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The Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) encompasses the communities and counties along the historic 97-mile Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor. The Heritage Corridor spans from the Chicago Portage Area just southwest of Chicago to LaSalle-Peru including the counties of Will, Grundy, LaSalle and Putnam. The region conveniently located along I-55 from Chicago to Joliet along I-80 west to LaSalle-Peru.

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The Convoy is Coming to Pontiac - September 2017

This 2,400 mile / 29 day Convoy represents America’s longest Veterans’ parade, honoring the service and sacrifice of Veterans of all generations.
The Convoy represents the ground forces legacy of the Nation, showcasing America’s Historic Military Vehicles of many types.

“World War II caused a marked decline in civilian and tourist traffic, but it stimulated new business along U.S. 66, when it acted as a military transport corridor moving troops and supplies from one military reservation to another. Motels saw an increase in occupancy, as families of servicemen stationed at military bases stayed for long stretches. But more significantly, Route 66 facilitated perhaps the single greatest wartime mobilization, as thousands of jobseekers headed to California, Oregon and Washington to work in defense plants.”

Route 66 had its official beginnings in 1926 when the Bureau of Public Roads launched the nation’s first Federal highway system. Like other highways in the system, the path of Route 66 was a cobbling together of existing local, State and National roads. The highway quickly became a popular route because of the active promotion of the U.S. 66 Highway Association, which advertised it as “the shortest, best and most scenic route from Chicago through St. Louis to Los Angeles.

The original 1926 route began in Chicago, Illinois traveling through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica, California covering a total of 2,448 miles. Route 66 is remembered by a popular song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” recorded in 1946.

The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (www.MVPA.org) is conducting a 91st Anniversary Convoy with as many as 80 Historic Military Vehicles (HMVs) that will retrace the original 1926 Route 66 and will launch from Chicago, Illinois on Saturday, 16 September, 2017 and arrive in Santa Monica, California some 29 days later, on Saturday, 14 October.

On Saturday, September 16th the convoy will be arriving in Pontiac, IL. and will be on display around the Downtown Square throughout the afternoon and evening. This will be a rare opportunity for Pontiac residents and visitors to view these unique military vehicles close up and visit with the convoy members. In addition to the MVPA convoy, Downtown Pontiac will also host the GTOAA which holds their annual all Pontiac regional cruise and show the same weekend. All four of Pontiac’s museums will be open both Saturday and Sunday offering lots of family fun all weekend long!

Each day’s plans have been carefully prepared, including a detailed route map, stopping locations for AM and PM breaks as well as lunch and dinner stops and lodging plans for all of the RT’17 teams. The Convoy will have the support of local, County and State Law Enforcement agencies in many areas along the Convoy route. Historic Military Vehicles on the Convoy will range from WWI-era to those just released from the US Armed Forces inventories. Our privately owned HMVs include motor cycles, jeeps and large cargo trucks.        

For more information, please visit MVPA.org.    


Photo by Ellie Alexander - Pontiac Tourism