CARLINVILLE - 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.

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On Thursday afternoon, registration check-in will be at Blackburn College.

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.

CONFERENCE WEEKEND PACKAGE:
The conference weekend package includes, for $100, Thursday evening social event in Gillespie (supper on your own); Friday Continental breakfast, keynote speech, conference sessions, one evening banquet/concert ticket; Saturday Continental breakfast, conference sessions, one Saturday afternoon play ticket.

Learn from national/international Route 66 experts and Illinois tourism professionals in the outstanding line-up of presentations and speakers during the day on Friday and Saturday!

On Friday evening, enjoy the banquet with Route 66 friends new and old at the banquet, and then the concert/dance with the Robert Perry Band With the Original Mojos! Great food, cash bar, and the best oldies band in the area all in spacious Woodson Center on the Blackburn College campus. (One ticket to this event will be included with your conference registration. Additional banquet/concert tickets can be purchased via the registration link.)

On Saturday afternoon, as the final conference session, see the premiere of an original one-act play, Aprons Away: Women's Work on the Mother Road, by Cheryl Eichar Jett, in Bothwell Auditorium. (One ticket to this event will be included with your conference registration. Additional play tickets can be purchased via the registration link.)

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TOURISM PROFESSIONALS ONE-DAY SPECIAL:
Tourism industry staff and Route 66 business owners may opt for the Friday one-day “Essentials of Route 66 Tourism.” This package includes, for $50, Friday Continental breakfast, keynote speech, the Tourism Track pre-selected conference sessions (focusing on the key issues, strategies, challenges, tools, practical solutions, and opportunities facing Route 66 municipalities, counties, and businesses), and a take-home resource package. (The Friday evening banquet/concert is not included in this special. However, Friday one-day special attendees may purchase banquet/concert tickets at the registration link.)

OPTIONAL TOURS AND ADD-ONS AVAILABLE:
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. $15 per person.

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. Friday evening banquet/concert tickets (for spouse, family, or guest meeting up with you). $18.50 each.

On Saturday afternoon, as the final conference session, see the premiere of an original one-act play, Aprons Away: Women's Work on the Mother Road, written and directed by Cheryl Eichar Jett, in Bothwell Auditorium. The play presents a view of Route 66 history through the eyes and voices of some of the women along the historic route. (One ticket to this event will be included with your conference registration. Additional play tickets can be purchased for $15 each via the registration link.)

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. A Halloween Costume Party with a buffet, cash bar, and guest DJ Joe Sonderman is scheduled at the former Crabby's Supper Club on the south side of Carlinville.

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 Tours and featuring guide David Clark, the Windy City Road Warrior.

http://route66milesofpossibility.com/aboutconference.html

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