Final preparations for the 2013 Route 66 International Festival are underway in the Four States. Cities along the Route now wait for out of town guest and locals.
Route 66 was never an ordinary road. It's been given the lifetime name Main Street of America and beginning Thursday an international festival is expected to bring thousands of people to Four State communities along the route.
"It's amazing the people around this world that know what Route 66 is or are dedicated to it and will be coming to it," says Patrick Tuttle, Director of Joplin's Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Local, state and international organizations have been planning for the festival for one year.
"We know right now of six nations that are coming in and every state is going to be represented," says Tuttle.
Galena's Economic Development Committee recently started meeting weekly to prepare.
"We're hoping for 5,000 to 8,000 - we will take 10 - however many people come we will try to be a happy place," says Kathy Anderson, a member of Galena's Economic Development Committee.
Locals also are encouraged to learn more about the preservation and heritage of the route.
"I think it will be a big awareness for a lot of local people to people right here in Galena that we have a good spot right here in the states and the United States," says Anderson. "I hope Galena is one of the best parts about this festival."
"Route 66 is our longest museum in America and people flock to it just for that purpose," says Tuttle.
The festival features car shows, vendors, and many more activities along the route from Miami, Oklahoma to Carthage, Missouri. The festival runs Thursday through Saturday.
For a complete list of events visit http://route66internationalfestival.com/schedule_of_events/