Route 66 Festival '08 Locator map

Day 1
Vandalia to Litchfield

Day 2
Joliet to Litchfield

Day 3
The Awards

Day 4
E-Group Breakfast

June 22, 2008
Another good meal, the e-group breakfast, then off for home.

June 21, 2008
A day at the festival and an evening at the Will Rogers Awards Banquet.

June 20, 2008
I was up before dawn to drive to Joliet in time to drive back. The two-lane return trip was great. The expressway outbound shot, not so much so.

June 19, 2008
I had barely posted Prelude 3 and my intentions of reaching Litchfield on Wednesday when I decided not to. Instead it was to old faithful Vandalia. Illinois, on Wednesday and Litchfield, via Collinsville and Mitchell, on Thursday.

Prelude 3 - June 15, 2008
I doubt that anyone is relying on this site for their own scheduling but that doesn't mean that erroneous information shouldn't be corrected. A few weeks ago it became known that the movie "Cars" would not be shown at the Skyview Drive-In as once thought. As announced a few days ago, the movies making up the double feature during the festival will be "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Iron Man". I haven't seen an official explanation from either the drive-in or the festival and the only unofficial reason I've seen was "a problem in scheduling".

My own plans have become a bit more firm, too. I'll head west after work on Wednesday and hope to make it all the way to my reserved mattress at the Comfort Inn. I'll likely sleep late Thursday then meander a bit south of town. With Friday's southern tour starting with a crossing on the Chain of Rocks Bridge, it was a tough choice but I've decided to try the northern tour from Joliet. That's because I believe I've driven Sixty-Six south of Litchfield a bit more than north of it and have crossed the Chain of Rocks Bridge three times. (Although that's not enough!) So Thursday will be used to make up for that a little and will at least include a stop at the Luna Cafe in Mitchell. Friday is the tour, Saturday night the awards banquet, and Sunday the e-group breakfast.

Prelude 2 - March 14, 2008
The National Route 66 Festival is always an "add-on" to an established festival. This year that festival is Litchfield's 5th Annual Cruisin' Route 66 Classic Car Festival. Information on that event, including car show registration, has been available at the Litchfield website for quite some time but info on the national bits of the festival was woefully lacking. That has now changed. Late Thursday, a schedule for national activities was added to the site and a downloadable registration form for the Saturday night awards banquet made available. Curiously, no link to the available Will Rogers Awards Dinner Banquet Registration is provided. I've tested it and now have a half-dozen waking hours actually scheduled at the festival. In anticipation of rooms becoming scarce, I made motel reservations several months ago.

The awards banquet will, unfortunately, be competing with one of the cruise-in's regular events. Many of the classic cars that folks have been ogling will end their day in the front rows of the Skyview Drive-In for a double feature that includes Disney's "Cars". That movie's strong Route 66 connections make it a powerful draw that is made all the more powerful by a showing under the stars on Route 66. It's possible that some roadies will opt for listening to a recorded Michael Wallis while he speaks live just a short distance away.

I don't live on or near Route 66. It doesn't pass through my state or the next one over, either. If a crow with an accurate compass flew due west from my front door, it would cross the famous highway in about 285 miles - in the middle of Illinois. A few miles south of that point, Sixty-Six passes through the town of Litchfield, host city for the 2008 National Route 66 Festival (June 18-21). The road's distance from my home is a little more there, but not much. Just a couple of miles. So there was never much doubt that I would be attending. It can't get much closer than this.

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