- Associated Press - Saturday, August 16, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The bicentennial of Illinois’ statehood is still four years away, but it’s apparently not too soon to start preparing.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it’s planning an overhaul of landscaping at Springfield’s Old State Capitol to mark statehood in 1818. Among other things, plans call for planting more trees and adding hand-crafted urns.

The agency on Friday announced a Sept. 6 fundraiser to raise money for the beautification project. It’ll be a lawn party featuring fine food and jazz at the historic site.

The Old State Capitol was built about 20 years after statehood. The building is closely associated with Abraham Lincoln. It’s also where Barack Obama announced his presidential run in 2007.

Fundraiser tickets range from $100 for a single ticket and $150 for two.

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