Travel & Tourism
US Route 6 Classic Car Tour 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by David Darby   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 15:26
Davenport, Iowa – September 2012 – Classic car and hot rod owners, get your motor running and head out on the highway.

Highway 6, that is. Over the weekend of September 7th – 9th, the Iowa division of the US Route 6 Tourist Association is teaming up with Fourth Wall Films to sponsor a classic car ride across Iowa along old Route 6. The trip will be included in a shoot for an upcoming documentary film about the scenic and historic attractions along US Route 6 in Iowa.

The ride begins from the east in Davenport, Iowa, with drivers meeting at 10 AM on Friday the 7th at the corner of 2nd and Iowa streets in Davenport. Drivers are invited to join for all or part of the cruise as they travel west along Route 6, stopping at various localities. Lodging, with special Route 6 tour rates to be announced.

Those wishing to join for the western half of the cruise can either meet Friday night at the drive in, or Saturday morning for breakfast at the Mid Town (Old Maytag) Cafe in Newton, Iowa from 8:30 to 9:30 AM, with cars leaving the square at 9:30 AM.

The itinerary is still being developed but will include stops at:

  • Choice of The Wilton Candy Kitchen, world's oldest ice cream soda fountain - Wilton or brunch at the delicious Hill of Beans Bistro in Durant.
  • Happy Hour at the Ladora Bank Bistro - Ladora.
  • Dinner at the Carnforth Inn – Victor
  • Valle Drive-In, Iowa's oldest drive-in movie theater - Newton. (Drivers from the western half are welcome to join us for the movie as well.)

  • Breakfast at the Mid Town Café – Newton
  • Tony's Classic Cars, T-Bird restoration HQ – Des Moines.
  • Bonnie & Clyde historical site, and Drew's Chocolates - Dexter.
  • Bonnie & Clyde bank robbery site - Stuart
  • Lunch at the Menlo Café – Menlo
  • Jesse James Train robbery site – Adair
  • Dinner at the Wiota Steakhouse – Wiota

  • Breakfast at the Weather Vane Café - Anita
  • Lunch at George’s Chili King - Des Moines

Fourth Wall Films is also interested in classic cars willing to be “camera cars” to help set up film shots along the way. Drivers interested in the trip or film may contact Iowa Route 6 Executive director Dave Darby at (563) 499-8211, or through email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Additional Information about the Movie and the Iowa Route 6 Tourist Association

Tentatively called “River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6,” the Route 6 film’s mission is to educate the public about the history and original route of Highway 6, and to increase awareness, traffic, and commerce in the towns along its path.

“We want to encourage people to leave the interstate and head out on the old two lane highway, to leave the rat race of today’s world and to stop and smell the roses,” says Iowa Route 6 Tourist Association Executive Director David Darby. “Not only is it more enjoyable, but it benefits the local economy.”

Darby, as director of the non-profit organization, is working to encourage state and local government to place historical signage designating Route 6 roads; preserve historical buildings, bridges, and alignments along Route 6; and to encourage co-operation of communities along the highway to hold festivals, concerts, car shows, and more to boost tourism and traffic to local businesses. Recently, Historic Route 6 markers were placed on the 29 mile stretch between Davenport and Wilton Iowa.

A firm believer in buying local, Darby says “When you go to a chain restaurant, the experience is soon forgotten. But when you go to a mom and pop establishment, you can make friends, capture some history, and take with you memories that last a lifetime while the money stays within the community.”

Fourth Wall Films, out of Moline, IL, is owned by award-winning documentary filmmakers Tammy and Kelly Rundle. Having  eceived acclaim for their previous films, including “Villisca: Living with a Mystery,” “Lost Nation: the Ioway,” and “Country School: One Room, One Nation,” “River To River Road” is slated to be released in late 2013.

The movie is the first step however; once the film is complete, Darby plans on publishing a book he’s authored called “From River to River: Your Guide to the Original Highway 6” to further encourage drivers to use Route 6 over the interstate for their travels.

“In such an impersonal world, it is a joy to take off on an adventure along the heartland of America, and breathe in exactly what America was built on,” Darby says. “Instead of a flat, straight pair of lanes interrupted by only green signs and overpasses, the  rolling fields and curving roads undulate under your wheels in between the small towns that are filled with friendly people.”

David W. Darby,
Executive Director
Iowa Route 6 Tourist Association
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2004 Belle Ave.
Davenport, Iowa 52803
Phone:(563) 499-8211

Iowa State Fair Campgrounds Open for Fall Fun PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Lori Chappell   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 07:14

DES MOINES, IA (08/29/2012)(readMedia)-- Now is the perfect time to plan a worry-free weekend in the great outdoors. The Iowa State Fair Campgrounds has plenty of space available now through October 21 with country comforts alongside big city style and excitement.

The Campgrounds houses more than 1800 sites fully equipped with water and electrical hookups, 600 sites with sewers, and three large bathhouses outfitted with clean showers, toilets and sinks. In addition to the excellent facilities, the Campgrounds offer affordable rates: $25 per night for sites equipped with water, electricity and sewer; $23 per night for sites equipped with water and electricity; and $20 per night for sites without utilities.

Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds office at 515/262-3111 x284. Campers without reservations are welcome as well. Enter through one of the Fairgrounds' main entrances off East University Avenue or East 30th Street and follow the signs into the Campgrounds.

Ranked among the most beautiful in the Midwest, the 160-acre Iowa State Fair Campgrounds are home to century-old trees, woodland flora and small wildlife. The Iowa State Fair Campgrounds are easy to find and conveniently located just off Interstates 80 and 35. Just minutes from Des Moines-area attractions like Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, and the East Village's dining and shopping options, the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds are the perfect place to enjoy the comforts of home and the excitement of the city at a manageable cost.

