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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Approximately 23,000 people visited downtown Springfield Aug. 14-16 for the 5th Annual Birthplace of Route 66 Festival, presented by KY3/KSPR/CW and Aaron Sachs & Associates. City of Springfield Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott said the parade brought in about 5000 spectators to watch roughly 425 classic cars, trucks, motorcycles, floats and performing groups. Roughly 600 spectators watched from a City grandstand area at the Springfield Expo Center lot and thousands more lined Route 66 (St. Louis) from Glenstone to the Square. “It was really rewarding to see all of those happy faces cheering on the folks in the parade, many of whom where from out of town, out of state, or even in a few instances, from out of the country,” Scott said. An Australian tourism company, Travelling Made Easy, guides Route 66 tours each year. They specifically booked their trip down the historic highway into Springfield to coincide with the 2015 Birthplace of Route 66 Festival. “They were looking for a different angle and provide their Route 66 fans with something new and different to learn more about, and we were it,” Scott said. An additional 15,000 people visited the festival Saturday and additional 3,000 came Sunday. The 6.6-mile run down 66 drew 180 participants. Business owners, including hotels and retail outlets reported boosts, thanks to the festival. Businesses such as Steak and Shake, Hurts Donuts, St. Michael’s and Maria’s, saw people line out the doors for many hours during the festival. Plans have already been announced for the 2016 Festival, which will take place Aug. 12-14. Promoters at the historic Gillioz Theatre announced next year’s concert acts for both Aug. 12 and 13 and provided special ticket offers to this year’s festival-goers. Officials there say they have already sold about 100 tickets to both concerts. Festival partners also included the City of Springfield, West Central Neighborhood Alliance and the Route 66 Association of Missouri. Event assistance was also provided by Fisk Limousine, Inc., Great Southern. ### For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), [email protected]