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Officials expect to beat an attendance record set in 2019, the last time the event was held.
SBJ file
Officials expect to beat an attendance record set in 2019, the last time the event was held.

Route 66 Festival launches with $250K in state funds

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The Birthplace of Route 66 Festival is back after the COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellations the past two years.

The downtown event, which starts tonight and runs through Saturday, is propped up this year with $250,000 in state funds appropriated by the Missouri General Assembly. Springfield City Council approved the acceptance of the funds at its Aug. 8 meeting.

City spokesperson Cora Scott said the funds cover the addition of a third festival day, as well as a kickoff concert and parade expenses, and two sets of banners to mark historic Route 66 through Springfield.

"Rep. Craig Fishel is the champion behind obtaining these funds for Springfield," Scott said via email, noting the state approved $100,000 for the festival last year before it was canceled due to COVID-19.

Scott said the city is "confident we will exceed" the 2019 attendance record of 65,000. She previously projected 70,000-80,000 attendees for this year’s festival, according to past reporting.

The event's features include car and bike shows, concerts and a trampoline show. The full schedule can be viewed at the event’s website.

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