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Route 66 News

Relighting date of Luna Cafe sign announced

The official relighting ceremony of a refurbished Luna Cafe neon sign in Mitchell, Ill., will be about 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 22, according to organizers.

That time is approximate, depending on how cloudy it is at dusk. According to data from sunrisesunset.com, sunset in nearby Granite City on that date is 6:14 p.m. So plan accordingly.

From the news release:

Larry Wofford, owner of the Luna Café, is anxiously awaiting this exciting day when his historic Route 66 beacon will again shine like it did during the hey-day of the Mother Road.

He is delighted to welcome all Route 66 roadies to join in the fun and celebrate this exciting event with him. […]

Refreshments will be served, and it is anticipated that a representative from the Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency will be there for this special event, as well local media and community leaders.

The sign-revitalization project was sponsored by the Route 66 Association of Missouri, Route 66 Association of Illinois, and Friends of the Mother Road. The Luna Cafe received an $11,000 cost-share grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program to restore the sign.

The Luna Cafe was built in 1926, and its clients reportedly included Al Capone, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams Sr., and Ike & Tina Turner over the years.  The sign itself dates to the late 1940s to early 1950s. Most of the neon in the sign stopped working during the 1990s.

(Photo of the temporary removal in August 2011 of the Luna Cafe sign, courtesy of Jim Thole)

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