Story Circle

6th Annual Red Carpet Festival – 90 Miles of Route 66 Adventure!

Thanks to Ellie Alexander of Pontiac Tourism for providing this list of events and activities taking place during the Red Carpet Corridor festivities, May 5 and 6, 2012:

RCC screenshot.pngThe 6th Annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival will be held Saturday May 5 and Sunday, May 6, 2012. All along the 90-mile stretch of historic Route 66 – from Joliet to Towanda – there will be a wide variety of events. Each of the 13 towns located along this portion of the “Mother Road” will offer its unique collection of activities associated with the festival.

In Joliet, the Route 66 Visitor’s Center at the Joliet Area Historical Museum will be open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday and noon to 5:00 PM on Sunday. Admission to the Route 66 Experience portion of the Joliet Area Historical Museum will be free during the festival. Discounted rates will be available on these days for RCC attendees desiring to experience the Museum’s galleries. Joliet Area Historical Museum is located at 204 N. Ottawa St., Joliet, (815) 723-5201 ext 226.

Saturday in Elwood will be “Are You Elwood?” day. The festival organizers there will be searching for a favorite Blues Brother and calling all Elwoods to the stage at Lloyd Erickson Park. Live & DJ Entertainment all day at Lloyd Erickson Park will be followed by an evening of live Blues entertainment. Bring your roller skates and have a blast from the past at the Bobby Sock Skate at Lloyd Erickson Park. There will be children’s activities and food vendors all day long and visitors can cruise the village to see the historic homes of Elwood. On both Saturday and Sunday there will be a special Children’s Garden at Lloyd Erickson Park. 815-423-5011.

Wilmington will be encouraging festival travelers to stop and take a photo with the Gemini Giant, Dino the Sinclair Dinosaur, Elvis cutouts and more. A 20-mile bike Red Carpet Ride begins/ends downtown at 9:00 AM and there will be flea markets, music, Hula & hound contests, cockroach races, RC car racing, and food all day. On Sunday there will be a baby back rib cook-off, morning worship service, a Twinkie decorating contest, children’s games and more. 815-476-5991

Airbrush Art School Opens in Pontiac

Thanks to Ellie Alexander of Pontiac Tourism for providing the following information:

The Grand Opening Ceremonies for the Dongbai International Airbrush Art School located at 425 West Madison Street in Pontiac, Illinois, were held on April 14th at 3:30 PM. A ribbon-cutting was held with the Mayor, members of the Pontiac City Council, Pontiac Tourism, The Pontiac Area Chamber of Commerce, and Pontiac P.R.O.U.D. in attendance.

Elkhart Readies for April Events

Our thanks to Misty Bell at Logan County Tourism for providing the following press release for us to share:

Working on sign.JPGVolunteers have put the finishing touches on Elkhart’s “Heritage Corner” signs in preparation for the April events planned in the village. The display area is located directly across from the Village Hall on Governor Oglesby Street in historic downtown Elkhart and is now complete.

New signs that recount the history of Elkhart, points of interest in Elkhart, information about the hill, and one sign with the Elkhart logo complete the display. The “Heritage Corner” display is a place of interest for the community, historians and visitors to the Village.

A Thank You from the Village of Godley

Monica Mack, volunteer at the the Museum in Godley, IL, sends along the following note of sincere appreciation:

The Village of Godley would like to thank the list of wonderful people who helped donating time, material and funds in making our little building into a wonderful museum. Without the help of all these wonderful people it would not have been accomplished.

Meet The Author!


Come meet Chris Robleski, author of Polaroid Photos From Route 66, at Red Carpet Corridor festivities in Pontiac, IL!

Chris will be signing his book at the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum and Home Again Antiques on Saturday, May 5, 2012, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

Click to view Chris' flyer for his book signing.

Ernie Edwards Passes Away

Ernie Edwards.jpgIt is with a heavy heart and many tears that we say goodbye to a dear friend of ours and of Route 66, Ernie Edwards.

Ernie was owner of the Pig Hip in Broadwell and was inducted into our Hall of Fame in 1990 for the lifetime of memories he created as a fixture along the Mother Road.

Erine passed away on April 11, 2012 at the age of 94. He will be missed greatly by many.

Click to read Ernie's obituary which includes funeral arrangements.

Thanks to Logan County Tourism for providing this official press release for us to share about Ernie.

Photo credit: Geoff Ladd


pig hip marker.jpg

Red Carpet Festival Plans Made

Our thanks to Ellie Alexander of Pontiac, IL Tourism for submitting the following update about the Red Carpet Corridor Festival:

RCC keys.pngThe 2012 Red Carpet Corridor Festival, planned for May 5th and 6th, is currently organizing for its 6th annual celebration of historic Route 66. The Red Carpet Corridor is a 90-mile stretch of the Mother Road that begins in Joliet in the north and ends at Towanda in the south. Each of the 13 towns located along that section of road holds its own special events for the two-day weekend festival. There will be car and motorcycle shows, live entertainments, carnivals, flea markets, special events just for children, food, fun, and more.

In Pontiac, the festival will feature a downtown carnival sponsored by P.R.O.U.D., an art show on the square, and new art works painted live on sidewalks by visiting Chinese artist, Tang Dongbai. The Parks and Recreation department will host the Touch-A-Truck experience for kids on Saturday morning at the Pontiac Recreation Center, 900 North Elm Street and the Jolly Trolley will be giving rides during the day. As usual, there will be city-wide yard and garage sales.

Local artists who wish to display their works in the downtown art show are asked to contact Kristen at the Walldog Mural and Sign Art Museum, (815) 842-1848. Parties interested in having their garage or yard sale listed on the sale map distributed by the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce should contact the Chamber at (815) 844-5131.

Coinciding with the Red Carpet Festival will be the opening of a new exhibit at the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum. The Selle-Agner exhibit will open on Saturday, May 5th. The exhibit focuses on the American lifestyle of the 1940s. It features three complete rooms (kitchen, living room and dining room) with furniture and décor appropriate to the '40s, examples of women’s fashion from the era, a display of World War II memorabilia and artifacts, musical instruments and much more. The opening ceremonies will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10AM, and live 1940s music provided by the “1940s All-Stars” who will “Jump and Jive” in celebration.

Nick Adam Selected as Grand Marshall of Motor Tour

This article appeared on the front page of the Litchfield, IL News-Herald on Thursday, March 29, 2012:

Congratulations to Nick Adam, Owner of the Ariston Cafe, on being selected as the Grand Marshall of the Route 66 Association of Illinois' Motor Tour.

Click to read the article itself.

Route 66 Association of Missouri to Hold Their Annual Motor Tour September 7-9, 2012

Our thanks to the Route 66 Association of Missouri and their Motor Tour Committee cochair, Kip Welborn for sharing this news release:

Preserving Route 66 is a Good Investment for the Future Says Study

This is an incredibly gratifying Route 66 Economic Impact Study. According to National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Manager, Kaisa Barthuli, "It's nice to see that a Federal Agency is reinforcing what we already knew. Your efforts have had a big impact for all Route 66 communities! Well done!"

Click to read this Economic Impact Study in its entirety.

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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.