Cervantes of ‘Hamilton,’ REO to lead Illinois 200th birthday

By Associated Press |

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The “Land of Lincoln” is celebrating its bicentennial on December 3, 2018.

CHICAGO (AP) — A Gettysburg Address rap by Broadway in Chicago’s Hamilton star Miguel Cervantes, Illinois-bred rockers REO Speedwagon and a cast of Prairie State celebrities will highlight the state’s 200th birthday party Dec. 3.

The bicentennial extravaganza ‘s lineup was announced Thursday. The theme of the party at Chicago’s United Center is “Born, Built and Grown in Illinois.”

A tribute to favorite son Abraham Lincoln includes the “Gettysburg Address Rap” with Cervantes and award-winning high school musicians. REO was recently named top Illinois musical group in a bicentennial survey. Frontman Kevin Cronin advises Illinois to “get ready to party.”

Championships by Chicago sports teams and the 1940s Rockford Peaches will be celebrated.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, blues legend Buddy Guy, rock band Styx, and Olympic champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee will also take part.