Explore It

One Mile
At A Time

Route 66

Route 66 defined a remarkable era in our nation's history - and it lives on today in Illinois' Route 66's many roadside attractions, museums, restaurants - and the shining ribbon of blacktop we call The Mother Road.

Explore It

One Mile
At A Time

Route 66

Route 66 defined a remarkable era in our nation's history - and it lives on today in Illinois' Route 66's many roadside attractions, museums, restaurants - and the shining ribbon of blacktop we call The Mother Road.

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New Photos From Route 66
2016 Blue Carpet Corridor
2016 Blue Carpet Corridor
Downtown Bloomington Car Cruise-In 6-5-2016
Downtown Bloomington Car Cruise-In 6-5-2016
Logan County Arts Route 66 Exhibit Opening 6-2-16
Logan County Arts Route 66 Exhibit Opening 6-2-16
Bandit Run Pontiac IL 6-1-16
Bandit Run Pontiac IL 6-1-16
Rialto Square Theatre 90th Anniversary Celebration 5-24-16
Rialto Square Theatre 90th Anniversary Celebration 5-24-16
3rd Fridays Inaugural Event Lincoln IL 5-20-16
3rd Fridays Inaugural Event Lincoln IL 5-20-16
Niehaus Cycle Sales Customer Appreciation Days 5-14-16
Niehaus Cycle Sales Customer Appreciation Days 5-14-16
2016 Red Carpet Corridor
2016 Red Carpet Corridor
Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center First Anniversary 4-25-16
Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center First Anniversary 4-25-16
Dwight IL Route 66 90th Birthday Celebration 4-21-16
Dwight IL Route 66 90th Birthday Celebration 4-21-16
Miles of Possibility Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
Miles of Possibility Edwardsville Route 66 Conference
45th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival 2015
45th Annual Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival 2015
Elkhart Fall Festival 10-10-15
Elkhart Fall Festival 10-10-15
2015 International Mother Road Festival
2015 International Mother Road Festival
Illinois State Fair Media Day 8-6-15
Illinois State Fair Media Day 8-6-15
Bloomington Car Show 6-6-15
Bloomington Car Show 6-6-15
International Mother Road Festival Springfield IL 9/26-9/28/14
International Mother Road Festival Springfield IL 9/26-9/28/14
Berwyn Route 66 Car Show 9-6-14
Berwyn Route 66 Car Show 9-6-14
Berwyn, IL
Berwyn, IL
17th Annual World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival
17th Annual World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival
Inaugural 2015 Blue Carpet Corridor 6-13 to 6-14
Inaugural 2015 Blue Carpet Corridor 6-13 to 6-14
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Videos From The Road
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Signs Route 66 Motorcycle Plate Legislation 8/20/16
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Signs Route 66 Motorcycle Plate Legislation 8/20/16
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:420px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_vxaGbTMifM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
45th Annual National Railsplitting Contest - Lincoln IL
45th Annual National Railsplitting Contest - Lincoln IL
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:420px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HEmd9fnmc5w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
2014 International Mother Road Festival City Nights Cruise
2014 International Mother Road Festival City Nights Cruise
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:420px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wjC2MkEbA5o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Whispering Joe @ 2014 International Mother Road Festival
Whispering Joe @ 2014 International Mother Road Festival
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:420px;" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2ZdOj1nbW2w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66
Illinois Route 66
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/hgWeEz269yw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Route 66 Stories, Ernie Edwards, Pig Hip Restaurant / Museum, Broadwell
Route 66 Stories, Ernie Edwards, Pig Hip Restaurant / Museum, Broadwell
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/37vFO00mCqE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Jim Jones - Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Pontiac
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Jim Jones - Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, Pontiac
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Wmt795wJVVw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Route 66 Stories: Betty Estes - Illinois Route 66
Route 66 Stories: Betty Estes - Illinois Route 66
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/AqpgZTqjumY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Shea's Gas Station Museum, Springfield
Illinois Route 66 Stories: Shea's Gas Station Museum, Springfield
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/swPIsXfb1Hk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Ariston Cafe, Litchfield
Illinois Route 66 Attractions: Ariston Cafe, Litchfield
width="100%" style="width:100%; max-width:560px;" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KCHtBOHvPA4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
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The Three Alignments
This era encompasses the "Golden Age" of Route 66 where America's car culture took hold. Drive-in theaters, Drive-in restaurants, and motels were born and developed along the Mother Road during this period.
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The concept of the "bypass" was first implemented on Route 66 during this era. Transportation infrastructure is well underway at this point in history as well and traveler expectations have risen, resulting in gas stations, motels, and formalized rest areas.
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The "original" Route 66 alignment in Illinois signifies a turning point in transportation history as the emphasis of long distance travel shifts from a fixed rail system to a traveler driven navigation. Illinois was the first state to boast having Route 66 paved from end to end. It is during this time period that the Mother Road was most often referred to as " The Hard Road."
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Featured Attraction
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery
Bloomington, IL

Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, founded in the early 1820's, is a historic cemetery nestled in the heart of Bloomington. The 87 acre cemetery begins with a simple entrance, winding avenues, towering trees and an elaborate mausoleum. Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is a wonderful example of preservation, culture and tradition in Central Illinois. It is the resting place of famous figures and ordinary people. People like former Vice President Adlai Stevenson, Revolutionary War soldier David Haggard and niece of L. Frank Baum, Dorothy Louise Gage, basis for the character Dorothy from his book The Wizard of Oz. There are also two sections dedicated to children and three areas dedicated to children and three areas dedicated to veterans. Today, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery captures the imagination of the visitor and may be swept away by the quality which one might call the essential spirit of the place. It is a place where the dignity of nature is appreciated by those who visit.

Mahan's Filling Station at Fulgenzi's
Springfield, IL
Mahan’s Filling Station, a unique example of the earliest of gas stations, is now on display at Fulgenzi’s Pizza & Pasta located across from the Historic Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The roadside attraction is now accessible as a great photo and souvenir opportunity for Route 66 visitors. Fulgenzi’s restaurant property itself was once the site of two Route 66 motels and a car painting business in the heyday of the road. The current restaurant, which the Fulgenzi family opened originally in 1979 as a “Custard Castle”, has become a regular stop for 66 travelers.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Springfield, IL
Free ranger-led tours of the Lincoln Home are the central feature of the site. The Visitor Center offers orientation and interpretive films. Exhibits are located within the neighborhood. Stroll through the four-block historic area to see some houses in the Lincoln neighborhood.
featured story from the mother road
Birthplace of Route 66 Festival

The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway set up shop at this year's Birthplace of Route 66 Festival this past weekend, August 12-14, in Springfield, Missouri. The event, we understand, has really taken off this last couple years, and despite the weather on Friday not cooperating, the crowds were amazing. The Byway exhibit was part of the Authors, Artists, Collectors & Associations expo at the Old Glass Place downtown. As usual, our Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway flashing stickers were a huge hit, with literally hundreds of attendees wearing them throughout the weekend. It was a great chance to promote all the great attractions on the east side of the Mississippi River!

Bow Truss Coffee Roasters 90th Anniversary of Route 66

Did you know that 300 miles of the historic Route 66 stretches through Illinois? In fact, the “Mother Road” starts in the Windy City and winds through the state to St. Louis before stretching across the country. And this year, the legendary drive will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a party right where it all begins. Join us at Bow Truss Coffee Roasters, 73 E Jackson Blvd in Chicago this Saturday, July 16th from 11:30am to 2:00pm. Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway social media coordinator Kaleigh Moore will be hosting a Facebook Live event to mark the celebration.

