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Debate Fever

Get excited about the politics of yore


Rusty, beery and beautiful Alton, Illinois, provided the site for a famous oratorical battle in 1858. With a U.S. Senate seat up for grabs, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas traveled Illinois that year in a series of debates; on October 15 they had their final encounter in Alton. In honor of that event, the town is hosting the Lincoln-Douglas Sesquicentennial Festival (along Broadway in downtown Alton), featuring reenactments of that great debate, a living history tour (off-site), live music, a period fashion show and more. The fest runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday (October 18 and 19), and activities vary each day. Admission to the political party is free; for more information call 800-258-6645 or go to
Sat., Oct. 18; Sun., Oct. 19, 2008