"Nothing Compares" to the Iowa State Fairgrounds, with facilities for any type of event. For more information, visit

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Sept 1st Deadline Looms to Save $500 on GAHC Rhine Cruise 2013 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by German American Heritage Center   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:24

If you have been dreaming about participating in our  Enchanting Germany Rhine Cruise, August 18-25, 2013 be sure to wake up in time to register for the $500 per passenger discount, which expires on September 1st, 2012  -just days away!  You may register later, but you will lose out on this terrific travel bargain if you delay.

Also, due to requests from interested participants there have been modifications to the land portion of the GAHC Heritage Tour, which immediately follows the cruise, August 25 - September 4, 2013.   Please take a look at the revised travel itinerary attached and sign up soon!  You will find a most interesting mix of immigration history, small picturesque villages, some of Germany's finest landscapes under natural preservation, access to historic sites such as Wittenberg, home of Luther's 95 theses, Potsdam, Dresden, Meissen (where European porcelain began), and a wonderful farewell finish flying out of Prague.
Registrations for both portions of the trip are due by December 1, 2012.  You may participate in either one or both portions of the trip, and each portion requires separate registration.  Make GAHC and Germany a part of your travel plans in 2013!  Questions?  Call Blue Horizon at 1-800-939-4334 or Linda Meadors, agent, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Loebsack, Schilling Continue Push for the I-74 Bridge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 24 August 2012 11:47

Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and Bobby Schilling (IL-17) today sent letters to United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad urging them to use unspent highway funds to advance the Quad Cities’ I-74 Bridge.  According to the Federal Highway Administration, $6,931,453.04 in unspent highway funds could be made available to the state of Illinois, and $2,330,683.79 could be made available to the state of Iowa.

On Friday August 17, Secretary LaHood announced that the Administration is making this money available for states to create jobs and improve crumbling roads and bridges.  By October 1, states must identify projects on which they intend to use the funds.  The U.S. Department of Transportation will have to approve the projects before states can move forward.

“We specifically support the inclusion of I-74 in the announced plan by the Administration to use unspent funds to help move transportation projects forward in each state,” the Congressmen wrote. “This bridge fits the important criteria of fixing our crumbling infrastructure, creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery, and we encourage you to include the I-74 Bridge in this plan for funds in each state that will not be used for their original purpose.”

Secretary LaHood joined the Congressmen in viewing the I-74 Bridge in May, when he called it “one of the worst bridges [he’s] ever seen.” Loebsack and Schilling worked to include an authorization for $500 million in transportation reauthorization for the Projects of National and Regional Significance program to fund large, interstate bridge projects such as the I-74 Bridge.  Loebsack and Schilling called on House Appropriators to fully fund this program while crafting future appropriations bills to ensure I-74 can compete for funding and move forward as quickly as possible.

In 2005, the I-74 Bridge became the most traveled bridge in the Quad Cities with an average of 77,800 vehicles crossing daily.  This is despite the fact that it was built for 48,000 such crossings.  The Bridge itself is functionally obsolete, however, and has never met Interstate standards.  In addition to improving travelers’ safety, the I-74 Bridge project would spur economic growth, create construction jobs, reduce traffic backups, and improve air quality.

The full text of the lawmakers' letter to Secretary LaHood can be found here, and their letter to Governors Quinn and Branstad can be found here.


Illinois State Fair Attendance Increases 13 Percent; Highest in 10 Years PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Erin Wilson   
Friday, 24 August 2012 11:44

SPRINGFIELD – August 21, 2012. 2012 was a banner year for the Illinois State Fair.

Attendance soared 13 percent this year.  According to newly released figures from state fair officials, 918,875 people passed through the gates during the fair, which is 103,275 more than a year ago and the most since 2002. The fair concluded on Sunday.

“This was a great fair,” Governor Pat Quinn said.  “Every year our State Fair team makes Illinois proud. Special thanks to State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick, Agriculture Director Bob Flider and everybody who visited the fairgrounds, especially the buyers who demonstrated their commitment to Illinois agriculture during this difficult time for the industry.”

Grandstand attendance was up four percent, thanks to strong sales from country stars Eric Church and Miranda Lambert.  Church’s concert on opening night of the fair drew 12,643 spectators, and Lambert’s show on the final Saturday drew 10,103.  Collectively, the acts sold 51,732 tickets, the most in 12 years.  Several records were set during the 11-day run of the fair as well.

The grand champion junior steer shown by Seaton teenager A.J. Line sold for a record $52,000, surpassing the previous high of $51,200.  It was one of five record prices fetched at the Sale of Champions, the auction of prize-winning Illinois State Fair junior livestock.  The grand champion barrow ($24,500), grand champion sheep ($17,200), Land of Lincoln barrow ($11,000) and Land of Lincoln Supreme Dairy Champion ($3,000) were the other record-setters.  The event raised $159,210, not only for the youngsters who raised the animals, but also for the state’s 4-H and FFA youth education programs.

“While the attendance is gratifying and makes the effort that goes into putting on the event worthwhile, it’s what can’t be quantified -- the lasting memories the fair creates, that is most important.  The families who attended this year likely will never forget their trip to Springfield,” Acting Agriculture Director Bob Flider said. “It’s those memories that I hope will keep them coming back for years to come.”

Preliminary, unaudited figures indicate revenue from admissions and parking also was up, increasing 33 percent to $1.5 million.


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