Route 66 this weekend:  Berwyn Car Show and CineFest


Hello again, fellow roadies!  This weekend, route roadies in Chicago are blessed with a full two days’ worth of worthy events (that’s in addition to everything else going on in the immediate area, like the special exhibits at the Art Institute and the usual tours at the top of the Sears Tower, etc.).  First up today is the annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show, a don’t-miss, no-admission event in Illinois as it is second in size only to the Mother Road Festival in downstate Springfield.  Flashy vehicles, food and fun, and did we mention it’s FREE?  Yessir!  Be there, or be square.  Berwyn is the second suburb you encounter outside Chicago when traveling Route 66, one whose civic leaders very consciously promote Route 66 – and Berwyn’s history on the route – all year long.  It’s also home to the Berwyn Route 66 Museum, which is one of the co-sponsors of the car show.

Then there’s the first annual CineFest in the Douglas Park area of Chicago, a weekend-long celebration of feature-length movies and TV series filmed in Chicago (many of which have been at least partially produced at fest sponsor Cinestage Chicago).  And perhaps the best part of that festival is that the beverages of choice will be brewskis supplied by next-door neighbor Lagunitas-Chicago brewery, Chicago’s largest craft beer producer.  Cinestage Chicago occupies the historic former Ryerson Steel campus, which is located between Western Avenue on the easternmost end and Washtenaw Avenue on the west, Route 66/Ogden Avenue on the north and the railroad viaduct that runs on an angle roughly between 17th to 18th Streets and parallel to Ogden.  In fact, Lagunitas itself is in a former Ryerson warehouse that the brewery rents from Cinestage under a 99-year lease.  So you have history all around you at both of these events this weekend.

In fact, our suggestion is that you attend the car show today and CineFest tomorrow – work them both in, if you can, then dine somewhere on the route afterwards.

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Route 66 events (brrrr!):  Warm thoughts of the 2014 Berwyn Route 66 Car Show


Hi there, fellow roadies!  How ya doin’ with that polar vortex??  Have you been buried under layers of silk, wool and down this month?  Wearing two pairs of gloves and three pairs of socks, indoors?  Drinking hot cocoa and trying to think warmer thoughts??  Well, we can’t warm you up as fast as an XXX-rated movie might, but we can certainly turn your attention away from the freezer outside to things that should bring a smile.  With the annual Chicago Auto Show ongoing at McCormick Place through Feb. 22, it’s an opportune time to look back at last autumn’s annual Berwyn (IL) Route 66 Car Show … and dream.

Suddenly those cars with the flame-throwing exhaust systems actually look appealing, eh?  Yeah, we thought they might.  But hang on to your mittens anyway (they actually work better for keeping your hands warm).

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Route 66 Song Of The Week:  Dawg Days, plus coming events


Yes indeedy, fellow roadies, the long weekend of the dog days is gone.  August with its humid but confusing weather this year is defunct, only a sleepy memory.  We’ll celebrate that yet with our Song Of The Week below, but for now let’s take a moment to remember what a great weekend it was with the Chicago Jazz Festival on tap!  Buoyed with a little of that leftover energy, we thought we’d update you on what’s ahead in the near future and then throw in an appropriate song, too.

To start, we have two Route 66 car shows coming up in September in Illinois.  First: The Berwyn Route 66 Car Show is this coming weekend, Saturday Sept. 6th, from 10am to 4pm along Ogden Avenue in Berwyn.  It’ll be held between Oak Park Avenue on the west end and Ridgeland Avenue on the east.  Admission is free, but there’s a registration fee for cars that will be exhibited; registrants can get their cars lined up starting at 7am.  Food vendors and live music will be on site, and parking is wherever you can get it, but try the municipal garage on Oak Park Avenue, a few blocks north of Ogden Avenue.  Please DO remember to bring a few dollars for the Berwyn Route 66 Museum’s artifact restoration fund; no doubt museum director Jon fey will have the kitty set up at his usual tent.

Second:  The International Mother Road Festival is at the end of the month, starting at 5pm Friday the 26th through Sunday the 28th, in downtown Springfield, IL.  Admission is free, but there’s a registration fee for cars that will be exhibited.  Food vendors and live music will be on site, and parking will be available in the garage on 7th Street at Washington Street, next to the DoubleTree President Abraham Lincoln Springfield Hotel, or wherever else you can find it in a public lot (the streets nearby will be taken over by the fest all weekend long).

The annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show along Ogden Avenue

The annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show along Ogden Avenue  (Photo courtesy Berwyn DevCorp)

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Route 66 Song Of The Week:  OMG, it’s Cadillac Ranch & Berwyn Rt.66 Car Show news!


Well, blush – we’re just overwhelmed by all the attention we’ve gotten lately!  This could turn a gal’s head, fellas.  Thanks heaps to Hertz NeverLost’s Tweet and mention of me, complete with a pix from last year’s Berwyn Route 66 Car Show, in their “Route 66 Road Trips” blog post and on their Twitter feed.  With this year’s car show coming up soon on Sept. 6th (the weekend after next), we here are getting in the carmania mood.  Come to think of it, this just seems to be a day for all things automotive.

