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Route 66 News

Governor will attend The Mill’s grand reopening

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and state Rep. Tim Butler will attend several Route 66 events in Lincoln, Illinois, on Saturday, including the grand reopening of The Mill as a local museum.

According to a news release from the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway:

The festivities begin with a parade at 11 a.m. from downtown Lincoln that follows an early alignment of Route 66 and its predecessor, Illinois Route 4, through town and ending up at The Mill for the ribbon cutting and grand opening at noon. If there is inclement weather, the parade will likely be canceled, but all the other events planned for the day will still be held rain or shine.

At noon, there is a ribbon cutting at The Mill, a famous roadside restaurant and bar located on the original alignment of Route 66 through Lincoln that opened originally as a sandwich stand in 1929. The Mill closed in 1996 until it was saved from demolition in a partnership forged by the city of Lincoln and the newly formed Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County, a 501c3 non-profit tax-deductible organization that owns the famous building. Gov. Rauner and other distinguished dignitaries will speak at the dedication ceremony.

The governor then will attend the Bike Blessing, located at Zero Tolerance, 421 N. Chicago St.. The Bike Blessing is hosted by Ron & Lois Thornton and Crystal Williams. The event will be an opportunity for motorcyclists to have their bikes blessed for the riding season, and there will be food provided by Lincoln IGA and live music from Greg Glick Band.

Butler introduced House Bill 6624 that would form an Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission for the Mother Road’s 100th birthday in 2026. Butler also took part in a tour by two Illinois congressmen trying to drum up support for a bill that would name Route 66 a National Historic Trail and set up a Route 66 centennial commission.

In August, Rauner signed a bill that created an Illinois Route 66 motorcycle license plate. The bill-signing ceremony took place at the historic Mahan service station at Fulgenzi’s Pizza and Pasta on Route 66 in Springfield, Illinois.

(Image of Bruce Rauner by JanetandPhil via Flickr)

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