Joliet Museum To Host Premiere of ‘Travels With Darley’ Route 66 Episode

Seven-time Emmy Award nominee Darley Newman will be in attendance

Photo provided by Travels With Darley

Seven-time Emmy Award nominee Darley Newman will be in Joliet on Sunday, March 3, for a special screening of the upcoming Route 66, Illinois-themed episode of her hit series “Travels with Darley.” The event is free with Joliet Area Historical Museum admission, and open to the public, giving guests a chance to preview the episode and explore the museum’s The First Hundred Miles visitor’s center – featuring an extensive collection of Route 66 artifacts, exhibits and photo ops.

The special viewing party will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. March 3. Museum doors are set to open at 10 a.m., with the program starting at 1:30 p.m. in the Joliet Area Historical Museum’s indoor auditorium at 204 N. Ottawa St. in downtown Joliet. After the screening of the episode, Darley will host a behind-the-scenes Q&A with a few of the local figures featured in the episode.

In “Travels with Darley,” Darley journeys with locals to experience the history, food, music and art of exciting locations around the world. Spinning off of a popular web series, “Travels with Darley” takes viewers through Europe, the Caribbean and the U.S., exploring each location’s diverse cultures and traditions. Past segments have included snorkeling the Jacques Cousteau Reserve in Guadeloupe; a road trip along Maryland’s Eastern Shore; World War II history in Bastogne, Belgium; and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Photo provided by Travels With Darley

The show’s more than 50 half-hour episodes now reach over 96% of the U.S. on PBS stations, and are available on all streaming platforms. Look out for new seasons on your PBS station and Create TV. Binge the series’ first 24 half hours on Amazon Prime. Stream all the episodes on Wondrium, and watch the most recent seasons through Ovation TV’s Journy, a free app available on your phone, tablet or smart TV device of your choice.

In this upcoming season, Darley and friends explore the timeless allure of Route 66 in Illinois, shining a spotlight on unexpected attractions, iconic roadside stops and family-owned enterprises that prioritize preservation. Take a step back in time for a modern spin along the Mother Road. Highlights include visits to 1950s-style diners, historically significant American Indian sites and the iconic Old Joliet Prison.

Darley’s journey along The First Hundred Miles starts in Chicago, Illinois, at the street sign marking the beginning of Historic Route 66. This includes stops at Buckingham Fountain and the Route 66 Playground in Burr Ridge. Darley visits White Fence Farm to taste its famous fried chicken and talks with owner Laura Hastert about the family business. Further down the road in Joliet, Illinois, Darley visits the Old Joliet Prison and meets Greg Peerbolte, CEO of the Old Joliet Prison Historic Site. Ronald Blazekovich picks Darley up in his classic car and heads over to the Polk-a-Dot Drive In, passing by the Gemini Giant in Wilmington along the way.

Photo provided by Travels With Darley

Darley also visits Ambler Becker Service Station, highlighting its 66-year history and restoration. The adventure continues with stops at Wally’s, the murals in downtown Pontiac and the Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum, where Darley meets Rose Geralds, a volunteer docent. From there, the program highlights more classic Illinois Route 66 attractions beyond The First Hundred Miles.

This Route 66 Illinois episode was partially funded by the DCEO Route 66 Grant (Round 2) awarded to Heritage Corridor Destinations. The grant included both statewide marketing and promotion efforts and attraction development in The First Hundred Miles of Route 66 Illinois. Other area projects funded by the DCEO Route 66 grant include the Joliet Railroad Museum, opening May 2024, and the Joliet Bridges and Dairy Queen exhibits opening this summer in partnership with the Joliet Area Historical Museum, along with electric-vehicle stations in Joliet’s City Center and downtown Lockport.

“We’re excited to welcome Darley back to Joliet for this screening and Q&A with local Route 66 celebrities,” said Robert Navarro, president and CEO of Heritage Corridor Destinations. “With the centennial of Route 66 coming up in 2026, Heritage Corridor Destinations is working hard to showcase the best of The First Hundred Miles, and inspire everyone to plan their great American road trip.”

Photo provided by Travels With Darley

Heritage Corridor Destinations ignites, influences and impacts the visitor experience through tourism partnerships within the communities and counties along the historic I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor, which starts just a few miles southwest of Chicago and extends southwest through Starved Rock Country. The organization is the officially certified bureau for the following counties: Bureau, Grundy, La Salle, Princeton, Putnam and Will. Heritage Corridor Destinations works to attract visitors to the region, promote local businesses and organizations, and boost economic development.

To learn more about Heritage Corridor Destinations and explore what you can do in Starved Rock Country, The First Hundred Miles of Route 66 and the I&M Canal Town regions, be sure to visit and follow Heritage Corridor Destinations on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Joliet Area Historic Museum sits along North Ottawa Street on Wednesday, Feb. 7th 2024 in Joliet.

While you’re at the museum, get up close and personal with artifacts from the Route 66 First Hundred Miles visitor’s center, as well as exhibits on John Houbolt and the Apollo program, the Illinois and Michigan Canal, Joliet: City of Steel and Stone, and Strike Up the Band! 100 Years of the Joliet Township High School Bands, among many other exhibits featuring historic people and places in Joliet. Be sure to stop by the 3D Route 66 photo-op sign near the entrance of the museum for a memorable selfie. Free parking can be found nearby at the corner of Ottawa and Webster streets.

For more information, and to reserve your advance ticket to the screening, visit: