information provided by the Office of the Governor
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (August 26, 2018) — Governor Bruce Rauner led the Illinois Bicentennial Route 66 motorcycle ride, which made stops in Wilmington, Pontiac, Lexington, and Lincoln en route from Shorewood to Springfield—all in celebration of the day 200 years ago when Illinois adopted its state Constitution in Kaskaskia. Later in the day, Rauner dedicated the new Illinois REALTORS Bicentennial Plaza, which is adjacent to the Governor’s Mansion.
“Two hundred years ago on this date, the first Illinois Constitution was adopted, and today we commemorated that legacy with the ride, a barbecue at the Governor’s Mansion and the dedication of the Bicentennial Plaza in downtown Springfield,” Rauner said. “The ride was a great way to appreciate the living history of Illinois along Route 66, and the plaza will serve as an amenity that the public can enjoy for generations to come.”
More than 500 participants started the day at a kick-off rally at Conrad’s Harley-Davidson in Shorewood and continued along the route before concluding in Springfield for a barbecue at the Governor’s Mansion. Stops included a visit to the Gemini Giant in Wilmington, a Route 66 motorcycle license plate presentation at the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac, a lunch stop at Kelly’s on 66 in Lexington and a water stop at The Mill Museum in Lincoln.
Following the barbecue, Rauner joined First Lady Diana Rauner, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, Illinois REALTORS President Matt Difanis, Eli’s Cheesecake CEO Marc Schulman, and the University of Illinois Marching Band to dedicate the Bicentennial Plaza. The ceremony featured a flyover by the Illinois National Guard.
“Illinois REALTORS® is proud to work with state and local officials to celebrate the state’s bicentennial,” said Matt Difanis, the association’s president. “Bicentennial Plaza, a REALTOR® Community partnership is a wonderful birthday gift, and we’re excited at how it will complement the historic district which includes the Governor’s Mansion.”
“It’s been a special day of celebrating Illinois’ rich history, her dynamic present and—with everyone’s continued commitment—an exciting next 200 years,” Rauner said. “We continue to work hard to create a solid path for our state’s next chapter.”