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Illinois’ Route 66 Centennial Celebration

One of the nation’s most celebrated roads, historic US Route 66 is celebrating its centennial in 2026. Visionary for its time, the Mother Road is one of the original highways within the National Highway System. The importance of the route is rooted within its cultural and historical impact beginning in 1926 when it received its numerical designation. The highway was intended to connect rural main streets and urban communities so that small towns could have access to a national thoroughfare. Illinois is both the start of this storied road and the first state to have paved the road across the entire state. Running nearly 300 miles across the Land of Lincoln, Route 66 eventually reaches Missouri and makes its way across the country to the end in Santa Monica, California.

Since 1989, the Route 66 Association of Illinois has been working to preserve and promote the highway. In 2005, the Illinois stretch of Route 66 received recognition as a National Scenic Byway.

Leading up to and during its centennial year, the state will celebrate the cultural, economic, and historical importance of this storied highway through commemorative, educational and community events. From kitschy roadside attractions such as pink elephants, neon signs and Cozy Dogs to stunning scenic beauty and presidential historic sites, Route 66 in Illinois offers visitors the very best of America’s heartland right here in Illinois.

Public Notices

Route 66 Commission

Branding

Route 66 Centenial Logo

  • The Route 66 Centennial brand has been created by the Illinois Office of Tourism and the Route 66 Centennial Commission. In 1926, Illinois became the first state to have the entirety of its portion of Route 66 paved, from Chicago to St. Louis. The custom logo suite celebrates 100 years of Route 66 in Illinois.  Download a .zip with all files.

Usage of the Brand & Logo

Approval is required for use of the Route 66 Centennial brand assets. They may not be used without authorization. Contact details for permission can be found on the last page of these brand guidelines.

  • The assets may only be used for collaborative advertising in partnership with the Illinois Office of Tourism, State of Illinois or Route 66 Centennial Commission.
  • If used for collaborative merchandise; printers/production must be union and/or union-made in America.
  • Full rights to the brand are owned exclusively by the Illinois Office of Tourism and the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission.
  • Download full guidlines.

 

Merchandise

Contact

For more information, please contact:

Daniel Thomas
Deputy Director, Illinois Office of Tourism

Lisa Link
Illinois Office of Tourism