Tourists - Tully Monsters - Tall Grass Prairies
Back again after a short break in our adventures on Route 66. We hope you enjoy our accumulation of thoughts about the “Mother Road”. We recently have been made aware of the renewed interest in the history of Route 66 by the national and local news media and the human interest stories that appear regularly on T.V. And newspapers. Here in Illinois our congratulations to all of the staff and Mr. Bill Kelly of the “Illinois Mile After Magnificent Mile” publication of the 2016 issue of the Visitor's Guide If you haven't got a copy, get one to assist in all of your enjoyment of Illinois 66 and all the attractions it offers. Here are a few!!
Dwight 90th Birthday of Route 66 Ushers in an Already Busy Season Along the Mother Road
Dwight, Illinois ushered in the 90th anniversary of Route 66, with a celebration last Thursday April 21st at the restored Ambler/Becker Texaco gas station. The birthday party, which was the first 90th anniversary celebration in Illinois, included classic cars, hot dogs and cake, basset hounds and an enthusiastic crowd from all around the state. The event included an official presentation by Dwight Village President Jared Anderson, Bill Kelly of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway and Route 66 preservationist John Weiss. 
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Receives Two Awards at 2016 Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism
The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, including our staff and several board members, attended this year's Governor's Conference on Tourism in Springfield from March 21 -23. The highlight for the Byway was winning two marketing awards at the kick-off Illinois Excellence in Tourism Awards Dinner - Best Branding Initiative for our Interpretive Statues project and Best Website for illinoisroute66.org. Our partner for the Interpretive Statues award was Schmeekle Reserve at the University of Wisconsin, who has been a Byway partner not only in the development of the Interpretive Statues, but also with the Byway wayside exhibits and experience hubs, located all along Illinois Route 66. Our partner for the website was BlueBolt Solutions of Chicago, and the site was designed so that the Byway staff can easily edit and add new features.

Upcoming Events
Carlinville's Shop Local First Restaurant Week - Chairs on Parade
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall
Lincoln Home National Historic Site Centennial Celebration
Lincoln Balloon Festival
2016 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
Elkhart Historical Society 2016 Fall Dinner Lecture Series
7th Annual Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival
Williamsville Fall Festival & Route 66 Sign Dedication
Dwight Harvest Days & Annual Basset Waddle
Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
Carlinville's Shop Local First Restaurant Week - Chairs on Parade
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall
Lincoln Home National Historic Site Centennial Celebration
Lincoln Balloon Festival
2016 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
Elkhart Historical Society 2016 Fall Dinner Lecture Series
7th Annual Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival
Williamsville Fall Festival & Route 66 Sign Dedication
Dwight Harvest Days & Annual Basset Waddle
Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
8/6/16 - 8/28/16
Carlinville
8/24/16
Bloomington-Normal
8/25/16 - 9/3/16
Springfield
8/26/16 - 8/27/16
Lincoln
8/27/16
Berwyn
9/2/16 - 11/4/16
9/3/16
Springfield
9/9/16 - 9/10/16
Williamsville
9/15/16 - 9/18/16
Dwight
9/17/16 - 9/18/16
Lincoln
8/6/16 - 8/28/16
Carlinville
8/24/16
Bloomington-Normal
8/25/16 - 9/3/16
Springfield
8/26/16 - 8/27/16
Lincoln
8/27/16
Berwyn
9/2/16 - 11/4/16
9/3/16
Springfield
9/9/16 - 9/10/16
Williamsville
9/15/16 - 9/18/16
Dwight
9/17/16 - 9/18/16
Lincoln
Chairs on Parade is an event where Carlinville businesses purchases a chair and decorates it to their liking. The event is all about bringing old fashioned fun, family and shopping together while supporting the local business community. The chairs will be on display outside of the businesses beginning on Saturday, August 6th. All chairs will be placed around Carlinville in front of local businesses or around the beautiful downtown square and put on a colorful map to be passed out to visitors so they can tour the exhibition.

Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is partnering with Cargill Inc. to bring the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Wall to the Bloomington-Normal community. This wall is an 80% replica of the wall that is in Washington D.C. The memorial will be located in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery's southeast corner. The historic cemetery will also have the Agent Orange Quilt of Tears as well as other displays. 

Come join the Lincoln Home National Historic Site rangers as they celebrate the National Park Service's 100th birthday. Activities and fun throughout the day on both August 25th & September 3rd. Look for the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway tent at the event!


Enjoy the beautiful hot air balloon launches beginning Friday through Saturday evening, followed by the balloon glow at dusk. Enjoy tethered rides, live music, giant kites, food, carnival, family games and activities.

