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Get your kicks at the massive Route 66 fest in Springfield, Ill.

Published: Sep/Oct 2002
What better way to celebrate Route 66 than with a street festival–a massive, international, three-day street festival in Springfield, Ill., where the road originally passed on its way from Chicago to California.

The first annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival will take place Sept. 27–29 on 20 blocks of downtown Springfield. Thousands of people are expected to converge on this tribute to the world’s most famous thoroughfare.

The event will kick off Friday evening with the National Route 66 Federation Gala, featuring keynote speaker Martin Milner, star of the 1960s television hit “route 66.” Also that evening, a parade of cars and motorcycles will cruise into downtown along some of the original Route 66 alignments.

Throughout the weekend, car and motorcycle clubs will exhibit their classic vehicles from the heyday of Route 66 in various staging areas. Also, visitors can peruse an array of Route 66 memorabilia and collectibles.

Outdoor stages will provide live entertainment from an array of rock and blues bands. And a film festival will feature such classics as “Easy Rider” and “The Grapes of Wrath.”

For younger visitors, the Kid’s Lane area will feature children’s activities and entertainment, including Hula Hoop and Pogo Stick contests. Older Route 66 aficionados may want to attend the workshops and seminars.

For a real blast from the past, festival-goers can put on their bobby socks and slick back their hair for the World’s Largest Sock Hop on Saturday night, featuring such performers as Paul Revere and The Raiders and Bill Pinkney’s Original Drifters.

For more information, call 1-866-RTE66IL (783-6645), or log onto

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