Home/Stories of the Road /Birthplace of Route 66 Festival
Birthplace of Route 66 Festival

The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway set up shop at this year's Birthplace of Route 66 Festival this past weekend, August 12-14, in Springfield, Missouri. The event, we understand, has really taken off this last couple years, and despite the weather on Friday not cooperating, the crowds were amazing. The Byway exhibit was part of the Authors, Artists, Collectors & Associations expo at the Old Glass Place downtown. 

As usual, our Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway flashing stickers were a huge hit, with literally hundreds of attendees wearing them throughout the weekend. It was a great chance to promote all the great attractions on the east side of the Mississippi River!

Downtown Springfield was also the scene for great classic cars and motorcycles on display, a large selection of live music (including Barry Williams from The Brady Bunch and Syfy's Mega Piranha movie). Williams performs a 70's music show on a regular basis at Branson. Headliner bands included Ozark Mountain Daredevils on Friday night and Marshall Tucker band on Saturday night.

Giesla Hoelscher & Geoff Ladd

We joined the roadie enthusiasts Saturday night for a giant gathering with incredible food at the Civil Kitchen. Illinois authors Cheryl Eichar Jett and Joe Sonderman were part of the entourage. We also got to meet with Giesla Hoelscher, who has designed a series of t-shirts, magnets and other collectibles designed to raise money for Route 66 preservation projects, including the Meramec River Bridge near Eureka, Missouri and an Illinois preservation project coming soon.

This was a very well organized event, with lots of support from the local media and the community, and we were extremely impressed. The Byway plans to return again next year. Congratulations to our sister city of Springfield, MO from the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway headquartered in Springfield, IL!

Story by Geoff Ladd