Launching Pad’s owner litters contents from restaurant’s interior onto parking lot

The owner of the closed Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, Illinois, scattered items from the interior of her Route 66 restaurant onto its parking lot, prompting two citations from local police The Joliet Patch reported that Holly Barker on Tuesday broke bottles of Route 66 root beer and tossed equipment and other items from the … Continue reading Launching Pad’s owner litters contents from restaurant’s interior onto parking lot

Joliet Area Historical Museum interested in buying closed Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant

The Joliet Area Historical Museum is considering the acquisition of the closed Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant -- best known for its unique, 28-foot-tall Gemini Giant fiberglass statue -- in nearby Wilmington, Illinois. The Herald-News published the story Saturday less than a week after the Launching Pad was listed for $1.4 million on the Crexi commercial … Continue reading Joliet Area Historical Museum interested in buying closed Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant

Red Carpet Corridor festival adds second day, Bloomington-Normal to its itinerary

This year's edition of the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor festival is going to be a two-day affair, with Bloomington-Normal added to its list of towns to visit. The May 6-7 event, which starts in Joliet, lengthens to 100 miles and 14 communities, according to a news release from the Illinois Route 66 Scenic … Continue reading Red Carpet Corridor festival adds second day, Bloomington-Normal to its itinerary

Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington closes; future of restaurant appears uncertain

The landmark Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant in Wilmington, Illinois -- famous for its Gemini Giant fiberglass statue that stands next to Route 66 -- has closed, and its future appears to be uncertain. Several reports of the restaurant's closing have surfaced on various Route 66 social media groups in recent days, including unconfirmed rumors the … Continue reading Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington closes; future of restaurant appears uncertain

Illinois announces $4 million in grants for projects along Route 66

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday announced $4 million in grants for various projects along Route 66, including a visitors center in a former Edwardsville gas station, reopening the old Cannonball Jail in Carlinville and a new Muffler Man on a restaurant in Berwyn. According to Riverbender.com and … Continue reading Illinois announces $4 million in grants for projects along Route 66

Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington reopens after long COVID-19 closure

The landmark Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant in Wilmington, Illinois, reopened this past weekend after a lengthy voluntary closure during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening occurred during the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival, which essentially is a 90-minute car cruise along the route in the northern part of the state. Tully Garrett and Holly … Continue reading Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington reopens after long COVID-19 closure

Launching Pad Drive-In will remain closed until spring due to COVID-19 pandemic

The owners of the revived Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, Illinois, said they would keep their Route 66 restaurant closed until spring "to protect our family, employees and patrons" from COVID-19. Tully Garrett and Holly Barker made the announcement Friday on Instagram and other social media. It stated, in part: We have carefully watched this … Continue reading Launching Pad Drive-In will remain closed until spring due to COVID-19 pandemic

Restoration of Gemini Giant completed

The restoration of the Gemini Giant, the famous fiberglass mascot of the Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant in Wilmington, Illinois, was finished a few days ago. Here is a before-and-after photo the restaurant posted on Facebook: Tully Garrett and Holly Barker stated Sunday on the restaurant's Facebook page: Success! The Gemini Giant’s paint is finally complete! His … Continue reading Restoration of Gemini Giant completed

Muffler Man in Albuquerque to be restored

It must be a good year for Muffler Men along Route 66. A second will be restored in a matter of weeks, right after a souvenir shop in Tulsa erected a new one. The Muffler Man that stands high above Route 66 on the east side of Albuquerque will be restored in the next two … Continue reading Muffler Man in Albuquerque to be restored

Midwest Classics on 66 Car Museum abruptly closes

The Midwest Classics on 66 Car Museum in Wilmington, Illinois, abruptly closed last week less than a year after it opened. Marian Pavel, one of the developers of the Route 66 Navigation app, posted this on Facebook: On the museum's website, this message was posted: "Sorry for the inconvenience, we are closed until further notice." … Continue reading Midwest Classics on 66 Car Museum abruptly closes