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Hall of Famer

Chester Henry: A Look at a True Hall of Famer

In anticipation of the announcement of our 2014 Hall of Fame inductees, here's a story about one of our earliest, Chester Henry of the Illinois State Police.

Our friend, Ron Warnick, who runs Route 66 News recently pointed us to a terrific story in the Bloomington Pantagraph about one of our earliest Hall of Famers, Chester Henry, who was inducted in 1993. Chester is 82 years old now and happily enjoying his retirement from law enforcement.

Read Ron's recap of the article on Route 66 News, Route 66's Lifeguard.

Get Your Funk's Grove Maple Sirup!

It's syrup season at Funk's Grove!

Inducted to our Association's Hall of Fame in 1992, Funks Grove is a Route 66 institution!

Come and get your sirup now! Once it's gone, it's gone for the season!

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Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
5257 Old Route 66
Shirley, Illinois 61772

Monday - Friday 9-5
Saturday 10-5
Sunday 1-5

(309) 874-3360

Do you smell pancakes?

Andy Granatelli, Hall of Famer and Auto Racing Figure, Dies

We are sad to report that Andy Granatelli, a major auto racing figure and CEO of STP passed away on December 29, 2013 at the age of 90 of congestive heart failure.

Mr Granatelli was inducted into our Association Hall of Fame in 2003. On that occasion, then-president of the Route 66Association of Illinois, Tom Teague wrote the following, which was printed in the Summer, 2003 issue of The 66 News, our quarterly, members-only newsletter. The original follows and is transcribed for easier reading below:

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Andy Granatelli

Nominated by Tom Teague

Motor Tour 2014: Our 25th!

Our 25th Annual Motor Tour is coming June 13 - 15, 2014 (Father’s Day weekend)! We’re looking forward to an extra-special celebration along Route 66.


This year, the tour starts south and will include an opportunity to cross the historic Chain of Rocks Bridge at the beginning of the tour!

Wondering what a Motor Tour is? Read a complete description in, So What Is a Motor Tour Anyway? We’re sure you’ll be inspired to join us for family fun and nostalgia along our Illinois section of America's Main Street, where Route 66 begins!

We hope you’ll save the dates and join us for a fun weekend touring the Mother Road! Plans are being made and details decided by our Motor Tour committee as we speak. Further updates and your chance to register to participate are coming soon.

Palms Grill Café Manager Steps Down

The following press released was provided by Bill Thomas of the Atlanta Public Library.

Ronda McBride, current manager of The Palms Grill Café, has announced that due to her ongoing battle with cancer, her last day of operating The Grill will be Friday, October 25, 2013. Ronda began operating the Palms Grill Cafe this past May, but due to the seriousness of her illness, now needs to focus her attention on her health.

"Get Your Kicks on Route 66" Car Show Update

Thanks so much to our Preservation Chairman, John Weiss, for the following update:

On May 1, 2013 there was a, “Get your Kicks on Route 66,” car show in downtown Pontiac, IL. This event generated over $800.00 for local cancer programs.

Also during this time, two trees, complete with plaques, were dedicated in the historic town square to the memories of Betty Estes and Lenore Weiss.

Read the whole story of the: "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" Car Show celebrates dedication to the Mother Road.

Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame Class of 2013

The Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame recognizes "those people and places along Route 66 whose blend of hardy individualism and grassroots community spirit gave the road such special character."

To qualify for election to the Hall of Fame, nominees must have made significant contributions to the character or history of the Illinois portion of Route 66 from 1926 to 1977 while it was an official United States highway in the State of Illinois.

We are extremely proud to present the very special group of honorees we are inducting into our Hall of Fame on June 8th, 2013 at our annual Hall of Fame Banquet.

Click the links below to read stories about these three 2013 Hall of Fame inductees:

Hall of Fame Nominations for the “Class of 2016”

We look forward to reviewing your nominations to our Association’s Hall of Fame!
Nomination submissions will be accepted between

October 31, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

Thank you for taking the time to nominate a person or place to the Hall of Fame, that has contributed to the education of others and/or promotion of Rt.66 in Illinois.

General Guidelines for nominating to the Illinois Route 66 Association Hall of Fame:

World's Largest Catsup Bottle Turns 66!

2015FestivalFlyer.jpgHappy Birthday to the world-famous Route 66 landmark as it turns 66 years old!!

It is officially summer and that means the 17th annual Brooks World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival Birthday Party and Car Show is right around the corner! The day is Sunday, July 12, 2015, and this year we have a NEW LOCATION at Woodland Park! Thanks to a new partnership with the Collinsville Area Recreation District, all of the fun and excitement will be held at the city’s Woodland Park!

All the usual family favorites will return: ketchup tasting, hot dogs smothered-in-ketchup eating contest, hula hoop competition, water balloon toss, Big Bottle Bike Ride, St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders, and the C.I.A. Cruzin' In Antiques Car Show.

Interact on social media with the hashtag “#CatsupFest” and check out the photo gallery from last year.

2015 Motor Tour: Miners, Mobsters and the Mother Road!

Register now for our 2015 Motor Tour, Miners, Mobsters and the Mother Road!

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The "Miners, Mobsters and the Mother Road" Tour will be rolling along the Mother Road Friday, June 12th through Sunday, June 14th, 2015. The Motor Tour is our Association's signature event; a three-day planned trip along Route 66 with other enthusiastic roadies to take in the sights and experiences the Mother Road offers here in Illinois.

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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.