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Gilding Arts Museum Now Open in Pontiac, IL

Pontiac’s latest museum celebrated its opening on the weekend of May 2 -3, 2015. The Museum of the Gilding Arts, located at 217 North Mill St, promises to be an eye-catching addition to Pontiac’s variety of attractions. At 9:00 AM, when the doors were opened to the public for the first time, it was the culmination of more than four years of planning. According to Pontiac Tourism Director, Ellie Alexander, “The Gilders’ museum is stunning, educational, and absolutely unique in the world.”

Inaugural Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Weekend Festival Rolls Out June 13-14

Our thanks to Cheryl Eichar Jett, President, Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition, for providing the following information.

BLUE CARPET MAP-mod.JPGThe first annual Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor weekend festival - “Miners, Mobsters, and the Mother Road” - will be held Saturday-Sunday, June 13-14. The Blue Carpet Corridor, from Chatham down to Collinsville, is a unique section of Route 66 characterized not only by its Mother Road charm, but also its rich mining history and colorful mobster lore.
Route 66 is known for its quirky attractions, roadside hospitality, and family fun. And on the second weekend in June, the blue carpet will be rolled out to welcome thousands of travelers all along the Blue Carpet Corridor. The event highlights 19 communities on historic Route 66 including Chatham, Auburn, Thayer, Virden, Girard, Nilwood, Carlinville, Gillespie, Benld, Staunton, Hamel, Edwardsville, Litchfield, Mt. Olive, Williamson, Livingston, Glen Carbon, Troy, and Collinsville.

A variety of events and activities awaits visitors in the nineteen participating communities along three historic alignments of the Mother Road. The cities and villages have planned a variety of activities, including festivals, car shows, live entertainment, children's activities, and historic tours and exhibits. Food stands and eateries will be open for hungry travelers. Innovative museums, towering monuments, historic buildings, and winding stretches of original highway are waiting to be discovered. Visitors can scour antique shops, yard sales, flea markets, and unique mom and pop stores for hidden treasures.

Pontiac Museum Complex Adds Three New Attractions

Our thanks to Pontiac, IL Tourism Director, Ellie Alexander, for providing the following information.

The Pontiac Museum Complex, located in the Old City Hall and Fire Station on Howard St, saw the opening of three new attractions during the Red Carpet Corridor Festival, May 2 and 3, 2015. After months of planning, construction, and installation, the Walldog Mural and Sign Art Museum will reopen in the complex, having vacated its previous home at 217 N. Mill Street to make room for the new Museum of the Gilding Arts.

Route 66 Neon Park Planned for St. Robert, MO

Our thanks to Jim Thole for supplying the following news from our Route 66 neighbor, Missouri.

The Pulaski County Route 66 Preservation organization is excited to announce its plan to develop “Route 66 Neon Park” within the City of St. Robert in George M Reed Roadside Park, which is located in a wide median area between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Route 66. The Route 66 Neon Park will be the first of its kind to be developed along the 2,448 miles of the Mother Road which runs from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA, and will feature restored, orphaned Route 66 neon signs in an outdoor park-like setting with corresponding story boards to inform the public about the history of each sign.

The Last Days of the Bel Aire Manor in Springfield

Friend of the Association, Keith Sculle, has been watching and photographing the final days of the Bel Aire Manor. Here's a photo taken April 7, 20215 that Keith says helps give depth to the once vibrant business, now in sad decline.

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Vendor Market at The Mill on 66 in Lincoln IL

The historic Mill in Lincoln, IL, located at 738 S. Washington, will be welcoming a variety of vendors taking part in monthly weekend flea markets during the tourist season, beginning on the second Saturday of April and running through October, from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Spaces are still available for $10 to $15 dollars for the day and throughout the season.

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Hooker Cut

By Brian L. Alexander

Several years ago Fran and I decided to go on a Route 66 road tour sponsored by The Route 66 Association of Missouri the weekend after Labor Day. Up until that time we had never been farther west on Route 66 than Cuba Missouri. Missouri’s scenery and topography is entirely different than Illinois’ landscape. Illinois being “The Prairie State” is for the most part flat, with large farms growing corn and soybeans, as far as the eye can see. Route 66 in Missouri was built on the Ozark Plateau making it have steep hills and sharp curves.

Blue Carpet Corridor Will Hold Inaugural Event June 13-14, 2015

Our thanks to Cheryl Jett for providing the following press release to share with you:

BCC logo-mod.jpgYou are invited to visit the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor - from Chatham to Collinsville - on Saturday - Sunday, June 13 – 14, for a weekend of family fun. The Blue Carpet Corridor includes the 18 communities of Chatham, Auburn, Thayer, Virden, Girard, Nilwood, Carlinville, Gillespie, Benld, Staunton, Hamel, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Litchfield, Mt. Olive, Livingston, Troy, and Collinsville on three historic alignments of Route 66.

Events and activities in the various communities will include car and tractor shows, community-wide yard sales, children's activities, petting zoo, live entertainment, historical tours and presentations, unveiling of two new Walldogs murals, a rib cookoff, a Wingfest, car wash, special museum and historic site open hours, and much, much more! Food vendors and photo ops will be plentiful! Also, on Saturday, June 14, visitors can enjoy several annual festivals, including the American Legion Fest in Chatham, the Route 66 Festival in Edwardsville, and Downtown Days Festival in Troy.

It's Sirup Season at Funks Grove!

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!

Funks Grove.jpg

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

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

funkspuremaplesirup.com
(309) 874-3360

Do you smell pancakes?

Red Carpet Corridor Festival Plans in Progress

Our thanks to Pontiac Tourism Director, Ellie Alexander, for providing the following press release:

The 9th annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival will run May 2 & 3, 2015. This festival takes place along a 90-mile stretch of historic Route 66 – starting in Joliet in the north and ending at Towanda, Illinois in the south. Along that length of America’s Main Street, there will be scheduled events both days of the festival. Each of the 13 communities along the Mother Road will stage special activities for young and old alike. There will be bake sales, flea markets, car shows, history displays and presentations, contests, dances, live music, great food, and fun for everyone. You can examine the full slate of events by visiting the Red Carpet Corridor’s webpage.

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Pontiac, IL, 61764
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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.

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