CANCELED: Spike in COVID-19 leads to cancelation of Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - For the second-straight year, the city of Springfield is canceling the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in downtown Springfield.
City leaders say the recent spike in cases led to the decision. The festival was scheduled for the weekend of August 13-14. The festival steering committee unanimously decided to host socially distanced, safe vaccination opportunities in the festival space Aug. 13-14, 2021 with the hope that we can hold the festival in 2022.
“Obviously, we are very disappointed. After having to cancel the 2020 festival, we were so looking forward to 2021,” said Cora Scott, director of Public Information & Civic Engagement for the city of Springfield and festival steering committee member. “With our region’s low vaccination rate against COVID-19, the resulting surge of infections are overwhelming our hospitals and making our community sick. We feel it is just not safe to bring tens of thousands of people from all over the world to this community for any reason.”
“The 2019 festival’s attendance was 65,000 over two days and we were projecting to top 75,000 this year. We think this is the right thing to do to protect participants, staff, spectators (who come from all around the world) and our community. We will again offer full refunds to those who have already registered and paid. We will start fresh with 2022 registrations in spring of 2022,” she added.
Car and motorcycle show participants, musical acts, vendors and exhibitors should have been notified about the cancellation, but if they have not, contact information is below.
Car show participants who registered online with a credit card should log in to the festival’s EventBrite page and request a refund or roll over their registration to the 2022 festival. Those who choose the roll over option will be able to keep their display spots. Participants who registered with cash or a check and want a refund should email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the refund.
Festival vendors should contact Tom Mast at email@example.com or 417-402-9876. Exhibitors should contact Shirley Robbins at 417-773-7714. Musical acts and motorcycle show vendors and exhibitors should contact Laura Dannegger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-889-1400.
How to celebrate Route 66 between now and next summer
- Explore local sections of Route 66 and support the local restaurants and retailers. Springfield City Council will be reviewing the expansion of sidewalk cafes at tonight’s meeting, so there will be new ways to enjoy your favorites establishments and find new treasures.
- Experience the new Route 66 Food Truck Park on St. Louis Street, just west of the Rail Haven Motel on Glenstone.
- Visit the History Museum on the Square with its outstanding exhibits, one of which is all about Route 66. The museum just reopened with new social distancing provisions and is a great outing with friends and family.
- Pay a visit to the Route 66 Car Museum at College Street and Kansas Expressway. Owner Guy Mace has assembled an incredible collection and it’s available throughout the year in your own backyard.
- Check out the public art along Route 66. Hubcaps on Rt. 66 has been installed and is on display as a part of Sculpture Walk Springfield.
- Take a virtual trip down the Mother Road with this story map created by City of Springfield Geographic Information Systems staff.
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