Illinois Attractions & Towns

Illinois Attractions & Towns

Visit these attractions and towns along Route 66 in Illinois for a nostalgic family fun!

The Route 66 Association of Illinois

The Route 66 Association of Illinois

Our mission is to preserve, educate, promote and enjoy Route 66 in Illinois

Another Exciting Motor Tour!

Another Exciting Motor Tour!

Our 2013 Back to Our Routes Motor Tour was a fun celebration of the Mother Road, with some new and exciting activities and stops for participants to enjoy. Read and see it here!

A nostalgic trip through Americana

A nostalgic trip through Americana

Learn about this historic highway and why Route 66 is an American treasure worth preserving.

Membership

Membership

Please join our association's efforts to preserve, promote, educate and enjoy Route 66 in Illinois.

Here are some helpful and informative sources to help you along your Route 66 journey. We've assembled a collection of web sites and information that are sure to add to your knowledge and appreciation of the Mother Road.

Web Links
Historic Maps
Town Along The Road
Sign up for our Day Tripper email announcements
View the Day Tripper Archives

Preservation is one of our core missions. With our motto of 'we work for food' our members paint, build, repair, clean, and fight to preserve all that is Route 66.

What is Preservation?
Hall of Fame Inductees
Our Museum
Preservation Projects and Announcements

Association Events

Fall Quarterly Meeting October 19, 2014 - 10:00am
Motor Tour 2015 June 12, 2015 (All day)

Motor Tour 2014 Recap - Through the Eyes of Participants

Here it is - the official recap for our 25th annual Motor Tour! Some participants were kind enough to share their memories and photos of this exciting event that took place June 13-15, 2014. Read on to experience your very own Motor Tour adventure through their words and images!

The Friedrich Family

By Josh Friedrich

On Friday, June 13, after I got off work, we piled into the van and made our way to Edwardsville for their Route 66 Festival and the kick off to the 25th Annual motor tour. I was looking forward to seeing all our 66 friends and making some new ones this weekend. The downtown was full of people, vendors, and sweet and savory smells. We picked up our tour packet from Cathie and Marty, said hello to John Weiss, and then made our way over to see two of our favorite authors. Joe Sonderman and Chery Eichar Jett just released their new Arcadia book, Route 66 In Illinois, and Joe released a new hardback, Postcards From Route 66. I picked up each and promptly had them personally autographed. Now it was time to find some dinner and we chose a food truck called Pickerill's Pick'n 'N' Grinn'n BBQ. We had a dirty, filthy dog, a dirty dog, and BBQ cheese fries. Everything was great!

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Dirty Filthy Dog, Edwardsville Rt 66 Festival, photo courtesy Josh Friedrich

Friedrich Family Files: Summer, 2014 Route 66 Adventures

We kicked off the first day of summer break in June by taking in a little of our local 66 on Sixth Street in Springfield. We decided to satisfy our sweet tooth at Mel-O-Cream donuts. The company is over 80 years old and has had several locations over the years. Stop in a try a delectable pastry two different locations along the mother road on South Sixth Street or North Grand Avenue. After breakfast we went shopping for camping provisions for Charlie's first overnight Cub Scout campout that weekend. Now it was time for a late lunch at the ever popular Cozy Dog Drive In.

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John Wille Selected as New Museum Curator

By John Wille

John Wille.pngThis past spring I was asked if I would like to be the curator of the Route 66 Museum and Hall of Fame in Pontiac. I was happy to accept the nomination. When the museum opened in June 2004 and for a number of years the curators were Durelle and Marilyn Pritchard. Since the Pritchards left the position, no one has served as curator until I was appointed.

I began volunteering at the museum beginning in late August 2011. I would come in to help out Jim Jones. I learned a great deal about the Museum and Hall of Fame and Route 66 from him. He is a great mentor! Also I learned a lot from Cathie Stevanovich and Marty Blitstein who have always been most helpful and generous with their time in helping me learn more about the museum and the Illinois Route 66 Association. I have found a great deal of pleasure and fun to be there talking with visitors from all over the world.

See You at the 2014 International Route 66 Mother Road Festival!

International_Route_66_Mother_Road_Festival__Springfield__IL.pngWe're looking forward to seeing you at this year's International Route 66 Mother Road Festival and Car Show! This 13th annual festival is coming September 26 - 28 to downtown Springfield, Illinois.

