Birthplace of Route 66 Festival

City of Springfield

A heads up to motorists:  getting through downtown Springfield could be tricky for a few days.  The City of Springfield says drivers in the area should expect road closures and traffic delays starting Thursday due to the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival.

According to city officials, barricades will be in place at several downtown intersections by Thursday afternoon.

A parade, which starts Friday at 4:30, will impact traffic from Kansas Expressway and College to downtown.

City of Springfield

You’ll want to avoid driving in and around downtown Springfield today through Sunday if possible.

City of Springfield officials say the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival will result in traffic delays and road closures.

Barricades were expected to go up Friday afternoon at several downtown intersections.  St. Louis Street between Jefferson and Kimbrough and Jefferson between Water and McDaniel are also closed.

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

If you just want to get to where you’re going, you probably want to avoid the downtown area this weekend.  But if you’re looking for something to do, that will be your destination.  The Birthplace of Route 66 Festival kicks off this afternoon and goes through Sunday.

City of Springfield public relations director, Cora Scott, said the festival started as a neighborhood event.

City of Springfield

The three-day Birthplace of Route 66 Festival is set for August 12-14 in Springfield.  Events Friday include a Motorcycle Village, the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival Parade and performances by Tripwire, Sequel Dose, Anthony Gomes, the Baldknobbers and Machine Gun Symphony.  An ice cream social will be hosted by actor, Barry Williams. A concert at the Gillioz will feature Asleep at the Wheel with Rhonda Vincent &the Rage, and a drive-in movie will feature The Little Rascals.

The Birthplace of Route 66 Festival over the weekend brought about 23,000 people to downtown Springfield.  City spokesperson Cora Scott says the parade Friday night, featuring 425 classic cars trucks and motorcycles, floats and performing groups, had about 5000 spectators.

And they came from all over, she said.  An Australian tourism company, which guides Route 66 tours each year, booked their trip down the historic highway in to Springfield to coincide with the 2015 Birthplace of Route 66 Festival, according to Scott.