This week, the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission held its first planning meeting to celebrate the 100th birthday of the world-famous Mother Road. State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield), who carried House Bill 66 to form the commission during the 100th General Assembly, is among the 20-member body tasked with laying the groundwork to celebrate the Main Street of America when it turns 100 years old in 2026.
“Route 66 begins right here in Illinois, and I am proud that our state will be leading the way to celebrate the centennial of this world-famous byway,” said Butler. “The Mother Road’s 100th birthday celebration will be an international event that is a tremendous opportunity for us to welcome and entertain visitors from around the world who want to experience the magic of Route 66 and also explore what our Illinois communities have to offer.”
The Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission consists of 20 members, some appointed by the Governor and leaders of the House and Senate. To highlight the history, communities and economic benefits along Route 66, the commission also consists of officials from tourism, transportation and historical organizations that have preserved and supported the route’s contributions over the years.
“I’m looking forward to working with the commission members as we lay out a path to celebrate the history of our 300 mile stretch of Route 66 with a year full of events in communities along its path; including music, artwork and folklore,” said Butler.
The commission will meet quarterly over the next few years to map out the 100th birthday celebration to take place throughout 2026.
For more information about the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission, click here.