Special Events at New Salem
Join us all year long for a variety of special events and demonstrations -- All held in the historic village of Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site.
Join in the Tradition...
...and Escape to the Past. New Salem offers several opportunities for the visitor to be active at our historic
site. The New Salem Lincoln League is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the village by sponsoring special events, craft demonstrations, and raising funds necessary to assure the continual care and preservation of this piece of the Heart of America. We offer a large volunteer program, where interested people can work in the village, at the visitor's center, or one of our stores and become an active member of our site operation. People interested in becoming a part of either of these groups should contact the site and request application material. We look forward to getting to know you!
- March-October: Saturday and Sundays - Village demonstrations
- Interpreters will be demonstrating various period activities; blacksmithing, candle making, gardening, soap making, cooking. Demonstrations will occur every hour starting at 10:00am to 3:00pm.
- April 11-12, 2015: 10:00am to 4:00pm - Hammer Inn
- Blacksmithing demonstrations will be held at the maintenance building. Keynote speakers and expert blacksmiths are brought in to describe and discuss blacksmithing to participants. Bob Alexander demonstrator.
- April 24-26, 2015: Boy Scouts Weekend
- Boy Scouts from across the Midwest will descend on New Salem for the annual Abraham Lincoln Pilgrimage. Scouts will walk the 20+ miles into Springfield on the route similar to what Abraham Lincoln would have walked. On Sunday the Boy Scouts will participate in a ceremony at Lincoln's Tomb.
- May 2, 2015: 10:00am to 4:00pm - Antique Farm Show
- Horse drawn plows, historic farming equipment and agricultural techniques from the 19th century will be featured during the Antique Farm Show. A display of historic farming equipment will be set up in a field by the Blacksmith Shop near the entrance to the village, allowing Antique Farm Show visitors to learn about the latest developments in agriculture from Abraham Lincoln's time to the early 1900s. The Vintage Ag Association of Menard County will have an antique tractor display in the parking lot by the Visitor Center.
- June 20, 2015: Triathlon
- The Stovepipe Sprint and Railsplitter Triathlon will take place on June 20, 2015, at 8:00 am and consists of a swim in a private lake, a bike ride on rolling country roads and a run through Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site and down the main-street of an 1800's pioneer village. For registration and more information: http://www.abestriseries.com.
- July 18, 2015: 11:30am & 1:00pm-Morgan Horse Demonstration
- Mississippi Valley Morgan Horse Club (MVMHC) will present historic demonstrations of the Morgan Horse, "America's first breed," Also included will be demonstrations of modern uses of the Morgan horse, including trail riding, dressage, driving and society horse shows. There will be ongoing horse activities to observe between sessions, a large variety of free educational and promotional materials for adults and kids, and an opportunity to visit with MVMHC members and get up close to the beautiful Morgan horses.
- August 15, 2015: 8:00am to Noon - Hummingbird Festival
- The Sangamon River Audubon Society will band Hummingbirds and visitors will have an opportunity to adopt each bird. Society members will be describing Hummingbird banding and migrations.
- September 12, 2015: 10:00am to 4:00pm - Traditional Music Festival
- Performers from all over the Midwest will entertain on such instruments as mountain and hammer dulcimers, concertinas, bones, autoharps, fiddles, banjos, and guitars. There will be a large clogging platform provided outside the village, which will be filled with cloggers starting at noon on Sunday.
- September 11 & 12, 2015: 6:00pm to 10:00pm - Bluegrass Music
- Bluegrass musicians will be playing music in the outdoor theater. Traditional, folk and bluegrass musicians are invited to participate in the weekend impromptu jam session.
- October 2-4, 2015: 7:00pm to 9:00pm - Candlelight Tour
- The Candlelight Walk offers the only opportunity to see the village at night. Staff and volunteers in period clothing will be inside many of the log homes and shops in the village to talk about life in 19th century Illinois. Gingerbread and cider will be served in the Rutledge Tavern.
- Oct. 24 & 25, 2015: 9:00am to 4:00pm - Fall Festival
- Typical autumn life on the 1830s Illinois prairie will be demonstrated. Costumed interpreters will demonstrate daily tasks such as candle dipping, butter churning, soap making, basket making, spinning wool, gardening, natural dyeing, and fishing with nets. Demonstrations of meat smoking will take place in one of the log village's period smokehouses, and wild game cooking will be demonstrated in the log homes. Visitors can step down into the cellar at the tavern to see how fruits and vegetables were preserved during the winter.
- November 14, 2015: Abe's Trail Trek
- Trail run consists of a 5k, 10k and 15k trail run on trails through Lincoln's New Salem. In addition to the terrain of the 5k course, the 10k and 15k courses will take you past an 1800's reproduction flatboat, grist mill, up and down more than 150 steps, past a pioneer cemetery and on to the Finish Line at the museum.
New Salem is constantly offering special lecture series, weekend workshops and other chances for the public to learn more about New Salem and the 1830's culture as part of our ongoing efforts to enhance the public's relationship with our site. If you are interested in more information about our special events, volunteer programs, the New Salem Lincoln League or the Discovery Series, please contact us at 217/632-4000 and we will be happy to answer your questions. All Special Events are free and open to the public.
Lincoln's New Salem
State Historic Site
15588 History Lane
Petersburg, Illinois 62675