Route 66 Festival drives to Edwardsville on Friday

(Originally published in the Telegraph on 6/12/08)

EDWARDSVILLE - Car-loving dads in need of a fix should head to the city to get their kicks.

The Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce will play host to the 12th Annual Route 66 Festival on June 13 and 14 at Edwardsville City Park. From 4 to 11:30 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, people can come and enjoy a wide assortment of activities and live performances.

"There's something there for everybody," said Carol Foreman, sixth-year festival organizer and executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. "It's a nice white-tent festival for the community. We use it as an opportunity to showcase Edwardsville."

Festivities will include a classic car Poker Run, a washers contest, an American Idol-style vocalist talent show, a 10k run, a bike ride, a local band showcase and a trivia game show for seniors.

Bands set to perform are Mojo's Music All-Stars, Dee Dee and the Dinos, the Lenny Frisch Steel Drum Band, Fanfare and Facts O' Life.

And don't forget about St. Louis' own Bob Kuban Brass Band.

"He's an oldie but a goodie, and he has quite a following in St. Louis," Foreman said. "They show up in Hawaiian shirts and give it their all. They'll pack the park."

Lovers of fine arts can stop by the Art Fair. Artists from all over the Illinois-Missouri bi-state area will display and sell their paintings, photographs, sculptures, pottery, jewelry and fused glass.

History enthusiasts can take guided tours through Edwardsville. The free tours offer the opportunity to learn about the third-oldest city in Illinois in the comfort of air-conditioned and handicapped-accessible vehicles. Points of interest on the route include Wildey Theater, the Children's Museum, the Madison County Historical Museum and the Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House.

The festival also provides a chance for 14 different nonprofit groups, including Edwardsville Rotary, Habitat for Humanity and Eden United Church of Christ Men's Fellowship, to raise funds by selling food and beverages, Foreman said.

The local groups will grill brats, pork steaks, chicken, stir-fry and other hot eats. Visitors with a sweet tooth can satisfy their cravings at the snow cone and cotton candy booths.

Festival admission and parking are free. Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Foreman at (618) 656-7600. More information on the events can be found at