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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Laughing Lincoln Jubilee is set for Sept. 30 in Central Park

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Above / The community is welcome to celebrate Abe Lincoln as he was in 1839 during Laughing Lincoln Jubilee in Central Park where a Century Walk mural, The Great Concerto, has graced the stage door of the Community Concert Center since 2005. During the fundraiser that will be held in the north lawn area, also dedicated to 30-year-olds on Sept. 30, the Naperville Municipal Band, Anne Hills and OMT will perform in the free concert area pictured here.


Laughing Lincoln Jubilee comes to Naperville’s Central Park from 1-5PM on Sun., Sept. 30. Century Walk Corporation will dedicate a cornerstone representing the first DuPage County Court House. The event is a fundraiser to support Don Wehrli’s vision to place a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Central Park.

A 19th-century county fair atmosphere will present food, beer and wine, experiences, entertainment, mystery and music. Concert seating and the playground are free.

A $10 admission will be charged per person for the Central Lawn and $5 for individuals under 21. Festivities are rain or shine.

The Naperville Municipal Band will perform on the stage at the Community Concert Center for an audience in the designated park bench seating area that is free of charge.

For tickets, details or to donate, visit www.CenturyWalk.org.

Central Park is located at 104 E. Benton Ave. in downtown Naperville.

Jubilee is dedicated to 30-year-olds everywhere

The year is 1839. Abraham Lincoln is 30-years old. He’s a storyteller. He’s funny. He and our nation have no way of knowing his future.

The Jubilee is dedicated to 30-year olds everywhere. They are similarly poised and proven contributors to family, faith, prosperity, community and fun. Families and friends are invited to join this unique celebration at the Laughing Lincoln Jubilee.

The year is 1839. Abraham Lincoln is serving in the Illinois General Assembly with Joe Naper, founder of Naperville. Each man wants to accomplish a major political change and swap votes to do it. Abe wants to move the state capitol from Vandalia to Springfield. Done! Joe wants to carve DuPage County out of Cook County. Victory!

The Century Walk sculpture of Joe Naper already stands 9.5 feet tall at the corner of Mill and Jefferson streets on the site of the Naper Homestead.

The cornerstone to be dedicated on September 30 represents the first DuPage County Court House that was located in today’s Central Park. Morris Sleight donated the land and when the county seat was moved to Wheaton the county donated the land, 3.8-acres, for use as a public park to the people of Naperville.

Don Wehrli grew up in the original Pre-Emption House located where Sullivan’s Steakhouse now stands. Walking through Central Park to and from Ss. Peter & Paul School twice every school day (students walked home for lunch) made the space special. He was a lifelong champion to maintain that original size of the park some of which is now cleverly disguised as parking.

Dedication of Laughing Lincoln is Dec. 2, 2018, during Illinois Bicentennial

On December 2, a life-size statue of Laughing Lincoln seated upon the cornerstone will be dedicated during Century Walk’s Illinois Bicentennial Birthday Bash.


Since 1996, Century Walk has featured public art in Naperville

Founded in 1996, The Century Walk Corporation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing public art to Naperville, to add beauty to the town, build community and bridge generation by paying tribute to Naperville’s 100 years of history through a diverse collection of murals, mosaics, sculptures and more. The mission of Century Walk Corporation is to create culturally significant and diverse public art throughout Naperville.

Back in 1996, Naperville’s Own, a tribute to the Naperville Municipal Band, was the first piece of Century Walk art to be dedicated just steps from Central Park where the band’s been playing since 1859. The NMB will perform a free concert during the Laughing Lincoln Jubilee.

For Laughing Lincoln Jubilee information, contact Mary Lou Wehrli at (630) 420-2282 or visit www.LaughingLincoln.com. 

For Century Walk Corporation information, contact Brand Bobosky at (630) 355-5553 or visit www.CenturyWalk.org.

Story submitted by Mary Lou Wehrli for Century Walk Corporation. (PN File Photos)

RELATED PN Posts / Century Walk and other local art

Illinois Bi-Centennial Events

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