SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Organizers Thursday announced the lineup for the 2019 Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in downtown Springfield.
This year's festival is August 9-10.
The festival, which drew 56,000 last year, features an all-free musical lineup that includes favorite Branson acts on the KY3/KSPR stage in Park Central Square.
Blue Plate Special
Makenna & Brock
Machine Gun Symphony
Papa Green Shoes will appear on the Aaron Sachs Stage just south of Jefferson Avenue and Park Central East.
Returning to the festival this year is the Mother Roadster raffle of a 1929 Ford Model A benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children. Tickets can be purchased online at MotherRoadsterFoundation.com. The winner will be drawn at 5:35 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10 after the car show awards on the Sachs stage.
Chevy Dealers Stage:
NOON INDOOR FINNS
1:30 SISTER LUCILLE
3:00 CHRIS MAU MUSIC
7:30 THE DETECTIVES
11AM THE BALDKNOBBERS
12:30 DECADES/PIERCE ARROW
2:00 DENZIL & JOHNATHON BAND
4:30 ABBEY WATERWORTH
5:30 MATT STEWART BAND
Returning to the festival this year is the Authors, Artists, Collectors & Associations expo at The Old Glass Place, Vendor Village, the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival Parade and the 6.6K Run/3.3K Walk. Motorcycle Village on the east side of the festival footprint will again be in full swing with live music, demos, stunt shows, the Gypsy Tour Poker Run and other motorcycle-geared entertainment and vendors.
“There is a lot of energy in downtown Springfield surrounding hospitality and welcoming folks to our city to celebrate our Route 66 heritage,” said Rusty Worley, Downtown Springfield Association executive director. Worley cited several new hotels coming online soon, along with restaurants and breweries along the route.
Car show registration is now open online at route66festivalsgf.com.
Organizers say seeing over 50,000 visitors turn out for last year's event was a far cry from their first effort that originally started as a friendly neighborhood gathering.
"It's certainly grown so quickly that it's gone beyond our wildest dreams," Worley said.
In keeping with that travel theme, the heart of the festival includes a motorcycle village and lots and lots of classic cars, a record 600 last year.
After all, that's what Route 66 is all about.
"The Mother Road has a history with cars from the '20's all the way through to today," explained Terry Parrish with the Mother Roadster Foundation. "It's the iconic American symbol of freedom to be able to express yourself with your vehicle while living in a beautiful part of the country."
Civic leaders say it's no coincidence that the growth in popularity in the Route 66 Festival has brought with it more economic growth downtown.
For example in a one-block area there's a new Tru by Hilton hotel scheduled to open in the fall of 2019 with 98 rooms and looming in its shadow is a $23 million project called The Vue, which is student housing with 348 units.
"One of our strategies for revitalizing downtown has always been over the last 20 years to have new street festivals and community events to get people to rediscover downtown and see that it's not the same downtown they remember in the '50's when it was booming and certainly not the same downtown as they remember in its '80's and '90's and check out the new businesses and development, the lofts that have come in to bring in the next chapter of downtown," Worley said. "So having events like the Route 66 festival is critical to urban revitalization."