Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Festival Corridor Expands

The 16th Annual Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor has expanded to Saturday and Sunday on the first weekend in May. The event has also added Bloomington-Normal, expanding the event to 100 miles and 14 communities. This year’s Red Carpet Corridor will be May 6th & 7th.

The festival highlights 100 miles of Route 66, which is the most famous road in the world. Join us for nostalgic fun for the whole family. Each of the 14 participating communities from Joliet to Bloomington have their own festivities, from full-blown festivals to antique and craft sales, to car and motorcycle shows, to live entertainment, and everyone is sure to discover something unique. The event was created by the well-known Illinois Route 66 preservationist, John Weiss. Food, snacks and treats will be in abundance, and there are plenty of historic sites, outstanding free museums and unique mom and pop businesses to help create a nostalgic journey for all to experience. Visitors can simply enjoy the drive, or stop and participate in activities, or do a little shopping in any of the great stores or at trademark yard sales from town to town.

The 2023 event has not only expanded to add Bloomington-Normal, but it has also expanded from a Saturday-only event to a Saturday-Sunday event. There are a host of lodging options along this 100- mile-long event to accommodate this bigger and better event. Participating communities include Joliet, Elwood, Wilmington, Braidwood, Godley, Braceville, Gardner, Dwight, Odell, Pontiac, Chenoa, Lexington, Normal and Bloomington.

The commemorative give-away this year is a customized currency bill for each community, that includes a photo of an iconic attraction and historical information.

Once again, this year, you can download and check out the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway mobile app by searching ‘Explore Illinois Route 66’ in the App Store or on Google Play. Here you will have an opportunity to click on ‘passports’ and participate by entering the code available at each location. Check in via the mobile app at all 14 locations and you will be entered to win a prize package worth over $100!

Details about passport stops, commemorative giveaway locations and activities in each community can be found on the event website at

The Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor would like to thank all our great volunteers, our participating communities, and our partnering organizations, including the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, Heritage Corridor Destinations and Bloomington-Normal Area CVB.