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Joplin to host international Route 66 festival - KOAM TV 7

Joplin to host international Route 66 festival

Updated: July 31, 2013 08:59 AM CDT

This year's Route 66 International Festival will be held in Joplin.

The celebration of the highway nicknamed the "Mother Road" kicks off Thursday, August 1st, and runs through Saturday, August 3rd.

Enthusiasts from around the world will come together to celebrate the heritage of Route 66, which dates back to 1926.

Route 66 was the main highway between Chicago and Los Angeles before the interstate system was built. It turned west toward Kansas at a Joplin intersection.

Festival activities include a Thursday night cruise that will take motorists past the Boots Motel, a famous Route 66 resting spot in Carthage. The cruise ends with a movie at the Route 66 Drive-In Theatre also in Carthage.

Festival-goers Friday night will travel to Galena, Kansas for a concert, car show and tours of a haunted bordello.

A Hot Rod Run car show and live entertainment are a few of the activities planned for Saturday.

The festival will also offer exhibits, and artists, authors and collectors of all things Route 66 will be set up at the Main Street America Marketplace to sell their specialties, arts and antiques.

This is the first time the festival has been held in Missouri. Last year, it was held in Victorville, California.

For a complete list of events, visit http://route66internationalfestival.com/schedule_of_events/

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