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By JOHN FRIEDLEIN
Anybody got 200 candles?
While details will be sketchy for at least another week or so, local Abraham Lincoln sites are preparing to celebrate his Feb. 12 bicentennial birthday.
A February event at the Hodgenville birthplace park was to kick off a nationwide two-year celebration, but the celebration was canceled because of an ice storm.
The park will have some kind of program the morning of the actual bicentennial. It will be smaller, though, than what had been planned for this year, which was to include a visit by first lady Laura Bush, said Sandy Brue, chief of interpretation and resource management.
Because plans aren’t finalized, organizers won’t yet discuss particulars.
Other events are slated that day for Hodgenville, where Lincoln was born Feb. 12, 1809. For instance, there will be a morning wreath-laying ceremony, a Lincoln luncheon and possibly a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Lincoln Museum’s new library, said Mayor Terry Cruse.
Also, the Nancy Lincoln Inn will rent cabins at the birthplace so visitors can wake up there the morning of his birthday.
And in Elizabethtown, the Hardin County History Museum will have a program called “Abraham Lincoln in Song.”
The event will feature folk singer Chris Vallillo, who will perform songs from Abe’s time and tunes about him.
“Special emphasis is placed on showing Lincoln’s unique bond with the common man and his desire for reconciliation, not revenge,” a museum official said.
Vallillo, of Macomb, Ill., is touring his home state with the program.
“We were really thrilled to get it,” said Susan McCrobie, a Hardin County History Museum spokeswoman.
To help pay for the Feb. 7 concert, the Kentucky Arts Council gave the museum $2,646, which will be matched with local money.
Vallillo will perform at Pritchard Community Center, unless Historic State Theater renovations are finished by February, McCrobie said.
In addition to the local celebrations, plans are in the works for events across the state the week of Abe’s birthday.
At the national level, a joint meeting of Congress will mark the occasion and an event is planned for the Lincoln Memorial.
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746.