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Getting Involved in Your Community


You have accepted the challenge to create a Lincoln bicentennial program or event for your local community.  You might even have a few ideas already in mind.  Now the goal becomes how to make your ideas a reality.

Here are a few ways to increase your event’s appeal:
  • Include participants in all stages of development, from idea to implementation.
  • Make your event appropriate for family audiences.
  • Incorporate Lincoln bicentennial themes, “freedom, equality, and opportunity.”
  • When appropriate, invite the local media to provide coverage of events, and even participate.
  • Adapt the activities suggested below so that they are tailored to your community.
How to get ideas or inspiration

If you want to plan an event, but do not yet have an idea, this is an opportunity to assess your community’s strengths.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What makes your community special?
  • What kinds of facilities does the community have that might be useful?  Parks? Community centers? Libraries?  Schools?  Universities?
  • What types of groups might be interested in helping?  Volunteer organizations?  Scouting or veteran’s groups?  Fraternal orders?  Religious groups?
  • Does the community have a historical link to Lincoln?
Ask for input! 

People love to get asked their opinion so consider different ways to channel their ideas and enthusiasm through:

  • Articles or a form in the local paper asking for ideas to be mailed to a central location or deposited in drop-off boxes located throughout the community.
  • Setting up a Web site or blog where people can post or submit their ideas.
  • Holding community coffees where people can share ideas in an open forum.
  • Hold a contest; this would appeal especially to children.
  • Ask a focus group to help choose from the submissions. 

When asking for ideas, be sure to provide some guidelines.  Start with a brief explanation of why celebrating Lincoln’s 200th birthday is important and lay out your goals for the bicentennial.  Provide any budget or timetable restraints so that ideas will be feasible.

Why are we celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday?
  • Abraham Lincoln is America’s greatest president
  • Through Lincoln’s actions during the Civil War, the country was preserved as a union and slavery was abolished.
  • Lincoln’s life embodies the American dream:  he rose from humble beginnings to become the President of the United States.   

Whether you have a party, parade, or picnic in the park, the bicentennial is an opportunity to celebrate national pride with an unmistakably Lincoln flavor and flair. 

America is a diverse nation, so celebrate Lincoln’s birthday in a meaningful way for your community! 

Click here for information on community wide celebrations.  And click here for tips on how to promote your local commemoration.