DANVILLE — There are advantages in the proximity of Interstate 57 to Vermilion County. However, one disadvantage is that many travelers miss out on what northern Vermilion County cities have to offer.
That's just one benefit to the Drivin' the Dixie event beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.
"It's a chance to travel through and see what's in all the towns," said Vermilion County Museum Director Sue Richter.
Drivers — via any car, truck or motorcycle — can register for free at the City Hall parking lot downtown at 9 a.m. and leave with the group at 10 a.m. heading north along Illinois Route 1 toward Momence. Participants can go as far north as they'd like, and stop at different check-points along the way.
These "Passport Stops" could result in winning a $25 gas card to Casey's General Store. Just take a Drivin' the Dixie passport into each for a stamp, and make a purchase at the location. Three receipts equals an entry to win the card.
Pre-registration also is available from the museum's website at www.vermilioncountymuseum.org.
Passport stops include Berry's Garden Center and Floral Shop, Bismarck Lucky Clover 4-H Concession Stand at the Bismarck Men's Club, and the Casey's General Stores in Rossville, Hoopeston, Milford and Watseka.
Sponsors for the event include Clark's Garage, Todd's Auto Body and Automobile Diagnostics.
The Dixie Highway was created in 1915 as an original north-south interstate between Chicago and Miami, Fla.
In Illinois, it generally followed Route 1, except once you got down into Danville. The original Dixie Highway did not turn west at Fairchild, but continued south through downtown Danville, then headed east on Main to Covington.
However, for Drivin' the Dixie, the general route is Danville to Momence in Kankakee County.
Communities north of Momence also will have events that day should anyone want to keep going. For further information on events happening in Momence, visit www.drivingthedixie.com.
For further information on our Drivin' the Dixie event, visit the museum’s website or call (217) 442-2922 Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"This is a real unique experience to actually see the little towns that are along the way," Richter said, "and see what they have to offer. One group came back one time and said, 'You know, we haven't been north in so long, we forgot all of the stores that were in Hoopeston.' That's what you want. There are places in the county you can go for stuff.
"This just shows the county has more to offer."