EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville’s newest Route 66 attraction, the West End Service Station, 620 St. Louis St., will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Friday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. The public is invited to attend this free event.

The anniversary celebration will highlight Route 66 history and the re-opening of the iconic service station with activities for the kids, cupcakes, Route 66 sodas, coffee and more. Also debuting will be a new exhibit on the classic Mississippi River Festival which was held in Edwardsville from 1969-1980.

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The West End Service Station opened one year ago following a massive renovation of the structure, after is was originally slated for demolition. The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau received a $919,000 Route 66 grant in 2022 and used $460,000 in grant funds to purchase and retrofit the vacant building. It re-opened as a Route 66 interpretive center in June 2023.

“Over the last year, we have welcomed Route 66 visitors from more than 20 countries and 25 states, who have stopped by the West End Service Station,” Cory Jobe, President/CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau noted. “This shows that the interest in traveling Route 66 in Illinois is strong and people are looking for historic and iconic stops along the Mother Road.”

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Visitors to the landmark can also enjoy an exhibit highlighting the history and legacy of the legendary Mississippi River Festival. The MRF hosted more than 350 performances over its lifetime. Every genre of music and entertainment was featured at MRF including rock, pop, country, folk, rhythm, blues, jazz, swing, and classical as well as comedy, theatre, and dance performances.

The MRF Exhibit at the West End Service Station includes original posters, publicity photos of headliners vintage MRF T-Shirts, performance schedules and more.

The MRF Exhibit will be open through September 2024.

The West End Service Station will also begin expanded hours for visitors. It will now be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting June 5, 2024.

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