SPRINGFIELD, IL – Gate 2 of the Illinois State Fair, August 12 -22, will feature an exhibit like no other. The Illinois State Fairgrounds Route 66 Experience is a multiyear project focusing on our nation’s most iconic road. The experience will offer visitors a chance to walk Illinois Route 66 from Chicago to the Chain of Rocks Bridge and learn about communities and attractions along the Route in microform. The project is headed by the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, with the goal of sparking interest in those who have not yet experienced everything Illinois Route 66 has to offer.
“We have begun working on the Route 66 Experience and will have the first phase completed by the time the Illinois State Fair begins on August 12,” said Casey Wichmann, Route 66 Scenic Byway Executive Director. “Being able to provide visitors a central location to experience what our historic road has to offer is an amazing opportunity prior to the 100th anniversary of Route 66.”
“The Route 66 Experience is going to totally transform gate 2 on the Illinois State Fairgrounds and make it a destination for visitors not only during the fair, but year-round,” said Illinois State Fair Manager, Kevin Gordon. “We are excited to showcase Route 66 history at our 2021 fair and look forward to the experience growing for years to come.” The experience will be open year-round and will offer QR codes and story boards that will detail historical attractions and businesses along the Route. Communities along Illinois Route 66 have been invited to participate and will do so by working with the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway to develop their perspective area within the experience. The Illinois State Fairgrounds Route 66 Experience is slated to be completed prior to the Mother Road’s Centennial Anniversary in 2026.