who come by and handing out free slices of watermelon. Mr. Lincoln will continue the serving as long as the watermelon supply lasts. Also, look for him to perhaps visit some of the attractions at the Pigs & Swigs Festival downtown.

The community is invited, as well as our out of town visitors, to stop in at the Depot, visit with staff, take in the demonstrations, and if it is really hot, use the cool temperatures of the 1910 historic structure to cool down a bit.

The Lincoln Depot is located at the north corner of Broadway and Chicago Streets in Lincoln.

Neal Tire to host a car cruise in

At 2 p.m. on Saturday visitors are invited to attend the first-time Neal Tire Car Cruise-in. Neal tire is located just across the street from the Lincoln Depot on the south corner of Broadway and Chicago Streets.

The event is open to the public, so anyone who has a car or truck they are particularly proud of is welcome to come on down and show it off to other car enthusiasts who will be in attendance.

The event is not affiliated with any car clubs, though club members from throughout the area are invited.

Kenny Biehl is the manager at Neal Tire, and a car enthusiast. He’s putting this event together with the hopes that the first-time offering will bring in at least 30 cars from around the area.

One special feature for this show will include the large American Flag flying high from the extended ladder of one of our local fire departments.

Another interesting aspect of the show will be an opportunity to view a vintage vehicle from a vantage not often seen – the underside. A full service shop, Neal has car lifts inside their building. On Saturday afternoon Biehl will make arrangements for a couple of vehicles to be placed on the lifts and raised so that visitors can take a peek at the undercarriages of the old cars.

Throughout the afternoon there will be door prizes given out at random drawings. Prizes will include Neal Tire t-shirts, and Car Wash buckets filled with supplies to keep that great car looking great.

The first 50 participants will receive dash plaques and there will be a people’s choice vote ongoing throughout the afternoon.

The event will wrap up at 5 p.m. with the winners of the people’s choice announced near the end of the event.

There is no pre-registration required for show participants, and the event is open to the public for viewing with free admission.

All of the sidebar events going on Saturday will complement the activities at the Pigs & Swigs, adding even more diversity in the offerings and giving families even greater opportunities to spend some quality time together in the downtown Lincoln area.

Hope to see you all there!

[Nila Smith]


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