Most days the site is open, especially May through October, visitors will meet volunteer and staff historic interpreters demonstrating period activities and engaging about 19th century life and Abraham Lincoln’s New Salem experience.

Below are the special events occurring at the site for 2018! All are free and open to the public!

Being a visitor not enough? Click on the “Volunteering” tab above and discover how to take your engagement with the Lincoln story to the next level!

April 28 - 29, 2018: Boy Scouts of America Abraham Lincoln Pilgrimage
Boy Scouts from across the Midwest will descend on Lincoln’s New Salem for the 73 rd 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 the Lincoln Tomb. See

May 5, 2018: 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. The Vintage Ag Association of Menard County will have an antique tractor display in the parking lot by the Visitor Center.

June 9, 2018: 10:00am to 4:00pm - Summer Frolic / World Wide Knit in Public Day
Celebrate frontier heritage with period clothed interpreters demonstrating throughout the historic village. The village will also be a host site for World Wide Knit in Public Day! Knitters of all skill levels and ages are invited to bring their lawn chairs and knit alongside our interpreters! See

August 18, 2018: 8:00 am to 11:00am - Hummingbird Festival
The Log Cabin Birders and Lincoln Land Association of Bird Banders will band hummingbirds. Group members will be describing hummingbird banding and migrations.

September 1 & 2, 2018: 2:00pm to 4:00pm - BICENTENNIAL PAGEANT
We will celebrate the Bicentennial of Illinois here at the site with a Commemoration of the Lincoln-Salem Pageant. The original pageant was presented in the village in 1918 to recognize the centennial of the state of Illinois and New Salem's role in influencing Lincoln to be what he ultimately would become. We will not be "re-enacting" the event, as the original was designed to resonate with what then was popular culture. What will be presented is a "commemoration" of the event to celebrate the bicentennial of the state and realization of the reconstruction that still remained a dream in 1918. Instead of the "parade" of scenes in front of a static audience, the commemoration will be scenes presented throughout the village.

September 7 & 8, 2018: 6:00pm to 10:00pm - Bluegrass Concerts
Performers from all over the Midwest will be playing bluegrass music in the Kelso Hollow outdoor theater.

September 8 & 9, 2018: 10:00am to 4:00pm - Traditional Music Festival
Musicians will be playing traditional music on such instruments as mountain and hammer dulcimers, concertinas, bones, autoharps, fiddles, banjos, and guitars throughout the historic village. Traditional, folk and bluegrass musicians are invited to participate in the weekend impromptu jam session. On Sunday, clog dancers will perform outside the village, starting at noon.

October 5, 6 & 7, 2018: 7:00pm to 9:00pm - Candlelight Tour
The Candlelight Walk offers the only opportunity to see the village at night. Period clothed interpreters 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.

October 6, 2018: Morgan Horse Demonstration-1:00pm
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 a large variety of free educational and promotional materials for adults and kids, and an opportunity to visit with MVMHC members and the beautiful Morgan horses.

October 27 & 28, 2018: 10:00am to 4:00pm - Fall Festival
Period clothed interpreters will demonstrate daily tasks throughout the historic village such as candle dipping, soap making, basket making, spinning wool, gardening, natural dyeing, and broom making. Visitors can step down into the cellar at the tavern to see how fruits and vegetables were preserved during the winter.


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© 1999-2018
Lincoln's New Salem
State Historic Site
15588 History Lane
Petersburg, Illinois 62675