A shout-out to geographic centrality: It's easy to get to loads of interesting places from St. Louis, and Springfield, Illinois, is one such notable locale. This weekend, the capital of the state to our east hosts a birthday party for one Abraham Lincoln born in 1809. The festivities kick off at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum (112 North Sixth Street, Springfield, Illinois; 800-610-2094 or www.alplm.org) with a party happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There'll be children's activities and live music, but the best celebration of the man is simply the museum itself. It's a brilliantly conceived homage to Lincoln, as both an icon and a vulnerable human being who suffered deeply but prevailed against enormous odds. Admission to the museum is $3.50 to $7.50.
After you've learned more about our sixteenth president, sashay over to the Lincoln Bicentennial Presidential Ball a few blocks away at the Illinois Executive Mansion (410 East Jackson Street; 217-782-2525), and suit up before you get there (period attire is requested). Call 217-652-1696 or visit www.10thillinoisvolcavalry.com for more information about the revelry or to purchase tickets ($35 a person or $60 per couple); the ball begins at 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 9, 2008