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2018 Route 66
        Miles of Possibility Conference

2018 Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference | October 25-28, 2018 | Blackburn College | Carlinville, Illinois
Contact Carlinville Tourism Director Deb Young at for Carlinville Tours and local info and/or call Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau at 1-800-258-6645 for more information.

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Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau is proud to announce the 4th Annual Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference in Carlinville, Illinois, Thursday-Sunday, October 25-28, 2018. Additional sponsors of the event are Carlinville Tourism, Macoupin County, Blackburn College, the City of Gillespie, Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition, and Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.

Friday and Saturday's conference sessions, keynote speaker, and roster of presenters, plus the Friday evening banquet and band and the Saturday afternoon one-act play premiere, are all scheduled to take place at Blackburn College. Featured speakers include: David Clark (Chicago IL), Roamin' Rich Dinkela (St. Louis MO), Nick Gerlich, Ph.D. (Canyon TX), Jim Hinckley (Kingman AZ), Cheryl Eichar Jett (Edwardsville IL), Geoff Ladd (Lincoln IL), Jerry McClanahan (Chandler TX), David Schwartz (Cleveland OH), Anne Maro Slanina, Ph.D. (Harrisville PA), Sharon Smith (St. Louis MO), Lisa Hicks Snell (Tahlequah OK), Joe Sonderman (St. Louis MO), and Bill Thomas (Atlanta IL), plus Carlinville historians and speakers Andrea Duncan, Tom Emery, Dan Hauter, and Deborah Young. In addition, six panel discussions will address Route 66 tourism topics, led by moderators Larry Bloemker (Hamel IL), Debyjo Ericksen (Joliet IL), Nick Gerlich, Ph.D. (Canyon TX), Bill Kelly (Chatham IL), and Bill Thomas (Atlanta IL). The welcome to Carlinville will be given by Mayor Deanna Demuzio and the welcome to Blackburn College will be given by Interim President Jennifer Braaten, Ph.D. Brett Stawar, CEO and President of Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau, will give the keynote address.

On Thursday afternoon, registration check-in will be at Blackburn College. An optional three-hour bus tour of “Historic Carlinville,” with stops at the Million Dollar Courthouse, Anderson Mansion, Sears Home, and Blackburn College, featuring guide Deb Young, Carlinville Tourism President, will be available. On Thursday evening, the City of Gillespie will host “Mining on Route 66” with an open house and tours at the new Illinois Coal Museum. The evening will include three showings of “Coliseum Ballroom Memories,” a short documentary about the legendary ballroom, and nearby restaurants will be open, all on Gillespie's stretch of historic Route 66.

On Friday evening, a banquet will be served in Woodson Hall on the Blackburn College campus, followed by a concert and dance featuring popular oldies band, the Robert Perry Band with the Original Mojos.

"Aprons Away:  Women's Work on the Mother Road," a new one-act play written and directed by Route 66 author/historian Cheryl Eichar Jett, will premiere Saturday, October 27, at 3:15 pm in Bothwell Auditorium on the Blackburn College campus. The 45-minute play will serve as the final session of the conference. If you are registered for the conference, your play ticket is included with your registration. If you're just attending the play or need extra tickets for friends or family, you can purchase tickets at $10 each on the registration link or at the door. Actors portraying women from the historic Route 66 era include:  Sarah Chapman-Wiser (Edwardsville), Cindy Conner (Gillespie), Darla Hoffmann (Edwardsville), Marilyn Kinsella (Fairview Heights), Kathy Metzger (Edwardsville), Elizabeth Olwig (St. Louis), and Casey Weeks (Edwardsville).
Visit the conference speakers page for details!

On Saturday evening, the City of Carlinville's annual Halloween Parade with this year's theme of “Get your kicks on Route 66” will proceed around the historic Carlinville Square. Crabby's Supper Club in Carlinville is the sponsor of our Halloween Costume party on Saturday evening October 27 beginning at 5:30pm
with a buffet and cash bar. Crabby's initially opened in 2012, closed in 2017 and is announcing their reopening! Your hosts are Mike, Judy, and Doug Crabtree. Buffet cost will be $16 and there will be a cash bar. Wear your funniest, craziest, or most mysterious Halloween costume or impersonate one of your favorite Route 66 characters! Joe Sonderman will DJ our favorite oldies!

Crabby's Supper Club is located at 18838 Route 4 in Carlinville. For future reference, they will officially be reopening Nov. 1, 2018 with the following hours: open 5-9:30 pm Thurs. Fri. Sat. evenings. for more information, call 217-854-4440.

On Sunday morning, an optional three-hour bus tour of “The Haunts of 66” from Carlinville and back will go in search of ghosts and ghost roads, spirits and their haunts, miners, mobsters, and murderers, presented by InSites To Go and featuring guide David Clark, the Windy City Road Warrior.
Register at Eventbrite: or on Facebook:

A conference weekend package, as well as a one-day special “Essentials of Route 66 Tourism” package, are available for registration. Add-ons and single tickets for various activities are also available, and complete schedule, lodging information, and speaker bios can be found on this website. For more information call Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau at (800) 258-6645.

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