Route 66 News

Webb City renames spring festival to Route 66 Cruise-A-Palooza

Webb City, Missouri, is making changes to its annual Spring on Broadway festival — most notably changing the name to Webb City’s Route 66 Cruise-A-Palooza.

The Joplin Globe also reported the festival will become a one-day festival this year, then resume to being a two-day spring event in 2018.

Scheduled for April 8, the festival’s new hours will be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The event will begin with a Route 66 Run the Route 5K & Fun Run. Entertainment at the festival will include local acts such as the Pinocchio School of Dance, the Webb City High School Jazz Band and ROTC. The finale for entertainment will be a performance by the 1980s cover band Members Only, starting at 7 p.m. […]
The event will feature food trucks, a Route 66 Car Cruise and vendors, as well as events for kids, such as carnival rides, a petting zoo, pony rides and inflatables. The Webb City Parks and Recreation Department will also hold its annual Easter egg hunt during the festival.

Webb City’s Route 66 Cruise-A-Palooza this year will be downtown, but a site for the 2018 festival hasn’t yet been announced.

In recent years, more towns have organized Route 66 festivals or rebranding existing festivals to reflect the Mother Road. It seems likely the Route 66 Economic Impact Study — and the money that Route 66 tourism generates — was the big impetus for this.

Webb City boasts a historic downtown and a couple of equally vintage gas stations — including one that houses the local chamber of commerce. But the town’s claim to fame is the 32-foot-tall sculpture of giant praying hands on a hill just south of downtown.

(Screen capture of the Praying Hands of Webb City, Missouri, via YouTube)


4 thoughts on “Webb City renames spring festival to Route 66 Cruise-A-Palooza

  1. Eric Hayman

    It has always struck me as strange that, while the USA has a secular government, there are so many official references to God in state documents, not least with “In God We Trust” on money and now replacing “E Pluribus Unum” as the official motto of the country. Also “one Nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Where does this leave atheists in general, and for those in Webb City the daily sight of the praying hands sculpture? Who paid for the sculpture and who authorised it?

    To say the government must make no laws about religion, but at the same time it assumes that God exists – even to making it official – is self-conflicting. Can someone please explain why no one sees the conflict? Or is it just ignored?

    1. Ron Warnick Post author

      Virtually all of the “In God We Trust” and “One Nation Under God” things you cited occurred during the red scare of the 1950s. IMO, it was a bulwark against fear, against the Communists of the Soviet Union, who were indeed atheist and ruthless.

      And, yes, such phrases roundly ignored — mainly because if you see it every day, like telephone poles, no one notices.

      More about the Praying Hands Memorial may be found here:

      The sculpture is on park land, but the inscription is vague enough — “Hands in Prayer, World in Peace” — that you could argue it doesn’t espouse any one religion and is universalist. I have a strong hunch that’s the reason it’s never been challenged in court.

      1. Eric Hayman

        Thanks again, Ron. Yes, indeed, what with McCarthyism, the “domino effect” (which we are getting now with Islam, not Communism) and the Korean War, such reversion to both religion and belief in a (Christian) God was almost inevitable in the 1950s. Then came Cuba. As we are seeing today, ruthlessness is not just the preserve of atheists, nor has it ever been. I am atheist, though I call myself a realist. And I am hardly ruthless. As for the sculpture, whom does one pray to if not “God”? The world is full of both assumptions and ignored phrases. After all, “goodbye” is a contraction of “God be with you”. You just can’t win!

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