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CHICAGO _ Months after most cities had swept away the millennium confetti from last New Year's Eve, the mayor of tiny Lincolnwood, Ill., on a blustery autumn day dedicated the village's first sculpture to the real dawn of the new millennium.
Her voice hardly audible because of illness, Madeleine Grant leaned on the woman next to her for support under a wind-whipped tent. The mayor held little hope she'd live to see the culmination of her efforts: a final, end-of-the-millennium celebration on New Year's Eve 2000.
Grant died of cancer just weeks after the dedication, on Nov. 16. Now, in part in tribute to her quiet persistence, the north suburban village of 12,000 is holding what appears to be one of scant few millennium festivities taking place this weekend.
By now, most people think of celebrating the millennium as a one-time event long gone. They've been there and done that. The marketing trinkets, the Y2K coffee cups and T-shirts, seem dated and boring _ maybe even embarrassing.
But Grant, a longtime resident of this 2.4-square-mile community that borders Skokie and Chicago, was one of the few exasperatingly accurate "harrumphers" who refused to mark 2000 as the advent of the next millennium.
To review what has perhaps become a tiresome argument: Hard-liners point out that our calendar year began with the year 1, not 0. This stems from the fact that a 6th Century monk named Dionysius Exiguus (or, literally, Dennis the …