Past Event

Illinois Political Theater: Lincoln Wide Awake Parade 1860

Join the Lincoln Wide Awake Parade, a free participatory reenactment of an event that occurred on August 8, 1860 in Springfield to champion the election of Abraham Lincoln.

Wear personalized Wide Awake caps and capes and carry banners made by 4-H and Springfield Urban League youth and the Soldiers’ Aid Society as you parade from the Lincoln Home to the Old State Capitol. There will be lights; music by the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment Band; a giant rolling Campaign Ball; a log cabin on wheels; and even Mr. Lincoln himself.

After the parade, be part of a conversation at the Old State Capitol about the 1860 presidential campaign and the significance of the Wide Awakes, clubs of young men and women that arose spontaneously all across the country to drum up support for Lincoln’s candidacy.

The conversation is going to be led by Anne E. Moseley, Lincoln Heritage Museum; Sam Wheeler, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; and Paul Durica, Illinois Humanities.

Musician Chris Vallillo and the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment Band are going to play songs from the Wide Awake songbook.

Pies and cookies popular in the 1860s are being provided by Three Twigs Bakery.

For more information about this event, please contact Paul Durica at or (312) 422-5583.