Department of Parks
History Events, Including Lincoln-Hanks Wedding, Will Be Plentiful At Kentucky State Parks In 2008
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky State Parks will be taking part in the Lincoln Bicentennial celebration starting in 2008, along with many other history events throughout the year.
There are several Kentucky State Parks that have historical significance and provide great places to visit for out-of-state guests, Kentuckians and schoolchildren.
The Wedding of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks will be held on June 14, 2008, at the Lincoln Homestead State Park near Springfield. This event commemorates the 1806 wedding of the parents of Abraham Lincoln and will feature a play portraying the wedding ceremony. There will also be historical interpreters, speakers, games and other events throughout the day. There is a $5 parking fee.
The national kickoff for the Lincoln Bicentennial Commemoration is set for Feb. 12 at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site at Hodgenville. This will begin a two-year commemoration of Lincoln events honoring the 200th anniversary of his birth in 2009.
After the kick-off, the state parks plan to open special exhibits in the spring related to Lincoln at six parks. They are: Lincoln Homestead State Park, Fort Harrod State Historic Site, Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, White Hall State Historic Site, Jefferson Davis State Historic Site and Columbus-Belmont State Park. For more information about Lincoln Bicentennial events, visit www.kylincoln.org
Ironically, Lincoln’s chief adversary during the Civil War was also born in Kentucky. This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Jefferson Davis, a political leader who became president of the Confederacy. The Jefferson Davis State Historic Site at Fairview will host a commemoration event June 6-7, 2008. There will be special history demonstrations, speakers and other educational events during the weekend. For a fee, guests can also go to the top of the 351-foot obelisk at the park.
Here are some other state park events related to Lincoln and Kentucky history planned for 2008:
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Mount Olivet
The park will host the Battle of Blue Licks Reenactment Celebration Aug. 16-17. This event pays tribute to the brave pioneers who fought and died at the Battle of Blue Licks August 19, 1782. The weekend features special programs, history demonstrations, crafts, artisans, music and a battle reenactment each day. Special museum programs featuring hands on demonstrations. Admission is charged. The park is also planning an 18th Century Rifle Frolic on Nov. 8 with shooting matches and prizes. For more information call 1-800-443-7008.
Carter Caves State Resort Park, Olive Hill
Carter Caves State Resort Park will host Pioneer Life Week July 21-27. This week is dedicated to the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the settlement of lands around the Ohio River. Reenactors, musical entertainment and many historical programs bring this rich heritage back to life. Other programs include lantern tours of Saltpetre Cave, tomahawk throwing, black powder rifle demonstrations, spinning and weaving demonstrations, primitive fire making, and pioneer clothing interpretation. Saturday, July 26th is our County Fair Day. For information, call 1-800-325-0059.
Columbus-Belmont State Park, Columbus
Columbus-Belmont State Park will host Civil War Days Oct. 10-12. This annual event includes battle reenactments, living history displays, entertainment and more. Call 270-677-2327 for information.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Corbin
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park will host a Kentucky Chautauqua program featuring Jim Sayre as Abraham Lincoln. This “Historical Dinner Theater” will be Nov. 29. The dinner starts at and the show starts at The cost is $30 per person and the park is offering a special lodging package. For information, call 1-800-325-0063.
Fort Boonesborough State Park, Richmond
The fort will host one of its fireside chats featuring Jim Sayre portraying Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 16. For more information on this and other fireside chats during February at Fort Boonesborough, visit www.fortboonesboroughlivinghistory.org
Fort Boonesborough will also be hosting its 18th Century Trade Fair May 24-25; Women on the Frontier June 21-22 and the 230th anniversary of the Siege of Boonesborough on Sept. 27-28. Call 859-527-3131 for information.
Fort Harrod State Park, Harrodsburg
Fort Harrod State Park will host several Lincoln events in 2008. They include “One Man’s Lincoln,” a production of the Kentucky Repertory Theater, on March 7; a Kentucky Chautauqua show on Lincoln on July 11; and another Kentucky Chautauqua show on Mary Todd Lincoln on July 12. For information, call 859-734-3314.
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, Greenup
As part of the park’s Black History Weekend, Greenbo Lake will host a Kentucky Chautauqua program featuring “Anna Mac Clarke, military pioneer,” portrayed by Haley S. Bowling on Feb. 9, 2008. Clarke, a native of Lawrenceburg who graduated from Kentucky State University, joined the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps after Pearl Harbor and worked against segregation in the military. For information, call the park at 800-325-0083.
John James Audubon State Park, Henderson
The art exhibit “Everyday People Part 2” will be on display Jan. 5-March 3 at the park’s museum. In 2006, the first Everyday People Exhibit at the Audubon Museum featured over 400 photographs to tell the stories of the daily lives, contributions and legacies of Henderson County’s African-American people. Part 2 expands on the stories and the area of coverage with newly added photos and materials shared by the citizens of Henderson, Union and Webster Counties. An oral history component will be featured as well. There is an admission fee. Call 270-827-1893 for information.
Lake Barkley State Resort Park, Cadiz
“The 8th of August Emancipation Celebration: A Tribute To African American Heritage” will be Aug. 8-9 at Lake Barkley. The weekend includes historical gospel music, a Homecoming picnic at the beach, family games and activities, a golf tournament and dance performances. Lodging packages are also available. Call 1-800-325-1708 for information.
Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, Perryville
The park where the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky took place will host a living history program “On the Farm – A Kentucky Horse Sale” on June 14-15. This program is a weekend dedicated to the horse culture that flourished during the second half of the nineteenth century in Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region. The 146th Commemoration of the Battle of Perryville will be Oct. 11-12 and will include battle reenactments, living history programs, realistic encampments and more. Call 859-332-8631 for information.
These are just some of the events planned at Kentucky State Parks for 2008. For more information about state parks and events, visit www.parks.ky.gov
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 53 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov