Busy, fun Saturday at International Mother Road Route 66 Festival in Springfield, IL

This was the third year fellow author Joe Sonderman and I attended the International Mother Road Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Illinois, as "itinerant Route 66 book mongers," to quote a Route 66 friend's clever comment. 

Kudos to Bill Kelly and Stacy Conn of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway organization for terrific planning and execution of the Illinois Travel Expo. And many thanks to them for taking Joe and me under their wing as we work on our new book, "Route 66 in Illinois," and in so doing help to promote Route 66 in the great state of Illinois - where the road began.

The layout this year for the Illinois Travel Expo was great and we contributed some 'eye candy' to the intersection of Washington and Fifth Streets as Joe parked his '57 Chevy Bel Air next to our booth. The car would prove to be a magnet for a number of diverse photo vignettes during the weekend. 

Our booth at the International Mother Road Route 66 Festival. (Joe Sonderman photo.)

Set-up was smooth and easy, thanks to tents, tables, chairs, and a great plan in place. Our tent-mates, City of Edwardsville and Children's Advocacy Center were fun and congenial neighbors throughout the weekend. The weather was perfect and the crowd started growing fairly early in the day. Later in the afternoon a predicted rain- and wind-storm coming in from the west fell apart and laid to rest worries about vacating the tents.

We made the rounds and visited with other vendors in the Travel Illinois Expo. At our booth we  talked to many Route 66 fans, old and new friends, family, Mr. Abe Lincoln, and several superheroes. I'm not kidding. The children's advocacy group had hired a group of superheroes for the afternoon to visit and pose with children (and big kids). Guess whose booth and car they did much of their posing in front of?

"Honest Abe" poses with superheroes in front of Joe's '57 Chevy Bel Air. (Steve Rensberry photo.)
Springfield photo collector and aspiring Arcadia author (we're encouraging him) Randy Miller stopped by to visit.




 
Three Joplin International Festival shirts modeled by (L to R) Josh Friedrich, me, and Steve Rensberry. (Wendy Friedrich photo.)


 
Josh, me, and Steve showing off the backs of our Joplin shirts. (Wendy Friedrich photo.)


On Saturday evening, Route 66 Association of Illinois officers, representatives of communities and attractions along the Illinois route, and vendors - all part of the Illinois Travel Expo - gathered at Vic's Pizza for food, camaraderie, and an exchange of ideas. We enjoyed the pizza, conversation, and ideas flowing back and forth as a great end to the day.