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Gemini Giant at The Launching Pad
The Launching Pad Drive-In Welcome Center and Gift Shop is home to the famous Gemini Giant, a fiberglass 'Muffler Man' sporting a space helmet and rocket ship. It is a remnant of our fascination with space travel in the 1960s. Come on by and visit the Welcome Center and gift shop and get your picture made with the Gemini Giant!

New owners Tully Garrett and Holly Barker re-opened the business on April 16th, 2018. Currently the facility is a Route 66 Welcome Center with local Wilmington and Route 66 information on events and helpful tourist maps, apps, and such. There is also a Gift Shop selling many made-in-the-USA items from local businesses, Route 66 artists, and the like! Also on sale is fantastic coffee from Starved Rock Coffee Roasters with Gemini Giant/Launching Pad labeled brands and Route 66 sodas as well as nostalgic packaged ice cream. The owners are deep into the renovation process of the kitchen, and will first open the counter for ice cream and drinks.

The Gemini Giant is one of the biggest attractions located along the Mother Road of Route 66. The Gemini Giant is the guardian and the protector of the iconic Launching Pad which is a delicious eatery established in 1965. This 28 foot tall space man is one of the few “Muffler Man” statues which remain today in America and along Route 66. He weighs in at an incredible 438 pounds! That is Not counting the rocket and concrete base. Needless to say, the Launching Pad is in fact well protected by this towering gem of unique Americana.

As far as the restaurant is concerned the Launching Pad was originally a Dari-Delite until expanded in 1965 and thus the Launching Pad was born! In recent times The Pad has been out of commission but new owners Holly and Tully are hard at work revitalizing this historic food venue.
Alignment 1926||1930||1940
Northern Region

810 East Baltimore Street
Wilmington, IL

(866) 442-6866
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