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Stories of the Road
Seeing Pink and Saying “Cheese”

Along Route 66, near I-55's mile marker 37, is a land of giants and colossal pink elephants, giant ice cream cones and gingerbread gazebos, spaceships and other-worldly possessions. These collectibles sit outside the Pink Elephant Antique Mall. Since 2005, this yard art has enticed interstate travelers to stop for a closer look. Owner Dave Hammond traveled all over the country to salvage these oddities and bring them home to the front yard of I-55. Why? Because he likes to see people smile... 

The Land of OZ on Route 66

Travelers on Route 66 remind me of that timeless story of Dorothy and Toto as they set out on their adventures to see what lay ahead upon the horizon.  How ironic that a little girl buried in a Route 66 cemetery would inspire such a story.  Dorothy Louise Gage, the niece of L. Frank Baum, who wrote the book, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" passed away before she was 6 months old. Her death would inspire him to name his main character, in a book he was writing, as Dorothy.  The impact of his books and later a movie would inspire generations to come.

A New Hope on Route 66

Each year the Empire strikes against the Rebellion at the Annual Star Wars Day In Joliet, Illinois on Route 66. Thanks to the Public Library and the 501 First Legion organization, this annual celebration rivals a large movie set. The parade is large and professional and the costumes are outstanding. Each year this venue gets larger and the photo opportunities are high quality.

McLean County Museum of History welcomes spring with fresh outlook and additional programs
The McLean County Museum of History and its education department is busy putting together spring programming. “We are hoping to attract an even larger and more diverse audience this year with the new programs and the recently opened Pedal Power exhibit”, says Jeff Woodard, director of marketing and community relations. 
Renovated Lincoln Depot Now Open in Lincoln, IL

A host of local dignitaries including current and former Lincoln mayors, railroad officials, transportation officials and representatives of elected state and federal officials were on hand for the ribbon cutting for the completion of renovations and opening of the historic Lincoln Dept in downtown Lincoln, IL (101 N. Chicago St). A large crowd was on-hand for the December 5, 2017 event. Lincoln Mayor Seth Goodman hosted the ceremony, which also included remarks from Illinois State Representative Tim Butler, and Hal Smith from Representative Darin LaHood's office.

When the Wheels Hit the Road

When the wheels hit the road (bicycle wheels , that is) we were honored to travel the Illinois portion of Route 66 with Zdenek Jurasek and his 2 person film crew (Petra and Tomas) from the Czech Republic. Zdenek was attempting his second Route 66 trip from Chicago to Los Angeles on his mountain bike. The Solo Bicycle Ride trip was initiated on August 20th and completed on September 21st, 2016. The first encounter we had with our friend and his crew was in Braidwood, IL at the Polk-a-dot. That same evening we were invited to join him and distinguished citizens from Dwight at the world renowned Country Mansion Restaurant.

Route 66 - Full Throttle
Creator of Steppinstars Music, Steve Henry, recently released a new song/video - "Route 66 - Full Throttle."  Henry's Steppinstars Music recently hit a milestone of 50,000 views on his YouTube Channel.  Currently, his song charts include almost 70 releases with "Route 66 - Full Throttle" quickly becoming one of the most popular. 
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!!
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