Route 66 News

Joplin likely will be host for 2013 Route 66 festival

A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday morning in Joplin, Mo., to announce the host city for the 2013 International Route 66 Festival, according to a press release on Monday.

Michael Wallis and Rick Freeland, co-founders of the Route 66 Alliance; Tommy Pike, president of the Route 66 Association of Missouri; and Patrick Tuttle, of the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau, will make the 10:30 a.m. announcement at Joplin City Hall.

It’s widely assumed the host city will be Joplin. Following the 2012 festival in Victorville, Calif., the southwestern Missouri city became the sentimental choice for the next gala because of its outgoing recovery from a tornado that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses and killed about 160 people. Hosting a major Route 66 festival would become a symbol of the city’s resilience.

Also, I heard that officials with the City of Joplin and area residents made a persuasive pitch to festival officials in the weeks after the Victorville event.

Scuttlebutt indicates the 2013 festival will be in late August, primarily in downtown Joplin. A firm date will be announced Tuesday.

UPDATE: Due to a scheduling conflict with the chamber, the news conference has been moved to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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