Thursday, 21 April 2016

Route 66 Turns 90

Last Thursday I popped along to the unveiling of the coolest piece of street art I've seen for a while; a 52-foot mural, on the side of the old Hat & Tun public house on the Clerkenwell Road; depicting different elements of Route 66 American kitsch, in honour of the iconic journey's 90th anniversary.

The artwork was commissioned by the Illinois Office of Tourism and contains icons of Route 66, such as a Muffler Man, Pontiac Car and a cute bright yellow gas pump. 

Route 66 90th anniversary mural
The artwork was created by Will Vibes, and will be on display in Clerkenwell until Sunday 24th April.

The unveiling last week; took shape via a pop-up party event. The atmosphere was buzzing with a fab live band, Tom Mansi &The Icebreakers, performing Chicago Blues, which got people dancing in the street – literally, in their lunch break. 

Tom Mansi & The IceBreakers
Talking of lunch, the event provided free gourmet Walldogs for all attendees with pork, beef and tofu options available. Toppings for the dogs included kraut, pickles and hand-made green relish plus mustard and/or ketchup. I enjoyed my first ever Beef Dog with all the trimmings (minus ketchup – cannot stand the stuff) and it was utterly delicious and completely put me in mind of a road-side diner along Route 66

Beef Walldog
I had never really considered Route 66 as a holiday option before, but the event really piqued my interest and I found out some interesting facts about the driving route:
  • The starting point of Route 66 is in Chicago, Illinois
  • September is a really great time to explore Route 66 as they hold the annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival on the streets of downtown Springfield where you can enjoy tons of classic, colourful cars, live music and the chance to chat to Route 66 enthusiasts
  • The roadside diners that line Route 66 have become famous in their own right, and apparently are well worth a visit. The Cozy Dog Drive In Springfield first introduced the Cozy Dog to the States, a battered sausage on a stick, what’s not to love about that. 
If you’d like to find out more about Route 66 or Illinois visit

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