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.
At the one year mark, the Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center had recorded over 18,000 visitors from over 100 Illinois communities, 45 states and 32 countries, which translates into $445,000 in local economic impact for the community, according to data provided by the Visitors Center. Patrons to the Museum and Visitors Center were also looking for historical sites, art & cultural opportunities, shopping and dining. Over 72% of visitors indicated they planned on dining in downtown Bloomington.
"Bloomington has gotten off to a tremendous start with the Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center. Mother Road travelers are able to enjoy the exhibits, take advantage of the unique souvenirs and use the Visitors Center to plan additional stops," said Bill Kelly, executive director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
The Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center has a terrific selection of exclusive local merchandise for sale, including t-shirts and books on the subjects of Route 66, Abraham Lincoln and McLean County history. They have also rolled out a brand new website, located at CruisinWithLincolnOn66.com
, which provides a treasure trove of information for all of McLean County.
There is more to come for Bloomington-Normal this year. The Visitors Center will open a new Abraham Lincoln in McLean County exhibit on May 21st, which is also the date the new Lincoln Tour mobile app launches. June 4th will be the Route 66 Cruise-In in downtown Bloomington, July 15-17 is the Lincoln's Festival in Bloomington. October 21-23 the second annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference will be hosted in Bloomington and Normal (www.route66milesofpossibility.com
Click here for more information on the economic impact of the Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center.