Association President Cathie Stevanovich, Treasurer /Membership Chairman Marty Blitstein, Cook County Representative, John Miller and At-Large Board Member Kathy Miller will be manning our booth at the festival. All our great Route 66 gear will be there too: T-shirts, pins, books and more!

Click to be directed to the official website for this event!

Bucket List: Driving the Entire Route 66 in a 1966 Thunderbird by Two 66’ers

Our thanks to Dianna Pickett for providing the following information about a trek along Route 66 in support of a worthy cause happening now!

Bucket List: Driving the Entire Route 66 in a 1966 Thunderbird by Two 66’ers
Benefitting JDRF - Oregon/SW Washington Chapter
Having Fun While Helping Others

Oregonians Jim Pickett and Joe Roberts will leave September 15, 2014 on their bucket list adventure of driving the entire route of the historic Route 66, also known at The Mother Road. They will also be fundraising for JDRF - the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research.

Marty’s Membership Madness 2014!

It's that time of year again - time for our Membership Chairman, Marty Blitstein's, Membership Special! If you still haven't discovered the joys of joining our Association, here's your chance to go for it - and get a bonus to boot!

Here's the deal!

New members who join between September 11, 2014 and December 31, 2014 will receive an 18-month membership for the price of 1 year!

The Route 66 Association of Illinois Annual Hall of Fame Nominations

Association president Cathie Stevanovich announces that this year's Hall of Fame nomination period will open October 1, 2014.

(This is a reprint of the article written by Kathy Miller. We are reprinting it as it succinctly and accurately details what is needed for nomination.)

Postville image_0.pngThe Route 66 Association of Illinois will begin seeking nominations for the 2015 Hall of Fame. Nominations are accepted from October 1st, to December 31st, 2014.

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. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to honor and commemorate those people, businesses, attractions, and events that helped give Route 66 such special character and historical status in Illinois.

The committee invites anyone to submit a nomination. It must include a strong fact-based essay. It must include details about the nominee’s contributions to the character or history of the Illinois portion of Route 66. We encourage that photos, news clips, and other memorabilia accompany the essay but they are not required. A panel of historians and Hall of Fame members will judge all nominations.

Nominations must include accurate documentation or declaration of the Nominee’s qualities, deeds, and history on Route 66 that merit this honor.

Photo Recap: Our Annual Association Picnic, 2014

Our annual Association picnic was held, once again at beautiful Sugar Grove Nature Center in Funk's Grove, Illinois on Sunday, August 17. It was a terrific day in the fresh air and sunshine where roadies satisfied their appetite for delicious picnic fare and the company of friendly folks.

Picnic attendee, Elaine Stonich, was kind enough to share her delicious photos of the picnic with us and we in turn, share them with you. Bon appétit!

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Scenic Byway Delivers Route 66 Interpretive Statues

Our thanks to Geoff Ladd, Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, for providing the following information for us to share:

Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway delivers series of interpretive statues in nine communities along the Mother Road

A new series of interpretive statues and corresponding wayside panels are in the process of being installed in nine Route 66 communities along the famous highway in Illinois. The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway coordinated the project, which was funded through grants from the Federal Highway Administration's National Scenic Byway Program and the Illinois Office of Tourism.

Bill Kelly, Executive Director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, explained the significance of this latest series of interpretive exhibits along Illinois Route 66. “Statues tell the story of The Road in a way that is unique and unexpected by visitors. They also serve as a fun photo opportunity”, said Kelly. The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway in the past has also worked with community partners to develop a series of 31 wayside exhibits and 14 experience hubs that have already been installed for the enhancement of the Route 66 experience for the traveler.

The “shadow statues” are so nicknamed because they are two-dimensional iron statues depicting a famous scene from the history of Route 66 in Illinois.

Running north to south, the interpretive statues are as follows:

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Godley - Miner & Mule – an interpretation of the strip-mining of black diamonds in the communities of Braidwood, Coal City, Carbon Hill, Diamond, and Godley that begun in the mid-1800s and ended in 1974.

Pontiac, IL Calendar of Events, Through 2014

Thanks to Pontiac, IL tourism director, Ellie Alexander, for providing the following calendar of events for the city. Let's enjoy great times in Pontiac!

Updated 9/19/14

Click to view the most recent Pontiac, IL calendar of events.

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:
Membership
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.