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Route 66 News

Springfield, Mo., will launch fundraiser Wednesday for Route 66 park

The city of Springfield, Mo., will launch a fundraising campaign Wednesday night to build a roadside park that would celebrate that town’s heritage as the birthplace of Route 66, according to a news release.

The kickoff from 5 to 7 p.m. will be at Mother’s Brewing Co. at 215 S. Grant in Springfield, where several donations will be announced.

More from the release:

The City Council recently unanimously approved the use of $100,000 in fund balance reserves from the quarter-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax Fund to jump-start development. These funds will cover preparation of construction contract documents by a consultant for a Route 66 Roadside Park and schematic planning services for the western extent of the Jordan Valley West Meadows Site in Springfield.

The city is partnering with Springfield-based CrowdIt to crowd-fund the major elements of the roadside park, which will be a key new landmark of historic Route 66 through the city. The crowd-funding project (found here) will go live during the party, which will feature period music, a few classic cars and food and drink. The roadside park will celebrate the area’s Route 66 past by incorporating memories of local Route 66. […]

The first fundraiser (which CrowdIt calls “dreams”) will be to cover construction costs on a re-creation of the iconic Red’s Giant Hamburg sign. Red’s, owned and operated by Sheldon “Red” Chaney and his wife Julia, was a roadside cafe located on West Chestnut Expressway known for opening the world’s first drive-through window. The name was supposed to be Red’s Giant Hamburger, but Chaney measured the sign incorrectly and dropped the “er.” Red’s opened in 1947 and closed in 1984. The building was torn down in 1997.

The new Red’s sign will eventually be located in the new roadside park as part of improvements to the College Street corridor between Grant and Kansas Expressway within town.

Other projects will include a filling station replica, vending machines and visitor information; a relocated motor court cottage, with restrooms, and sign replica; a Birthplace of Route 66 sculpture; and, a Lily-Tulip/Solo Cup sculpture.

Prizes will be given to those who give money to the cause. The sweetest gift package is for the $15,000 donation (including a sneak preview of the Red’s sign at the sign company, a ride in a vintage car the day of the dedication ceremony, and a night’s stay at the Rail Haven motel), but even donations as small as $1 will earn a gift.

(Image from CrowdIt’s Route 66 campaign)

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