Springfield, MO

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Up to 80,000 people are expected to attend the downtown Springfield event in August.
SBJ file
Up to 80,000 people are expected to attend the downtown Springfield event in August.

Organizers plan Route 66 festival comeback

Posted online

An event that in the past has drawn huge crowds to the Queen City has been scheduled this summer after two years of cancellations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Birthplace of Route 66 Festival is slated to take place Aug. 11-13 in downtown Springfield, according to a news release. The event's organizers are the city of Springfield, Aaron Sachs & Associates PC, KY3/KSPR/CW, Downtown Springfield Association and West Central Neighborhood Alliance.

Attendance this year is estimated at 70,000-80,000, said Cora Scott, the city's director of public information and civic engagement.

Rusty Worley, executive director of the DSA, said the return of the event would be a boon to downtown Springfield.

"The return of the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival is important to those local businesses directly impacted by the thousands of people from across the region who come downtown for those three days, and then, psychologically, it is another key milestone of recovery from the pandemic," Worley said via email. "The dollar amount of the economic impact is difficult to measure, but we hear from many of the downtown businesses on the Motor Mile that it is their best weekend of the year."

The event's features include car and bike shows, concerts and a trampoline show, according to the release.

The Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in 2019 brought out a record 65,000 attendees, according to past reporting. The event had been planned for 2021, but a surge in COVID-19 cases forced its cancellation.


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