A collaboration between Lipton and TripAdvisor will make soon make a big splash in Pontiac, as the weekend of June 8 will see the downtown section of Main Street cordoned off and renamed Lipton Drive in honor of National Ice Tea Day on Sunday, June 10. It will also feature the unveiling of a new Lipton mural.
    City Administrator Bob Karls said Pontiac would be “Lipton Central” while Tourism Director Ellie Alexander said she and her department were “overjoyed” to take part in the festivities.
    Lipton worked with TripAdvisor and its database of more than 600 million traveler reviews and opinions to curate a list of the route’s most notable spots for vacationers of all ages, according to a release from PepsiCO, which owns Lipton jointly with Unilever; the collaboration coincides with Lipton’s “Refreshingly Road Trippin’ with Lipton,” an event that will be taking place over the National Ice Tea Day weekend.
    “Road trips have been a classic American family tradition for decades and they continue to be a way for loved ones to bond and create unforgettable shared memories together,” said Marc Hanson, senior marketing director for the Pepsi-Lipton Partnership. “Lipton has been accompanying these special family memories for generations, refreshing families as they hit the open road with the excitement of the journey to come.
    “Through our collaboration with TripAdvisor, we have created a list of fun summer experiences that we hope will inspire people to continue to make new memories with the people they love.”
    As it concerns Pontiac, the three-day experience will also feature the revealing of Pontiac’s first Lipton mural and the renaming of Route 66 as “The Lipton Highway” for the weekend. Pontiac will get a chance to showoff its cuisine courtesy of Bernardi’s while also getting to partake in Lipton tea products and favorites from a number of other places, all prepared by Bernardi’s, the release noted.
    The cuisine featured in Pontiac will include favorites from Cozy Dog Drive In and the Chili Parlor in Springfield; Le Roy’s in Monrovia, Calif.; Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas; Britten Leaning Water Tower in Groom, Texas; Jigg’s Smokehouse in Clinton, Okla.; Meramec Caverns in Stanton, Mo.; Old Riverton Store in  Riverton, Kan.; Ollie’s Station Restaurant in Tulsa, Okla.; Singing Road in Tijeras, N.M. and Westside Lilo’s Cafe in Seligman, Ariz.
    “The city of Pontiac is all about bringing families together to celebrate the adventures that happen on road trips,” Alexander said. “Lipton has been there with us during those moments and we are overjoyed to celebrate National Iced Tea Day with Lipton and encourage travelers to get out there to make great memories with their family and friends while exploring all road trip attractions, such as Pontiac, across the U.S.A.”
    Karls said that the event, including the mural unveiling and food tastings, will take place in the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame and Museum’s parking lot. Staging for the event will begin Thursday, June 7, and will see that section of Main Street closed to traffic. The unveiling of the new mural will happen June 8, while other festivities will last through the weekend.