Highway marks centennial

DeKALB – The Lincoln Highway turns 100 years old in 2013. To celebrate, the Illinois Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association has several activities planned along the Lincoln Highway the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19.

Starting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 18, a 1913-style driving tour will begin in Fulton.  (Leave the GPS at home!)  At 1 p.m., the tour will stop at the Lincoln-Manahan Home in Sterling. When the tour reaches Franklin Grove, there will be a car show and a visit to the Lincoln Highway Association National Tourism Headquarters. A dinner from Headon’s Catering will greet the travelers at the Creston Opera House at 5 p.m., followed by a talk by Lyle Headon on the Lincoln Highway in Creston. Dinner reservations can be made at illinoislincolnhighwayassociation.org through Wednesday, May 1. The talk will be held at the Creston Opera House; it is free and no registration is required.

Next, the tour will travel to DeKalb for an evening car show in the Frank Van Buer Plaza on the corner of Locust and North Second streets. The car show is free for participants and visitors. It begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m., when the Egyptian Theatre will host a concert by the band MahaRa. The story of the Lincoln Highway will then be told at the theater through the Celtic-American music of Switchback, with help from guest narrators, including an actor portraying Carl Fisher, the mastermind behind both the Lincoln Highway and the Indianapolis 500. Dancers from Colleen’s School of Clogging and Celtic Dance in Sterling will perform with Switchback. Come to the concert to learn what the Irish connection is to the highway. Tickets are $19 to $23 and available at egyptiantheatre.org.

The driving tour continues at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 19, starting from the parking lot of Best Western, 1212 W. Lincoln Highway. The tour continues eastward and will include a stop at the Joliet Area Historical Museum in the afternoon.

Sunday will conclude with a presentation at 7:30 p.m. at the Frankfort Park District, 140 Oak St. in Frankfort. Cynthia Ogorek will talk about her award-winning book, “The Lincoln Highway Around Chicago,” and Matthew Luzi will talk about his book about Prohibition-era bootleggers and mobsters, “The Boys of Chicago Heights: The Forgotten Crew of the Chicago Outfit.” The presentation is free and no registration is required.

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