Towns rolling out the red carpet for Route 66 festival

FILL IN THE CIRCLES as you visit each of the 14 towns from Joliet to Bloomington. Start with a game board and get a sticker at each town as you go. It all takes place Saturday and Sunday, May 4 & 5.

This year’s Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor festival is coming up Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The festival is celebrated on the most famous two-lane highway in America, Route 66. The 100-mile self-guided tour includes events from Joliet to Bloomington.
From full-blown festivals to antique and craft sales, art sales, car and motorcycle shows, and live entertainment, there is something for every member of the family.
Meals, snacks, and treats will be in abundance, with a wide range of historic sites, free museums, and unique mom and pop shops to create a nostalgic journey.
Kudos to the artist
The 2024 giveaway features hand drawn artwork of the Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor composed by local artist, Joyce Cole.
As you travel towns along the corridor, be sure to get each town’s sticker to complete the drawing.
Once you get all 14 stickers, line them up in the proper circles on the map to finish the work. Feel free to pen in any gaps or draw your own art if you miss a town or two.
Here’s what’s happening in our neck of the woods.
On Saturday, obtain your giveaway at chamber of commerce tent, downtown near 220 N. Water St., and find rare and wonderful souvenirs at the flea market from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a dance performance and food vendors. Route 66 Band will play from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Take a chance on the split the pot button raffle at the tent.
On Sunday stop by Nelly’s Restaurant, 120 Bridge St., on Sunday to get your giveaway.
For information call (815) 476-5991.
Saturday and Sunday: Visit the information booth across from the Polk-A-Dot, Drive In, 222 N. Front St., at the Route 66 Zoo for your giveaway. Vendors will be hawking their wares, and you won’t want to miss the Route 66 exhibit at the Braidwood Museum, just off Main Street, 111 N. Center St.
Visit Polk-A-Dot Drive In both Saturday and Sunday for its vintage car show. While there, enjoy photo-ops with Elvis, Superman, Marilyn Monroe and the Blues Brothers. a
For information call (815)-710-0182.
Both Saturday and Sunday at the corner of Mississippi Ave. and Douglas St., get historic information, enjoy an antique tractor exhibit and craft fair (8 a.m. to noon on Saturday only). Douglas Street Wayside Exhibits include: Rosie the Riveter, a statue of a munitions worker, lunch box in hand, original Route 66 pavement and commemorative giveaways, while supplies last.
For information, call (815) 423-5011 or email
Visit the Route 66 Mining Museum for giveaway on Saturday. There will also be a Toys for Tots drive on Saturday.
On Sunday, the giveaway will be at The Stumble Inn, 201 Kankakee St.
For information call (815) 458-2222.
Stop at the village hall at the corner of South Mitchell and IL 53 for information. Baked goods will be sold by the United Methodist Church, with a junk-in-the-trunk sale in the parking lot. Enjoy lunch Saturday and Sunday at the Wicked Cricket at 103 IL 53.
For more information call (815) 237-8655.
Meet and Greet with the Mayor at the Two-Cell Jail, where you can pick up this year’s giveaway. Gardner Archives will be open in the village hall both Saturday and Sunday.
The Gardner Lions Club will be at the Street Car Diner, 5650 IL 53 S., serving root beer floats and pork chop sandwiches from 10 a.m. until gone.
Stop at The Shop on Route 66, 315 N. Center St., to enter a free drawing for a Burma Shave sign and a Route 66, cap. Cici & Lala’s, 132 Depot St., will host a sidewalk sale on Depot Street.
On Saturday: Events on Depot Street include Scapegoats Car Show in parking lot from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Enjoy an Elvis tribute by Landon James at the Gazebo from 1 to 3 p.m. The Church of Hope will host a Rock-a-thon from 10 a.m. 1 p.m., and a Craft Show hosted by Creative Gemz will be held from 9 a.m. 3 p.m.
Sunday: A tractor show in the parking lot on Depot Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a junk in the trunk sale.
For information, call ( 815) 237-2592
Other towns participating include Joliet, Dwight, Odell, Chenoa, Pontiac, Lexington, Normal and Bloomington.

Download the App
Download the Illinois Route 66 mobile app by searching ‘Explore Illinois Route 66’ in the App Store or on Google Play. Click on ‘Passports’ to participate by entering the CODE available at each location.
Check in via the mobile app at all 14 locations to be entered to win a prize package worth over $175.