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.
The Route 66 Walldogs Mural Festival in McLean will be on August 19 from 5-10 pm. Join the famous Walldogs muralists for a firsthand look as artists create an exciting new mural. This project features a vintage Route 66 theme and honors local legend, Shorty Ruble, and his longstanding barbershop. The cost of the mural was partially funded through a grant program from the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
The 3rd Annual Get Your 6.6 on Route 66 (6.6k run/walk) is Saturday, August 20 starting at 8am. Participants get the chance to run or walk from Funks Grove to McLean on the Mother Road and receive a pre-race shot of Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup and commemorative shot glass, t-shirt, and other goodies. This event is held by CORE of McLean, a nonprofit community organization.
Shop Local First Carlinville's Chairs On Parade & Restaurant event features approx. 200 chairs decorated by businesses and groups on display all over Carlinville through the last weekend in August. Highlights of this showcase of Carlinville include the Flotilla Parade on Friday August 26th, Midwest's Largest Squirt Gun Fight and Street Party/Chair Auction. On Saturday, August 27th, the Carlinville Foodie Day Festival features a Spaghetti Eating Competition and a Peach & Apple Pie Eating Competition. Come out on Sunday August 28th from 2-8pm to Rock The Dock at the Carlin-Belle Riverboat at the Magnuson Grand Hotel, I-55 Carlinville Exit 60. As summer comes to an end, join us for an afternoon of fun in the sun! Cash Bar aboard the Carlin-Belle Riverboat, BBQ, Music, Volleyball, Horseshoes, Fishing (bring your own pole), and Route 66 Car Show.
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 cost of the sign was partially funded through a grant program from the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway. The sign sits outside the newly constructed Williamsville Public Library and Museum at 217 North Elm Street. The dedication is Saturday September 10th at 2:30pm as part of the Williamsville Fall Festival on September 9th and 10th.
The Salt Creek ABATE Motorcycle Club, Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County and the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway will be hosting a new Motorcycle Show on Saturday September 17th from 11am to 3pm at The Mill on 66. The event is being held as part of and in conjunction with the Abraham Lincoln Railsplitting Festival and the 90th Anniversary of Route 66 (1926-2016). All statewide ABATE club members are invited as well as all motorcyclists. There will be People's Choice awards, 50/50 drawing, live music and hot pizza for the event. A suggested donation for motorcyclists and attendees will go towards the Mill. Also, this year’s 10th Annual Mill Cruise-In, hosted by the Lincoln Railsplitter Antique Auto Club, will be Saturday, October 8th from 11am to 3pm at this historic original 1929 Route 66 attraction located at 738 S. Washington in Lincoln, Illinois, with registration proceeds to once again go to the Mill for restoration efforts.
This year’s Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday September 17th & 18th 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 - all at Postville Park, located at 5th and Washington Streets (Route 66). 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. Live Bluegrass music will be featured all day Saturday and Sunday at Postville Courthouse located at 914 5th Street.
The Second Annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference will be held in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois from October 20-23. As with the inaugural event last year in Edwardsville, the conference will feature several informative speakers covering a variety of topics related to Route 66, as well as many fun activities.
The festivities begin on Thursday evening, October 20th, with a Hot Dog Roast at Sprague’s Super Service Station located at 305 Pine Street in Normal. The Tudor-Revival style building was built in 1931 on Route 66, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Town of Normal recently purchased the building to continue the restoration.
Conference sessions begin with a keynote speaker on Friday, October 21st at The Chateau Hotel and Conference Center, 1601 Jumer Drive, Bloomington, then move to Downtown Bloomington. Friday evening is the 90th birthday celebration for Route 66, which includes a dinner and dance party at the Eagle’s Club, 313 S. Main, Bloomington. Route 66 Hall of Fame members will be recognized by Steve Nalefski, McLean County representative of the Route 66 Association of Illinois. Entertainment includes a local band favorite, Wagon Load a Trouble, and stand-up comedy by Terri Ryburn, who is also the conference organizer.
On Saturday, October 22nd, the conference continues with the second keynote speaker at The Chateau Hotel and Conference Center. Conference sessions will be held once again in Downtown Bloomington at the McLean County Museum of History/Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center and the Ensenberger Building. A Route 66 Normal Short Film Festival takes place Saturday evening at the Normal Theater, 209 North Street, Normal.
On Sunday, October 23rd, a number of activities will be offered for conference attendees. A bus tour to Pontiac and Atlanta, Illinois will be led by Route 66 historian, author and preservationist, John Weiss. A Haunted Route 66 tour in Downtown Bloomington, will be guided by Deborah Senger from Spirits of Bloomington/Timeless Presentations, the author of an upcoming book entitled, Haunted Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. The 10th Anniversary showing of the Disney movie “Cars” will also be shown at the Normal Theatre that day.
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