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Route 66 celebration heads to Joplin

Steve Hager

A celebration of the highway dubbed the "Mother Road" gets underway this week in southwest Missouri and southeast Kansas.

The Route 66 International Festival runs from Thursday through Saturday, based in Joplin.

Route 66 was the main highway between Chicago and Los Angeles before the interstate system was built. It turned west toward Kansas at a Joplin intersection.

Festival activities include a Thursday night cruise that will take motorists past the Boots Motel, a famous Route 66 resting spot in Carthage. The cruise ends with a catered picnic meal and movie at a Carthage drive-in theater.

Festival-goers will travel Friday night to Galena, Kan., for a concert, car show and tours of a haunted bordello. Joplin will be bustling Saturday with a Hot Rod Run car show and live entertainment.

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