Miles of Possibility: The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference

Our thanks to Cheryl Eichar Jett for sharing the following press release for us to share.

“Miles of Possibility: The Edwardsville Route 66 Conference” will be held in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Thursday-Saturday, October 29-31. Sponsored by the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition and hosted by the City of Edwardsville, the primary venue for the conference is the beautifully-restored historic Wildey Theatre on N. Main Street, just two blocks off Edwardsville's Route 66. www.wildeytheatre.com

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Conference sessions will include presentations, panel discussions, and workshops by nationally- and internationally-known experts on Route 66, history, preservation, and marketing. The conference schedule, online registration, and other details can be found on the conference website at www.bluecarpetcorridor.org/rt66conference.

Conference attendees arriving early on Thursday, October 29, will find plenty of activities. Conference registration begins at noon at the Wildey Theatre where attendees can also enjoy an afternoon tour of the 1909 Wildey Theatre. Also running during the afternoon will be one-hour tours of Edwardsville's national historic districts. Thursday evening’s pub crawl will include historic Route 66 taverns as well as N. Main Street breweries and wine bars.

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On Friday evening, the Wildey Theatre will host a catered dinner for conference attendees followed by a live band on the historic Wildey stage.

On Saturday, the conference sessions will end in time for attendees to prepare for Edwardsville’s annual Halloween parade, an institution in the city since 1924. The two-hour parade draws crowds in the tens of thousands to downtown Edwardsville to see the floats, marching bands, cars, and creative costumes. The parade this year is borrowing the Blue Carpet Corridor’s official theme: “Mobsters, Miners and the Mother Road.” Feel free to attend in costume!

After the Saturday evening parade, a party for conference attendees will be hosted by Dr. Nick Gerlich of Amarillo, Texas, and Roamin' Rich Dinkela, of St. Louis, Missouri, at a TBA venue. Route 66 author and collector Joe Sonderman will DJ. Costumes optional!

On Sunday, there will be a Blue Carpet Corridor tour with attractions along the route open special hours for conference attendees. The Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition was formed in November 2013 to promote the section of Illinois Route 66 from Chatham to Collinsville. Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition President Cheryl Eichar Jett is serving as Conference Director.

Conference information and updates can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Route66Edwardsville and on Twitter at Rt66Edwardsville@Rt66Edw. Email rt66conference@gmail.com.

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