Route 66 in the News
Festival Slated for Next August
JOPLIN, Mo. - The International Route 66 Festival will park next year in Joplin. Organizers hope it will attract tourists to the southwestern Missouri city, which is still recovering from a devastating tornado in May 2011.
Organizers of the festival and the director of the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that the festival will be held Aug. 1-3 in Joplin to celebrate the iconic highway that was the main route west between Chicago and Los Angeles before the interstate system was built.
Michael Wallis, the Tulsa, Okla., author of “Route 66: The Mother Road,” said the annual gathering coincides with a meeting of eight state associations and the National Park Service, which discuss strategy for preserving and promoting the highway. It generally features exhibits and presentations by authors and artists about the route, as well as memorabilia sales.
The event was staged this year in Victorville, Calif., and last year in Amarillo, Texas.
Patrick Tuttle, director of the Joplin tourism bureau, said organizers have not determined where all the events will be held, but they hope to include cities along the route in Missouri and feature products made in the state.
Tommy Pike of the Route 66 Association of Missouri said organizers hope the festival will be a pleasant diversion for the area and help the region celebrate its heritage along the route.
“Hopefully this will be a festival everyone can get behind despite the adversity suffered here,” Pike said.
~Assoc. Press, via KansasCity.com