The Berwyn Route 66 Car Show is the area's best and biggest car show born from the rich automotive heritage of Berwyn's Historic Route 66. Berwyn's show takes visitors on a stroll through 500+ vintage and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles. Highlights include live music, automobile flamethrowing and a cacklefest of dragsters that will thrill spectators! Held annually the last Saturday in August.

The Elkhart Historical Society is announcing their fall schedule of events and dinner lectures, so be sure to add these dates to your calendar.  The opening event on Friday September 2nd, “Art and Music on the Prairie” and will take place 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.   It promises to be a relaxing combination of art, music and food.   As it is the beginning of the Labor Day Weekend, a more casual dress and interesting topic of “Original Art” will be presented in an art walk style, involving three of the shops, with popular artists Lette Marseille, Felicia Olin and others, with a short talk on the value of original art, combined with live music, and freshly prepared hors d'oeuvres.
The SOB fest, as it is known, features creative local and nationally-recognized craft beer vendors, fresh oysters prepared a number of delectable ways, and delicious offerings from three distinctly different food trucks, too. It will be held in the parking lot of the Inn at 835 again, rain or shine.
Williamsville celebrates the Route 66 International traveler with the unveiling of a multi-directional mileage sign celebrating the top visiting countries along Illinois Route 66. Members of the Sangamon Valley Woodcarvers have designed and produced placards representing U.S. cities and countries from around the globe on a carved sign post with a Route 66 logo as a topper. The dedication is Saturday September 10th at 2:30pm as part of the Williamsville Fall Festival on September 9th and 10th.

Dwight's premiere annual event is a great time for the whole family. Enjoy pie baking and pie eating contests, hypnosis/magician, Jr. Karaoke contest, Live Country Music, Live Dixieland Band, All Star Jam Band, Hairbanger's Ball, car show, tractor show and hours of fun!
This year’s Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival will be held at new locations in Lincoln, Illinois, all of which are located on Historic Route 66 – Postville Courthouse State Historic Site, Postville Park and The Mill. The event is a celebration of the pioneer days that influenced Abraham Lincoln’s early life, including his time as a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit. Traditional Saturday festival activities include the Women's Firewood Split, Log Rolling Contest, Cross Cut Saw Competition, Antique Tractor Games, Team Railsplitting Contest, Jr. Railsplitting Contest and the Amateur Railsplitting Contest. Sunday Railsplitting festival activities include a Community Church Service, the Dean Tibbs Tomahawk Throw, the Ray Begolka Corn Shelling Contest, a Stick Horse Rodeo, Water Boil Contest, Outhouse Races, Trick Riding & Drill Team by Rita Coleman, the Re-Christening of the City Lincoln at 3pm and the National Railsplitting Contest at 3:15pm.
Chairs on Parade is an event where Carlinville businesses purchases a chair and decorates it to their liking. The event is all about bringing old fashioned fun, family and shopping together while supporting the local business community. The chairs will be on display outside of the businesses beginning on Saturday, August 6th. All chairs will be placed around Carlinville in front of local businesses or around the beautiful downtown square and put on a colorful map to be passed out to visitors so they can tour the exhibition.

Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is partnering with Cargill Inc. to bring the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Wall to the Bloomington-Normal community. This wall is an 80% replica of the wall that is in Washington D.C. The memorial will be located in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery's southeast corner. The historic cemetery will also have the Agent Orange Quilt of Tears as well as other displays. 

Come join the Lincoln Home National Historic Site rangers as they celebrate the National Park Service's 100th birthday. Activities and fun throughout the day on both August 25th & September 3rd. Look for the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway tent at the event!


Enjoy the beautiful hot air balloon launches beginning Friday through Saturday evening, followed by the balloon glow at dusk. Enjoy tethered rides, live music, giant kites, food, carnival, family games and activities.

The Berwyn Route 66 Car Show is the area's best and biggest car show born from the rich automotive heritage of Berwyn's Historic Route 66. Berwyn's show takes visitors on a stroll through 500+ vintage and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles. Highlights include live music, automobile flamethrowing and a cacklefest of dragsters that will thrill spectators! Held annually the last Saturday in August.

