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Downstate Road Trip Round Up: Car Enthusiasts

Regional road trips are all the rage right now. Many folks feel most comfortable hopping in the car with their loved ones and exploring sights that are off the beaten path. Some of those sights may even be in your own backyard! For plenty of regional travel ideas, check-in every Wednesday for a Downstate Illinois Road Trip Roundup on themed topics showcasing several destinations across the southern portion of the state. There are several car enthusiasts that travel through our region of the state, so this week’s blog will definitely pique their interest – as we’re focusing on car shows, museums, and more!

Mid America Motorworks welcomes car clubs, tour groups and automotive enthusiasts to its campus that houses MY Garage Museum, the Install Center, the Corvette and VW Parts Warehouse and the Corporate Office. They are dedicated to helping Corvette enthusiasts pursue their passion, by hosting annual events on their corporate campus in Effingham. This year they will be celebrating their 28th Annual Corvette Funfest on September 17-18, 2021 and will be throwing things back with the theme: Funfest Rewind! Enjoy a weekend full of seminars, live music, great food and plenty of cool cars! While you’re here, you won’t want to miss the City of Effingham CVB’s Corvette Welcome Fest Downtown Party on Friday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Mid America Motorworks’ Cruise In will end in downtown Effingham with a Corvette parade around 5:30 p.m. Grab some food, including ice cream, from our local food trucks, listen to live music from Quick & Bradley, pick up some Effingham souvenirs, sign up for some giveaways, and of course, check out a variety of Corvettes! Effingham Cruise night is one of the community’s favorite events… bringing back the old two-way cruise route through downtown Effingham. The cruise night is planned for Saturday, September 11, 2021. They’ll start the event with a dedication on the Courthouse lawn at the Veteran’s Memorial and lead into the cruise itself. Come enjoy great food vendors, including the Hi-Boy burgers on the Courthouse lawn, throughout the route on Jefferson Avenue. There will also be live music and drinks at the Village Wine shop and plenty of cool vehicles cruising the route. Take a trip down memory lane and “cruise” around downtown Effingham on Saturday, September 11th.


ILLINOISouth has countless activities for car enthusiasts, from learning about classic cars at museums or enjoying the adrenaline rush of a car race. At Gateway Classic Cars in O’Fallon, you can stop in and admire the rows of classic cars they have on display. There are countless makes and models from several different time periods for you to enjoy! If you see a car that really catches your eye, you’re in luck because all of the vehicles on display are for sale! The World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison is sure to satisfy your need for speed. The race track hosts several events each month so there is no shortage of races to see! If you want to witness a race in a more intimate setting, 660 Grudge Street is returning to Carmi, Illinois this September 11th and 18th. This event will take place at the Carmi Airport and it’s small venue will give you the chance to get up close to the tracks and truly be a part of the race experience. We hope you enjoy all of the opportunities for car enthusiasts that southern Illinois has to offer!


Mt. Vernon
The concept of Creativity Redefined! comes from the idea that creativity and art can be found even in the most unusual places. An example would be the masterpieces that are shown at local car shows and cruise-ins. See this art firsthand at these events in Mt. Vernon, Illinois: The Kingsman’s Car Club Cruise-In is the Friday evening of each month through October lining the streets of 11th & Jordan. Proudly hosted by the Mt. Vernon Elk’s Lodge, this is a great way to look at some beautiful cars and enjoy a fun vibe downtown. Classic and unique car owners have a chance to admire each other’s cars and network about where to get car parts, reliable auto shops and more. Cars & Coffee: Second Saturday of each month through October in front of The Granada Theatre on 9th Street in downtown Mt. Vernon. Enjoy an early morning downtown Mt. Vernon then head to breakfast at a great diner in Mt. Vernon like The Grille, The Waffle Company or Bonnie Café! DMDC Cruise-In at #618Strong Fall Fest: Friday, September 24th from 5-8 p.m. view more than 75 cars, trucks and motorcycles from different eras and genre—some refurbished and some original—all unique and creative! Make sure to visit the Vendor’s Marketplace and the United Way Midway Kid Zone! Free live entertainment will be headlined by LAVA Rock! Find information about these events and more at!

car-enthusiasts-Visit SI

Calling all car enthusiasts! Williamson County is a hub for all things automotive! The Southern Illinois Raceway will be hosting a multi-week racing event beginning this Saturday, August 28th. The race will resume the following Saturday and continue each Saturday until the Championship Night on October 2nd. An Exhibition night will be held following this series on October 9th. There are also two car shows taking place the first weekend of October! On October 1st a car, truck, and bike show will be held in Downtown Carterville. This event will feature a 50/50 drawing, a silent auction, free food, and more! On October 2nd, the Marion Elks Club will be hosting a car show at their Lake of Egypt Property! This event will feature a veterans choice award, a drawing, food, and will also present Jeeps in the show. If you’re a car lover, we invite you to plan a weekend getaway to enjoy a multitude of racing and show cars!
Downstate Road Trip Round Up: Car Enthusiasts - Mt. Vernon, IL Tourism