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June 2012

Road Trip Journey

Pontiac's Pre-War Festival Entertainment Lineup

Our thanks to Ellie Alexander of Pontiac Tourism for providing details about this weekends planned festivities as the community celebrates its 175th birthday.

Downtown Pontiac will be a busy place this weekend. Starting on Friday evening, June 29th, as the City begins to celebrate its 175th Birthday, the City Band will be performing Pre-War music at the Yost House. On Saturday, June 30 the occasion will be the Pre-War Festival, an event that will focus on transportation and entertainment prior to 1942. We’ve invited antique cars, high-wheeler bicycles, classic motorcycles, classic trucks, and as a special treat - a fly-over by three airplanes from the era is scheduled for 11:00 AM.

Betty Estes, Pontiac's First Tourism Director, Passes Away

We are saddened to share the news that Betty Estes, Pontiac, Illinois' first tourism director has passed away.

Here's a quote for the Pontiac Daily Leader:

Pontiac lost its greatest cheerleader with the passing of Elizabeth “Betty” Estes, the city’s first tourism director, on Wednesday. She was 81.

“Betty loved Pontiac and she loved being involved in everything that made the city better,” said City Administrator Bob Karls late Wednesday afternoon.

“She has a long history of service to the community she loved and was a visionary to what tourism could be,” he said. “But beyond that she was just a very special lady and her presence will be missed.”

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket Celebrating 66th Anniversary!

Our thanks to Patrick Rhea from Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket and John Weiss for making this information about this very special anniversary available for us to share!

Route 66 Hall of Famer, Del Rhea's Chicken Basket, in Willowbrook, IL, is celebrating their 66th year in business this July.

In celebration of this monumental anniversary, Del Rhea's Chicken Basket will be hosting many different types of entertainment throughout the month of July.

Call Del Rhea's Chicken Basket for additional information - 630-325-0780.

Some of their featured events and specials will be:

Two New Items Available to Demonstrate Your Route 66 Spirit!

We're proud to announce two new items are available for purchase through our Association to demonstrate your '66 pride:

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A Funk's Grove Midpoint Commemorative Pin - In honor of the official declaring of Funk's Grove as the midpoint of Route 66 in Illinois, Diaz Sign Art, in Pontiac, IL was commissioned to create this striking commemorative pin.

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A T-shirt adorned with an original Bob Waldmire design - This work of art was created in 1989 by artist, icon and friend of Route 66, Bob Waldmire, exclusively for our Association. It now is emblazoned upon a black T-shirt (made of American-grown cotton and made in the USA) which will be available in sizes Small through 4XL.

Former Snuffy’s Resurrects as the Steak N Egger on Route 66

Our thanks to Chicago-based journalist, Maria R. Traska for submitting the following article:

By Maria R. Traska

A fixture of Route 66 in suburban Chicago has risen again. The former Snuffy’s 24-Hour Grill on Joliet Road in McCook, IL has been gutted, renovated and revived as the Steak N Egger on Route 66. And not a moment too soon. The Route 66 landmark had been closed since late 2010 and hadn’t been open 24/7 for some time. Despite the efforts of the former operators, the place had aged badly and gotten somewhat grubby. The turnaround began last September 15, when the property was bought by new owners.

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History of the Proposed Route 66 Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center

Our thanks to Al Lopinot of Litchfield for writing the following article...

David Jackson was editor of the Litchfield News Herald and a collector of artifacts related to the history of Litchfield. One item that he collected was colored picture postcards of Litchfield. When he passed away several years ago, he left those postcards to his daughter, Anne. Since that time, she has been figuring out how she might make these available to others interested in Litchfield history. She came across a postcard book published by another community and this gave her an idea maybe she shoud do the same.

Evolution of Automobile Safety

In honor of Motor Tour Weekend and the Summer travel season, I thought this an appropriate time to publish the following article.

We thank Brian Alexander for writing and submitting this thoughtful and timely piece on automotive safety through the years.

By Brian L. Alexander

Volunteers Needed in Springfield!

We thank Sangamon County Representative, Johnny Lucchesi, for sending along the following request for volunteers.

Help is needed putting up 14 brown rectangle Historic Route 66 signs approved by IDOT this Friday, June 8, for Motor Tour on Stevenson Drive and Dirksen Parkway in Springfield, IL.

For more info: 217-698-1962

Got Content?

EditorWe welcome your Route 66 news, stories, photos and events for publication in our newsletter or on our web site!

Submit it here

Send us your change of address to:
110 W Howard St
Pontiac, IL, 61764
or use our handy contact form

Learning to use our calendar puts the fun and adventure of Route 66 at your fingertips. It's easy to discover the when, what and where of events along the road.

Here's How!

Historic Maps

Highway GuideWatch Route 66 evolve into The Mother Road  with maps and highway guides from 1917-1992 courtesty of the official Illinois Digital Archives.