The Elkhart Historical Society is announcing their fall schedule of events and dinner lectures, so be sure to add these dates to your calendar.  The opening event on Friday September 2nd, “Art and Music on the Prairie” and will take place 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.   It promises to be a relaxing combination of art, music and food.   As it is the beginning of the Labor Day Weekend, a more casual dress and interesting topic of “Original Art” will be presented in an art walk style, involving three of the shops, with popular artists Lette Marseille, Felicia Olin and others, with a short talk on the value of original art, combined with live music, and freshly prepared hors d'oeuvres.
The SOB fest, as it is known, features creative local and nationally-recognized craft beer vendors, fresh oysters prepared a number of delectable ways, and delicious offerings from three distinctly different food trucks, too. It will be held in the parking lot of the Inn at 835 again, rain or shine.
Williamsville celebrates the Route 66 International traveler with the unveiling of a multi-directional mileage sign celebrating the top visiting countries along Illinois Route 66. Members of the Sangamon Valley Woodcarvers have designed and produced placards representing U.S. cities and countries from around the globe on a carved sign post with a Route 66 logo as a topper. The dedication is Saturday September 10th at 2:30pm as part of the Williamsville Fall Festival on September 9th and 10th.

Dwight's premiere annual event is a great time for the whole family. Enjoy pie baking and pie eating contests, hypnosis/magician, Jr. Karaoke contest, Live Country Music, Live Dixieland Band, All Star Jam Band, Hairbanger's Ball, car show, tractor show and hours of fun!
This year’s Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival will be held at new locations in Lincoln, Illinois, all of which are located on Historic Route 66 – Postville Courthouse State Historic Site, Postville Park and The Mill. The event is a celebration of the pioneer days that influenced Abraham Lincoln’s early life, including his time as a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit. Traditional Saturday festival activities include the Women's Firewood Split, Log Rolling Contest, Cross Cut Saw Competition, Antique Tractor Games, Team Railsplitting Contest, Jr. Railsplitting Contest and the Amateur Railsplitting Contest. Sunday Railsplitting festival activities include a Community Church Service, the Dean Tibbs Tomahawk Throw, the Ray Begolka Corn Shelling Contest, a Stick Horse Rodeo, Water Boil Contest, Outhouse Races, Trick Riding & Drill Team by Rita Coleman, the Re-Christening of the City Lincoln at 3pm and the National Railsplitting Contest at 3:15pm.
Carlinville's Shop Local First Restaurant Week - Chairs on Parade
8/6/16 - 8/28/16
Carlinville
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall
8/24/16
Bloomington-Normal
Lincoln Home National Historic Site Centennial Celebration
8/25/16 - 9/3/16
Springfield
Lincoln Balloon Festival
8/26/16 - 8/27/16
Lincoln
2016 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
8/27/16
Berwyn
Elkhart Historical Society 2016 Fall Dinner Lecture Series
9/2/16 - 11/4/16
7th Annual Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival
9/3/16
Springfield
Williamsville Fall Festival & Route 66 Sign Dedication
9/9/16 - 9/10/16
Williamsville
Dwight Harvest Days & Annual Basset Waddle
9/15/16 - 9/18/16
Dwight
Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
9/17/16 - 9/18/16
Lincoln
Carlinville's Shop Local First Restaurant Week - Chairs on Parade
8/6/16 - 8/28/16
Carlinville
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall
8/24/16
Bloomington-Normal
Lincoln Home National Historic Site Centennial Celebration
8/25/16 - 9/3/16
Springfield
Lincoln Balloon Festival
8/26/16 - 8/27/16
Lincoln
2016 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
8/27/16
Berwyn
Elkhart Historical Society 2016 Fall Dinner Lecture Series
9/2/16 - 11/4/16
7th Annual Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival
9/3/16
Springfield
Williamsville Fall Festival & Route 66 Sign Dedication
9/9/16 - 9/10/16
Williamsville
Dwight Harvest Days & Annual Basset Waddle
9/15/16 - 9/18/16
Dwight
Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival
9/17/16 - 9/18/16
Lincoln
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LATEST NEWS FROM ROUTE 66
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Signs Route 66 Motorcycle Plate Legislation 8/20/16
Aug 21, 2016

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Signs Route 66 Motorcycle Plate Legislation 8/20/16 - Fulgenzi's/Mahan's Filling Station Springfield, IL. Special Thanks: Gov. Bruce Rauner, Rep. Tim Butler... View the video of the signing ceremony at https://youtu.be/_vxaGbTMifM.


