While officially Route 66 started in downtown Chicago it isn’t until you get out of town a bit to Joliet before it really is emphasized by the local communities.
Downtown Joliet has the unique position where Route 66 crossed the first major trans-continental road, the Lincoln Highway.
Joliet is also the home of old Joliet Prison, home of the (fictional) Joliet Jake Blues – of Blues Brothers fame. Now closed the day we were there an Illinois Department of Corrections van and officer was in the parking lot – to keep people from breaking into prison!
The Blues Brothers are celebrated throughout town – on the ice cream stand…
An auto parts store…
And a replica Bluesmobile high above a truck stop.
Further south along Route 66 is the town of Pontiac, where they have a nice museum celebrating the history and impact of the road on Illinois.
Also throughout town are mural/billboards. The town was once home to a ‘Walldog’ festival. Walldogs are the names of the group of artists who paint these impressive murals. During the 3 days they had the festival in Pontiac, 19 of the murals were painted.
Inlcuding one that celebrates Route 66 across Illinois.
Also throughout town are small artistic cars and trucks.
Finally in an alley we found another fabulous mural.