Home/Events /50th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
50th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
Date & Time
9/19/20 - 9/20/20
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM


Event postponed until 2021! This year’s 50th Anniversary Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival will be held at five locations in Lincoln, Illinois, all of which are located on Historic Route 66 – Postville Courthouse State Historic Site, Postville Park, VFW Post 1756, Logan County Courthouse and The Mill Museum on 66. The event is a celebration of the pioneer days that influenced Abraham Lincoln’s early life, including his time as a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit. Opening ceremonies begin Saturday, September 21st at 9am at Postville Courthouse, 914 5th Street (Old Route 66).

Traditional Saturday festival activities include the Women's Firewood Split, Log Rolling Contest, Cross Cut Saw Competition, Team Railsplitting Contest, Jr. Railsplitting Contest and the Amateur Railsplitting Contest - all at Postville Courthouse.

Sunday Railsplitting festival activities include a Community Church Service, the Dean Tibbs Tomahawk Throw, the Ray Begolka Corn Shelling Contest, Water Boil Contest, the Re-Christening of the City Lincoln at 3pm and the National Railsplitting Contest at 3:15pm.

Live Bluegrass music will be featured all day Saturday and Sunday at Postville Park. Postville Park will also host the festival craft vendors and include events such as the apple peeling contest on Saturday and the worship service on Sunday morning (complete schedule available at www.railsplitting.com).

The Railsplitter Antique Auto Club and Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County will be hosting their 14th Annual Car Cruise-In at The Mill on Saturday from 11am to 3pm, located at 738 S. Washington. The event is being held in conjunction with the Railsplitting Festival. All vehicles welcome. The event is free to the public, but there is a $5 registration fee for cars at the cruise-in. There will be a 50/50 drawing, door prizes, live music and hot pizza for the event. Live music from Sundown & 3rd Street Down will be from 11:30am-2:30pm. 

The roots of the Railsplitting Festival began in 1970 at Jerry's Drive-In on Woodlawn Road, Lincoln, IL. Daris Knauer met with the co-chairman of tourism of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, LeRoy Buckheit. LeRoy was "flipping burgers" in his restaurant as they talked about an event, because there was a busload of people in the restaurant. Daris had an idea about holding an event that was related to Abraham Lincoln’s days in Logan County. LeRoy mentioned that they should name the event the "Railsplitter" because Abe Lincoln was known for splitting rails. One of the most famous festival visitors was President Gerald Ford, who made a campaign stop in 1976, and split a rail while he was at the event. Next year, special plans are already underway for the landmark 50th anniversary of the festival.

The festival committee would like to thank all the sponsors over the years for keeping the tradition going for this amazing family-fun event. For complete details and information, visit the www.railsplitting.com or contact Logan County Tourism at 217-732-8687.

Postville Courthouse
914 5th Street
Lincoln, IL