ILLINOIS ROUTE 66 SCENIC BYWAY PARTNERS WITH LOCAL EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
Aug 10, 2016

The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway will be out in full force at a number of Central Illinois Route 66 upcoming events, and has also been providing support for these activities and projects along the Mother Road.

Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Announces Selfies On 66 Grand Prize Winner
Aug 01, 2016

For the last year, the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway has encouraged travelers to share their Selfie photos along Illinois Route 66, and each month our social media followers have voted for their favorite, and will continue to do so. The monthly photo with the most likes/comments/shares won an Illinois Route 66 commemorative license plate and baseball hat. Once per year, the Byway lets voters choose from the 12 monthly winners, and the photo that gets the most likes/comments/shares wins the grand prize: a basket full of Illinois Route 66 memorabilia, gift certificates, and more! This year, our very first grand prize winner is Lenny Scinto from the Chicagoland area (see the winning selfie taken in Pontiac, IL). Congratulations!

Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center First Anniversary Includes Economic Impact Assessment
Apr 27, 2016
The Sound of Illinois Chorus performed "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" and other favorites to kick off (appropriately) the one year anniversary of the opening of the Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center, located on the ground floor of the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington, Illinois on April 25th. The Museum also provided free admission to the new permanent exhibit gallery, Making a Home, which explores the experience of living, working, farming, and creating community in McLean County.
Pontiac Breaking Ground for New Hotel
Dec 04, 2015
Pontiac’s newest hotel has taken the first big step towards its completion, which is expected in 2016.  A group of city officials, representatives from the Pontiac Area Chamber of Commerce, the Pontiac Hotel Developers, LLC, Hotel Development Services of Oxford, Ohio, and the hotel’s new management team, Monchino Management LLC of Herrin, IL, conducted the ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday, December 2nd at the site of the new hotel near the Interstate 55 interchange. 
Route 66 Collaboration Workshops Final Report
Nov 24, 2015
The Route 66: The Road Ahead Steering Committee has completed its review and analysis of feedback collected from the over 300 Rt. 66 stakeholders who took part in this past summer's series of Collaboration Workshops. Based on its discussions, the Steering Committee has produced the Collaboration Workshops Final Report which can be accessed here.
Charlie Parker's Diner Owner Wins National Thomas' Breakfast Battle
Oct 26, 2015
Congratulations go out to Mike Murphy, owner of Charlie Parker's Diner in Springfield, IL, who won $25,000 last weekend in a national breakfast recipe competition. Murphy made it to the final round of two competitors, who battled it out Saturday morning, October 24th on Fox & Friends morning news show.  Murphy whipped up a famous breakfast horseshoe for the final round of the competition. Online voting closed at 11pm Sunday October 25th, and Murphy emerged the winner of the Thomas' Breakfast Battle.
Pontiac Route 66 Mural Earns National Geographic Calendar Cover
Aug 19, 2015
Pontiac's own world's largest painted Route 66 shield mural is the featured cover photograph on one of National Geographic's 2016 promotional calendars. The Route 66-themed calendar includes 12 stunning images taken along the historic "Mother Road." Pontiac's shield mural is the image for December, and was selected as the calendar's impressive cover photo.
Sputnik Orbit Comes Full Circle
May 20, 2015

At what seems to have been the speed of space travel, the iconic Sputnik from the Bel-Aire Motel in Springfield, IL has been saved and restored by Ace Sign Company, and was unveiled Tuesday, May 19th at the dedication of the sign museum at the company's new location at 2540 South First Street in Springfield.

Joe Bringuet from Ace Sign Company was around back when the sign was purchased by the Bel-Aire from a California company, and the motel then hired Ace Sign to install it. Joe recalls that this was somewhere around 1963 to 1965. The sputniks were sold around the country to motels and restaurants primarily, according to Bringuet. They were designed to look like the Soviet Sputnik space satellite. This was the first satellite to orbit the Earth, launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957.