Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway - The Mother Road Rambler
Vol. 2, No. 3 Newsletter - February, 2015
View this email in your browser
Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative

In November 2013, organizational leaders and representative stakeholders of Route 66 met at "The Road Ahead" strategic roundtable in Anaheim, California. Sponsored by the World Monument Fund/American Express, their purpose was to discuss a vision and strategies for developing a national framework for collaboration along the Road.

In November 2014, a Steering Committee met for two days in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to finalize recommendations developed over a period of months. There, the group agreed on a proposed new organizational structure, to be called "Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative" that includes plans for a representative elected board, and working groups/committees that will promote tourism, preservation, Route 66 Associations (advocacy), economic development, and education. The goal is a fresh, inclusive approach for Route 66 that represents all stakeholders — everybody with dedication and passion for the Road.

The Steering Committee has representatives of the tourism industry, small business, economic development, government, departments of transportation, education, economic development, Route 66 Associations (including the Tulsa-based Route 66 Alliance and National Historic Route 66 Federation). The Steering Committee has chosen Bill Thomas, of Atlanta, Illinois as its Chairman and spokesperson to speak on behalf of the committee and communicate with stakeholders moving forward.

"Our Steering Committee is excited to represent the entirety of Route 66 as we work together to achieve the mission we have set for ourselves," noted Thomas. "We are committed to nothing less than reviving and renewing Route 66, and I feel privileged to be part of this effort."

Immediate priorities identified for the upcoming year include a period of public consultation and review of the proposed new organization and the development of working committees; applying for National Treasure status for Route 66 through the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and exploring a permanent federal designation for Route 66 as a National Historic Trail. These efforts would continue to be coordinated by the Steering Committee until the eventual formal launch of the new organization.

The agreed Mission, Strategic Outcomes and Key Goals of the Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative, which came out of a long consultation period and were further refined based on public feedback, are attached to this release.  These have been endorsed by all of the Steering Committee's members, who are fully united behind working with all state and private associations, stakeholders, organizations, businesses and government to help achieve these goals. The National Park Service is an important partner in the Road Ahead Initiative.

Click here for further information on the Route 66 Road Ahead initiative.

Mark Your Calendars: 2015 Red Carpet Corridor & Blue Carpet Corridor Dates Announced

The 9th Annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival wil be held on May 2nd & 3rd, 2015 and traverses 13 Communities from Joliet  to Towanda along a 90-mile stretch of Old Route 66 that collectively celebrates the Mother Road. Each town puts together its own events for the weekend, making for a great shopping and sight-seeing experience. Gather the family and take a trip down memory lane. Towns include Joliet, Elwood, Wilmington, Braidwood, Godley, Braceville, Gardner, Dwight, Odell, Pontiac, Chenoa, Lexington and Towanda. For more information call 815-844-5847 or visit

The first-ever Blue Carpet Corridor Festival is Fri-Sun, June 13-14, 2015, featuring 18 towns with a shared history of miners, mobsters and the Mother Road. Enjoy three days of fun and surprises! Participating communities include Chatham, Auburn, Thayer, Virden, Girard, Nilwood, Carlinville, Gillespie, Litchfield, Mt. Olive, Benld, Staunton, Livingston, Hamel, Edwwardsville, Glen Carbon, Troy and Collinsville. For more information visit

For more events, visit

Learn more about what Illinois Route 66 has to offer for your next vacation plans! Be sure to also visit our website at
Copyright © 2014, Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Illinois Route 66 Heritage Project
700 E. Adams
Springfield, IL 62701

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences