While we're waiting for winter to finally arrive (or end), its fun to plan the coming year's calendar. There's so much to do this year and the days are filling in fast! Here are a few dates we'd like you to keep in mind.
Red Carpet Corridor Festival will be Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th! Ninety miles of fun from Joliet to Towanda! There are activities planned in most of the 13 participating communities along the road both days. New this year for the Red Carpet Corridor Festival - each community is offering its own, very cool, "Collectible Trading Card." Come out, have fun and support our 13 Red Carpet Corridor communities!
There will be a Pre-War Festival with music and a car show on May 25th in Pontiac. This is the Pontiac-Oakland Museum's official event - if you love classic cars and swing music, save the date!
New this year - Craig Parrish is running a Car Cruise from Michigan down to Joliet and then a cruise from Joliet to Pontiac on Friday, June 1 followed by a car show and music on the square on Saturday, June 2. This will be a fundraiser for the Betty Estes/Lenore Weiss Cancer Foundation. Craig has been running the Old 27 car cruises for a while and helped start many of the festivals in Illinois (Springfield and Litchfield). Craig will be doing the music on Saturday for the car show - come join the fun!
Our 24th Annual Motor Tour starts Friday, June 7th, with an opening night registration at a private collection "Just Off 66." The Association's Board is working hard to provide new places and new faces as we launch this year's "Back to our Routes" tour. We start North this year, and our overnight will be in Lincoln. Our Hall of Fame Dinner will be at Lincoln College on Saturday night. We'll end with a party on Sunday at the new Litchfield Welcoming Center!
Our Association has teamed up with the Route 66 Association of Missouri for the National Parks Program, asking for funds to relight the Vic Suyling sign in Litchfield. This original neon sign is the hallmark "street sign" for the new museum in Litchfield! We were successful in getting funding for the Luna Cafe and it's again glowing neon along the Mother Road! We're so fortunate that Jim Thole, head of the Missouri Neon Preservation Committee, and a member of our Association, is keen on working toward preservation of these important classic signs and works so hard in getting the right paperwork and letters of support. If you have any memorabilia that you would like to loan or donate to the new museum/welcoming center in Litchfield, information is available online at the litchfieldmuseum.org website.
It's been a strange winter and so cabin fever hasn't been as bad this year for most. The museum in Pontiac has been steady with Illinois visitors as we gear up for the start of the "official" Tourist Season around mid-March. There's lots to do to prepare for the Red Carpet Corridor Festival and the Motor Tour! We'd really appreciate your help at one of the museum work days! Work is also underway for the new Preservation Exhibit in the museum complex's main hallway. No sneak peeks but we're excited to be able to showcase what preservation is about and how everyone can do Preservation!
We need your cookbook recipes! We did not go to print as scheduled because we didn't receive enough recipes that are NOT already in our other cookbooks. So look through your special family favorites and share a few. The cookbook fundraiser helps with our preservation projects.
We continue to sell our 100% Made in America cotton Bob Waldmire original T-shirts as a fundraiser to help preserve Bob's bus. See pages 6 and 7 of this newsletter to see where you can get yours. Subjected to the sun and weather, Bob's Road Yacht is taking a beating. Over 23,000 people have toured his amazing home on wheels, and we're working with local companies to find the right way to shelter the bus without taking away its unique street appeal. Monies raised will be used to make sure the Waldmire Road Yacht remains as Bob left it.
The Illiana Toll Road is still in meetings, a compromise has been found for parts of the route. The Hight Speed Rail is being worked on. The roads in downtown Joliet should be ready for summer travel (Ruby Street Bridge).
We're grateful to our members for their support, and your response to our newsletter, website and facebook page. We continue to look back and reflect on our past, preserve what we can, help where asked, and support those businesses and services that populare the Mother Road in Illinois. Whether stopping by Lydia's "New2U" Thrift Store or indoor Flea Market in Gardner, or taking a Sunday drive to Funk's Grove for fresh maple sirup, or restocking your "Route 66 Red" ast Springer's Creek Winery in Edwardsville, it's time to dust off your traveling shoes and do a little "local" motion.
Looking forward to an interesting spring and a great June Motor Tour with you!
We welcome your Route 66 news, stories, photos and events for publication in our newsletter or on our web site!