Laughing Lincoln Jubilee

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There was an old-time county fair feel at the Laughing Lincoln Jubilee.

Naperville residents came out to celebrate the 50th piece of art to be added to Naperville’s Century Walk – the “Laughing Lincoln” sculpture.

And while most sculptures depict Abraham Lincoln during his presidency, Naperville’s will be different.

“It is going to be a life size statue of a laughing Lincoln who is 30 years old, who is clean-shaven and who is a renowned storyteller,” said Mary Lou Wehrli, the organizer of the event. “All his life he was a renowned storyteller.”

The statue is also meant to serve as a reminder to Naperville’s young people that even Abraham Lincoln was young once and you never know what you will accomplish, even if your goal is just to ring the bell.

“I like the hammer thing, the strength test,” said Sam Hirsch, an 11-year old Naperville resident at the event.

The jubilee also had food and drinks, music, games for all ages, and plenty of other entertainment options.

“The rail splitter was fascinating,” said former Executive Director of Naper Settlement Peggy Frank. “Watching the work that he was doing and transforming wood into legs for a chair or spokes for a wagon wheel and watching the way it was really done, that was really special.”

The “Laughing Lincoln” sculpture will arrive in Naperville on December 1 and will be dedicated on December 2 along with a celebration of Illinois’ bicentennial.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.