The relighting of the soon-to-be-restored Vic Suhling / Gas for Less neon sign in Litchfield, Ill., will occur at dusk Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center, according to a release this week from the Neon Heritage Preservation Committee of the Route 66 Association of Missouri.
The new museum, at 334 N. Old Route 66, sits across the street from the historic Ariston Cafe, near Illinois 16. The expected throwing of the sign’s light switch will be about 6:15 p.m., although attendees are advised to show up before then in case overcast skies would make darkness come earlier.
Members of the Litchfield museum association plan to serve refreshments after the ceremony, which will include speakers from the community and Route 66 associations.
The 1957 sign was taken down in September for restoration by a St. Louis firm. Vic Suhling’s former 24-hour gas station in Litchfield has been gone for more than two decades, although the sign had stood for the entire time until recently. The station closed in 1973, shortly after Interstate 55 opened.
Since 2008, the Neon Heritage Preservation Committee has overseen the restoration and ceremonial relighting of signs at Donut Drive-In in St. Louis; Sunset Motel in Villa Ridge, Mo.; Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Mo.; Luna Cafe in Mitchell, Ill.; and Crestwood Bowl in Crestwood, Mo.
(Image of the Vic Suhling Gas for Less sign in Litchfield, Ill., by Dennis Dixson, via Flickr)