First Slide and Photo Opportunity with state and local officials
10:30am, August 12 at the Giant Slide inside the Main Gate of the IL State Fairgrounds
GSCC Ribbon Cutting at 11:00am
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2022 Illinois State Fair will welcome new features and attractions including a newly designed, iconic Giant Slide! In operation at the Illinois State Fairgrounds since 1968, the Giant Slide, now owned and operated by Doug Knight plans to operate seasonally for visitors outside the 11-day state fair.
Additionally, the continually growing IL State Fairgrounds Route 66 Experience will see many new features this year. Continuing to enhance the Route 66 assets throughout Springfield, the Giant Slide changes and the gate 2 area is a collaborative tourism partner effort as part of the road to celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Route 66 in 2026! This anniversary will bring new experiences for locals and visitors alike.
“This will become the centerpiece of a marketing campaign by the SCVB around the expanded Route 66 Experience at the fairgrounds ahead of the Mother Road’s centennial in 2026. We are ecstatic for Doug Knight and grateful for the city’s support. I expect 250,000 visitors to ‘Slide Down 66’ between now and the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026.” ” said Scott Dahl, Director, Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Giant Slide & Gate 2 Experience Highlights
At the 2022 IL State Fair, the Giant Slide will sport a mega Route 66 shield and banners highlighting its significance as the only state fairground located directly on the historic road.
Beginning in 2023, the slide will be operated seasonally May – August on Saturdays for locals and visitors to enjoy an opportunity to “Slide Down 66”
NEW for 2022 Illinois State Fairgrounds Route 66 Experience will not be missed with a 40- foot Route 66 neon sign being added to the future Legends Neon Sign Park. It will be a showcase piece at this year’s fair.
Eight to ten Byway members, including communities, CVB’s and businesses will be represented at the experience, giving visitors a chance to learn about the road throughout the state from top to bottom. IL Route 66 community representatives will be available onsite at Gate 2 to answer questions during the fair.
Various car collector groups will be on display at Gate 2 throughout the fair, including:
August 13: Lincoln Trail Truck Club
August 15: Corvair Society
August 17: Cool Cruisers
August 20: Illini Chapter BMW Club of America
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway and Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau received two IL Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity state tourism grants in the past three months, the grants are worth $2 million. Phase 2 of the Experience at Gate 2 is scheduled to be completed by the 2023 Illinois State Fair.
Stakeholders in the project include, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
Route 66 Monarch Flyway will be in full bloom again this year. The vision of the project is supporting thriving monarch populations that sustain the monarch migration into perpetuity and serve as a flagship for the conservation of other plants and animals.
Members of the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival will be on-site with 2022 festival information.
About Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau –
The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau (SCVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Springfield, Illinois. As a department of the City of Springfield, the SCVB markets the capital city as a unique convention, meeting and leisure destination in support of our City, our community and our hospitality partners.
About Knights Action Park –
Brothers Doug and George Knight welcome you to the third generation of Knight family traditions. Family fun, a safe and welcoming atmosphere and most of all, 65 acres of water and amusement park excitement.
Knight’s Action Park & Splash Kingdom have long been Springfield’s home for entertainment, excitement, and refreshing summer fun. We began as a golf driving range in 1930 by golf pro George Knight Sr. Knight’s Action Park has been a part of the Springfield area for over 92 years. Today, Illinois’s favorite family fun park is home to 8 water slides, batting cages, a fifty-tee driving range, a spray ground (Camille’s Reef), the classic Big Wheel, a giant wave pool, and 8 exciting water slides. It is “where the action is” in Central Illinois.
About Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway –
We help attractions, small businesses, and communities take full advantage of their Route 66 resources to provide the best possible experience for visitors from around the world. We also provide information to travelers to help them plan their adventure down Route 66.