Which just happens to be timely, because our fellow 66 blogger, Ron Warnick of Route 66 News, just passed along a Hertz NeverLost Tweet about Texas Monthly’s recent article on Amarillo’s famous Cadillac Ranch.  If you’ve never seen it, the Cadillac Ranch is a kind of linear vehicular Stonehenge and celebration of automobilia, smack in the middle of a field just off Route 66, that is both a pop-art installation by the 1970s artists’ collective known as Ant Farm and a form of performance art, in that it invites participatory graffiti from its visitors.  The 10 Cadillacs are all of tail-fin vintage, had to be relocated once due to the city’s expansion, and the whole thing is 40 years old now.  Whoa.

Cadillac Ranch - distance shot (via Wikipedia)

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Route 66 ghosts:  Cigars and Stripes BBQ Lounge serves up ’cue and boo in Berwyn, IL


Yes, we know that Hallowmas is over (as of last Sunday morning), but it is the beginning of The Dead Season.  No, that’s not the name of a new TV series on AMC or F/X, despite the numbers of dead and semi-dead running around on the boob tube on those cable networks.  The fact is, almost-winter, winter and almost-spring are also the dead season up north for most car cruising and road trips.  Which, to Route 66 roadies, means that either you go further south and west on the route or else you become a (temporary) armchair traveler.  We don’t mind:  we accommodate armchair travelers, too [grin!].

In that spirit, during the Dead Season we bring you stories of other spirit(s) on Route 66, this time over at Cigars and Stripes BBQ Lounge in Berwyn, IL.  If you recall, we’ve already clued you in about owner Ronnie Lottz’s tasty smoked hot wings and his tent-and-music extravaganza during the annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show every September.  We’ve even mentioned SweetPea, the resident mummy with its own namesake barbecue sauce; said mummy was out to a day-spa for the fake undead last time we visited Ronnie’s place (we trust that SweetPea’s tattered wraps are all rejuvenated and back in place now).

SweetPea, it seems, has spooky company in the way of a resident ghost or three – or at least there are three possibilities for such spiritual visitations.  Ghost stories about the tavern include tales of glasses falling off shelves, bottles falling over or down to the ground, martini shakers flipping in the air by themselves, keys disappearing then reappearing in front of customers, a phone lifting off the hook by itself, a shadowy figure crossing the lounge area or appearing in a doorway, and unexplained noises.   And now we have people willing to talk about their experiences in the lounge on YouTube.

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Route 66 update:  video of EAA’s B-17 bomber at Lewis Airport


Thought you had enough updates on this weekend’s Route 66 events, did you?  Well, maybe not!  Yesterday on the Chicago Tribune’s website, the multimedia guys loaded a video of folks taking a plane ride in Romeoville, IL – specifically, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s beautifully restored B-17 Flying Fortress, the Aluminum Overcast.  Wheeee!  Looked like fun.  You can see the video here.

The Aluminum Overcast has three forward-looking compartments:  a gunner's roost at the top, the pilots' deck just below that, and the clear nose cone in front, which gave excellent views to gunners on either side of the nose.  Photo copyright 2012 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.

The Aluminum Overcast has three forward-looking compartments: a gunner’s roost at the top, the pilots’ deck just below that, and the clear nose cone in front, which gave excellent views to gunners on either side of the nose. Photo copyright 2012 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.

We wrote about this event a few weeks ago, and it’s an annual affair.  You can still catch EAA’s B-17 bomber at Lewis University Airport this weekend.  Even if you can’t afford the pricy tariff for a ride, you can still get a tour on the ground for cheap.  The airport is maybe a mile west of IL 53/Route 66 on Renwick Road.  You’ll see the drive on the north side of Renwick.  Just follow the crowds, and you can’t miss it.  And for the armchair travelers, EAA has a page full of photos from the tour.

That’s it for now.  If you’re going to the Berwyn Route 66 Car Show tomorrow (Saturday the 7th), don’t forget to stop by the tents in the center and say hi to the folks from the Berwyn Route 66 Museum and the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.  We’ll be hanging out with them most of the day doing our meet-and-greet, when we aren’t circulating in the crowd.  LOVE to meet you-all!

 
Until next time,
Marie

 

Route 66 song of the week video plus Berwyn car show update, miscellany, Santa Fe Speedway


Okay, we’ve been telling you for weeks now that the Berwyn Route 66 Car Show and the EAA’s B-17 visit to Lewis University Airport are this coming weekend, along with Quarry Days in Hodgkins.   And Saturday evening in Hodgkins is the last car cruise of the summer.  So:  in honor of all that car culture, it only seems fair that this week’s Route 66 song of the week video is composer and arranger Nelson Riddle’s theme from the Route 66 TV show – in this case, supporting a video parade of classic cars, with emphasis on (wait for it) Corvettes.  I love that guy; he was so good with arrangements, but also that’s a damned fine theme.  Our thanks to Tom Bower for posting this clip on YouTube.

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