Route 66 in the News

Festival Supports Honor Flights

2012-09-11 08:12:41

The 11th annual Internal Route 66 Mother Road Festival and Car Show will rumble into downtown Springfield Sept. 21-23.

An estimated 75,000 people visited the show last year.

“Every year we see people from around the country and around the world who come into Springfield for this event,” said Kim Rosendahl, president of the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival. “We feel the event has accomplished what we wanted, which was to showcase Illinois Route 66.”

This year’s festival is also highlighting the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight program as its official charity.

The Land of Lincoln Honor Flight takes World War II and Korean veterans on day trips to Washington, D.C. to thank them for their service.

Ray Wiedle, president of the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, said the group appreciates the publicity.

“Getting the word out to more people is the key thing,” he said.

Since the first flight in 2009, the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight program has taken 1,178 World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington D.C. Groups visit the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the National Air and Space Museum and other sites.

The trip is free for the veterans and is made possible by donations.

“It’s a thank you,” Wiedle said.

Last year’s festival drew 1,100 cars for the Friday evening cruise into downtown Springfield, and about 1,000 car remained for the weekend show. Some of the cars were from the 1940s or earlier, and there were lot of vehicles from the 1950s and 1960s.

During the festival, the cars will be parked in downtown Springfield so people can get a close look and talk to the owners.

Rosendahl said holding the festival downtown is attractive to participants.

“They love the ambiance of our historic downtown area. It’s just a different kind of venue and a different way to showcase our downtown. They love. It,” Rosendahl said.

Want to go?

The 2012 International Route 66 Mother Road Festival and Car show will be held Sept. 21-23 between Washington Street and Capitol Avenue and Fourth and Seventh Streets. There will be live music Friday and Saturday.

Admission is free for spectators.

~John Reynolds,


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