Springfield, MO

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Route 66 Festival matches attendance record

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Roughly 65,000 people attended this year's Birthplace of Route 66 Festival, tying a record set in 2019.

City spokesperson Cora Scott said the downtown Springfield festival drew in attendees from 32 states and 18 countries.

With a "mile-long festival footprint," the Aug. 11-13 event had 700 parade entries and car show registrants, 12,000 concert attendees with three days and nights of music acts, and 210 motorcycles in the motorcycle show and Poker Run events, Scott said.

The festival, which pays homage to the Mother Road, had been on a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before this year's event, officials projected attendance in the 70,000-80,000 range, according to past reporting.

The festival's annual John T. Woodruff Award this year went to Scott and Phyllis Ferguson for promotion of the city, Route 66 and the festival, according to a news release. Ferguson is a former City Council member who serves as chief operating officer for Mexican Villa and owner of the Rockwood Motor Court on Route 66.

The award is named in honor of the telegram sent from John T. Woodruff’s Colonial Hotel in downtown Springfield, asking for the number 66 to be used with the highway.


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