Illinois State Fair in Springfield paints its giant slide in a Route 66 theme

The Illinois State Fair in Springfield recently repainted its giant slide with an Illinois Route 66 shield.

Springfield tourism director Scott Dahl recently posted a photo of the historic slide on social media:

The 40-foot-tall and 130-foot-long slide was erected in 1968 and is near the fair’s main gate. It was one of 40 originally designed and built by Fred Pittroff.

Since it opened, all sorts of politicians and celebrities have taken a ride down it for photo-ops.

According to a 2019 story, the slide was sold to an out-of-state buyer who has kept it on the state fair’s grounds and let it operate as usual.

The state fair, established in 1853, has enjoyed a long relationship with Route 66. Visitors from upstate and downstate Illinois used the highway to go to it, and the fair itself sits next to the Peoria Road alignment of the road.

This year’s Illinois State Fair is from Aug. 11 to Aug. 21.

UPDATE 5/10/22: Dahl wrote in an email the Route 66 shield on the slide is just a concept for now, but he anticipates the city will approve it next week.

(Hat tip to Casey Claypool, Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway)

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