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Weekend after weekend, the summer and fall is filled with community festivals.
Most are much the same. Some children's beauty pageants, a parade featuring every fire truck available, craft booths, flea markets, a few games and lots of food. There's an occasional car show, musical entertainment or carnival rides that cause one to seem a little different from the next.
Each, of course, is distinguished by people. The events provide an excuse to visit with neighbors and friends. In our hectic lifestyle, we have come to overlook the value of community and the simple pleasure of just visiting. So a hometown festival offers an annual excuse to just be social and relax.
The festival also are distinctive because of place. An old school, a community park or a Main Street setting add a sense of history or community to the atmosphere.
Over my half-century of life, I have attended many community festivals in many towns. I feel safe in saying that none is as unique as Lincoln Days. It's a combination of friendly people and a very special place with its unique connection to history.
The size, the organization and certainly the theme make this event one of a kind.
Few others would dare hold rail-splitting contests. I've been to no other festival which selects Little Abe and Little Sarah winners. And the Abraham Lincoln lookalikes leading the parade is a one-of-a-kind tradition.
No other town has such a distinctive connection to such a central figure in American history. As the nation remembers the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, this is no time to take our festival for granted.
Enjoy it all. From Thursday evening's opening ceremonies to the last funnel cake of the weekend, it should be a great time.
Ben Sheroan is general manager of The LaRue County Herald News.