MILES OF POSSIBILITIES AND THE FUTURE OF ROUTE 66

Yesterday afternoon I had a most stimulating and interesting conversation with Renee Charles in Galena, Kansas. It looks as though folks in that charming community are looking toward the future with excitement, vision, optimism and a keen awareness of their history as well as heritage. 
An evening of entertainment in Galena. 
Even though a multitude of challenges will need to be addressed there are exciting changes on the horizon in the old mining town. This is but another reason I often use Galena as an example when making presentations about harnessing the Route 66 renaissance as a catalyst for development and redevelopment.
Success stories as well as the challenges faced by the Route 66 community as made manifest in the recent closure of the Gasconade River Bridge in Missouri, as well as a growing interest in how cities and towns can utilize the international interest in Route 66 as a venue for revitalization is the cornerstone for an interesting project. 
Several weeks ago Route 66 associations, new business owners, and organizations such as the Route 66 Alliance and National Historic Route 66 Federation were asked to provide their perspective on the Route 66 renaissance, issues of importance facing the Route 66 community, and examples of how communities are using Route 66 for revitalization. This information will be compiled as a report and then be provided upon request to city managers, media, and other interested parties. 
This past week the scope of the project was enlarged. So, input from any Route 66 business owner, museum director, or tourism director would be appreciated. The deadline for submission is April 1.
Please keep submissions to one page. They can be emailed directly to me. 
Obviously, it would also be interesting to hear from the proverbial man in the street. After all, it is the Route 66 enthusiast that is the lifeblood of the renaissance. 
This report will also be provided to the organizers of the event in Edwardsville in an effort to ensure that the conference and workshops focus on topics of interest and importance to the Route 66 community.
That takes me to this item which inspired the title for this mornings post – 

Tentative Schedule for Miles of Possibility: The Edwardsville Conference

Here it is – our tentative conference schedule!


MILES OF POSSIBILITY: THE EDWARDSVILLE ROUTE 66 CONFERENCE
Thursday-Saturday, October 29-31, 2015
Wildey Theatre, Edwardsville, IL
Sponsored by the Illinois Route 66 Blue Carpet Corridor Coalition
Hosted by the City of Edwardsville


TENTATIVE SCHEDULE
Thursday, October 29
12:00 noon – 6:00 pm Registration, packets/goody bags/info available – Wildey lobby
Afternoon –  Edwardsville Historic Districts tours – by City of Edwardsville Historic Preservation Commission
Wildey Theatre tours – by Joan Evers, Wildey Theatre historian
Evening –  Route 66 Pub Crawl – Stagger Inn, Springer’s Creek Winery, Hi-Way Tavern, a couple newer Main Street establishments
Friday, October 30
8:00 – 10:00 am Registration, pick up packets/goody bags/info – Wildey lobby
9:00 – 9:15 am Welcome – Wildey auditorium – Mayor Hal Patton
9:00 am Author Book Store/Artist & Collector Expo opens – second floor
9:30 – 10:30 am Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
10:45 – 11:45 am Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
11:45 am – 1:15 pm Lunchtime stroll – downtown restaurants and shops
1:15 – 2:15 pm Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
2:30 – 3:30 pm Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
3:45 – 4:45 pm Conference session – auditorium only while buffet sets up on third floor
4:45 pm – 6:00 pm Shop/visit Author Store/Artist & Collector Expo or Evening Main Street Stroll
6:00 pm Author Store/Artist & Collector Expo closes for the day
6:00 pm Buffet Dinner – third floor
7:30 pm Band concert – auditorium
Saturday, October 31
8:00 am Tentative – E-group Breakfast (hosted by Mike & Sharon Ward, Mesa AZ) – Location TBA
9:00 am Author Book Store/Artist & Collector Expo opens – second floor
9:30 – 10:30 am Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
10:45 – 11:45 am Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
11:45 am – 1:15 pm Lunchtime stroll – downtown restaurants and shops
1:15 – 2:15 pm Concurrent conference sessions – auditorium and third floor
2:30 – 4:00 pm Special Surprise, announcements of future events – auditorium only
5:00 pm Author Book Store/Artist & Collector Expo closes
5:00 pm End of conference events at the Wildey
4:00 – 6:00 pm Free time – nap, eat, shop, drink, get a spot for the parade
6:00 pm Halloween Parade steps off at Lincoln Middle School but does not arrive downtown until about 6:30 pm. Parade theme “Miners Mobsters and the Mother Road.”
After parade –  Roadie Party (hosted by Dr. Nick Gerlich, Amarillo TX, and Roamin’ Rich Dinkela, St. Louis MO) – Tentatively at host hotel Holiday Inn Express Conference Rooms. Joe Sonderman (Route 66 author/collector and long-time St. Louis radio personality) will DJ.
Sunday, November 1
Blue Carpet Corridor tour for attendees staying through Sunday
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