As Springfield's Road to Recovery plan comes closer to fruition, the city's largest annual event is returning with an expected boom in attendance.
More than 80,000 people are expected to attend the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in August, according to a video announcement and news release issued on Thursday. That would make it the largest regional festival of its kind in the Midwest, an official said in the video.
The festival this year is scheduled Aug. 13-14, "barring any major negative developments in local COVID-19 case counts and assuming significant continued vaccination progress," according to the release.
The festival in 2020, then expected to draw 75,000 attendees, became a victim of the coronavirus pandemic that forced its cancellation last summer. Attendance at the 2019 event was 65,000, according to past reporting.
This year, the downtown event will include a classic car show, charity bike event, a parade and musical guests such as Machine Gun Symphony and Sixwire. The event pays homage to Springfield's historical ties to the Mother Road.
The city's Road to Recovery plan is slated to remove coronavirus restrictions when thresholds of less than 20 new cases per day, under 20 hospitalizations in COVID-19 isolation and a vaccination rate of 50% of the eligible population are met.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department's COVID-19 dashboard shows 32.1% of the eligible local population has been fully vaccinated. There are 37 patients in Greene County hospitals, and the seven-day average of new cases is 21.4, according to the data.
When Springfield Business Journal last pulled Health Department data on April 21, the seven-day average for daily cases was 17, hospitalizations were at 26 and nearly 29% of eligible residents were fully vaccinated.
SBJ interviews the owner of David Potter Agency Inc.
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Barak Hill gives advice based on what he learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected his business. He says we should all have a backup plan ready to use.
Sandy Higgins, owner of the Crackerjack Shack, recommends the book "The E-Myth Mastery" by Michael E Gerber. She says it changed the course of how she runs her business.
Aaron York describes the work culture he tries to foster at Donco3 and why he attributes to it a part of Donco3's success. Rachel York is a co-owner of Donco3 and Aaron is the General Superintendent.
Hollie Elliott, executive director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group, explains how local schools factor into business decisions and affect a local community.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, says an important lesson she learned was not to over-expand and to do her research before hand. She gives examples from her experience as a startup business owner.
Jim and Debbie Meinsen own TCI Graphics, and are now celebrating 50 years of business. Jim Meinsen takes some time to explain his philosophy on debt, and how to stay out of it.
Caleb Scott, owner and coach of Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football, says the early grind was hard, but it was worth it. The team is in their second season carrying a national ranking of number 2 in the NFA IDFL.
Barak Hill, local musician and entrepreneur, tells about his switch to livestreaming in 2020. He says it was a necessary move, but also not an easy one.
Jessica Burkland, a SCORE mentor and an instructor at the MSU Department of Management, gives us a rundown of the non-profit organization SCORE. SCORE stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives and offers free consultation and advice to business owners.