Abilene Prepares to Honor Its Hometown Leader in a BIG Way

The “I Like Ike” campaign slogan, one of the most iconic in American history, is about to be celebrated in a big way in Abilene. The Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is proud to announce the launch of its latest project, the World’s Largest I Like Ike Button. Following the success of Abilene’s World’s Largest Belt Buckle, the new campaign aims to enrich visitors’ experiences with an additional Eisenhower-themed “Ike Sites” attraction in downtown Abilene. The button, crafted by local artist Jason Lahr of Fluters Creek Metals Works, the same artist behind the belt buckle, will be prominently placed north of Little Ike Park. This installation will provide a unique photo opportunity and draw visitors from the belt buckle and the nearby Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. According to the Smithsonian Museum’s National Museum of American History, the “I Like Ike” campaign was based on the nickname of Dwight Eisenhower, a five-star general who became famous not only for his military leadership but also for his presidency. Eisenhower’s role as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II made him an attractive candidate for both Republicans and Democrats in the post-war era. The campaign gained momentum with the catchy slogan, and Eisenhower won the presidency in 1952 and 1956.

“We frequently hear stories from visitors about their I Like I Buttons; there is such an affinity for the button. This year also marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the 70th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, and an election year, making it the perfect time to roll out this project,” said Julie Roller Weeks, Director of the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This project will keep people talking about Abilene and bring more visitors downtown.” To fund the button, the CVB is offering a limited quantity of numbered I Like Ike challenge coins. Priced at $34 each to celebrate the 34th President from the 34th State, these coins are available for purchase at the Abilene Visitors Center, 201 NW 2nd, or online via www.WorldsLargestIkeButton.com.

In addition to the button, visitors to Abilene will notice a series of new signs throughout the city cross-promoting various aspects of its history and attractions, including “I Like Mansions,” “I Like Local,” “I Like Cowboys, “I Like Trains,” and other attributes with the Ike campaign.

“This project is a celebration of Eisenhower’s legacy and a testament to Abilene’s commitment to promoting its history in innovative ways,” Roller Weeks added. “Abilene’s dedication to celebrating its heritage has been recognized by USA TODAY, naming us a Top 10 Best Historic Small Town for the 6th consecutive year.”

The World’s Largest I Like Ike Button is scheduled to be unveiled in June, and attendees will be invited to wear their favorite Ike buttons. Additional details about the celebration will be announced soon.

For more information about the campaign and to purchase challenge coins, visit www.WorldsLargestIkeButton.com or contact the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau at (785) 263-2231

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