A Route 66 Weekend in Springfield

written by Enjoy Illinois on September 17, 2012 in Events and Land of Lincoln and Road Trip with 5 comments

Route 66 is still alive and well across the heart of America, especially in Illinois. Starting in Chicago and going to California, Route 66 epitomizes America. In the Land of Lincoln visitors can find the largest density of things to do anywhere along the Mother Road. The heyday of the historic route saw a period in American history still cherished today. The Route 66 Mother Road Festival in Springfield pays homage to all that the road has to offer, from classic cars to drive-in movies and quirky roadside attractions or diners.

Taking place September 21-23, the fun-filled event features more than 1,000 automobiles and expects more than 80,000 spectators to converge on historic downtown Springfield. Spectators are free to roam the streets and check out the various cars while taking in live entertainment inspired by the music of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. The festival even features the Family Fun Zone with a bounce house, bag toss and other games for kids.


Add in some Springfield history

In addition to the abundance of Abraham Lincoln heritage in Springfield, the state capital also boasts many other remarkable qualities and notable landmarks. One spot of such importance is the birthplace of the battered, fried, hot dog on a stick that most people call a corn dog today.

Springfield’s Cozy Dog Drive In takes credit as the home of the hot dog on a stick phenomenon – and coined the phrase “Cozy Dog” for their variety. Considered a historic Route 66 landmark, the drive-in has been patronized by travelers since its opening in 1949. More recently, the establishment was featured on Travel Channel’s, “Man vs. Food.”

In addition to that delectable destination, Springfield is also home to Shea’s Gas Station Museum. This wonderful private museum, owned and still operated by the Shea family, is loaded with gas station and oil company collectibles and is an international renowned, must-see Route 66 landmark.


Between unique heritage like the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, signature cuisine like a Cozy Dog, Americana like Shea’s Gas Station Museum and entertainment like the Route 66 Mother Road Festival, the question isn’t whether or not you should visit Springfield, but what to do first?

Plan your Springfield trip today at enjoyillinois.com.

-The Illinois Office of Tourism