If you can remember cruising Sixth Street in Springfield to get a Cozy Dog … or if all you know about Route 66 came from the movie Cars, the organizers of the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival Sept. 27-29 say there’s something for you. The Cozy Drive-In along the former Route 66 in Springfield was the setting for the announcement of the 12th annual event – which, this year, benefits local Crime Stoppers and will generate an estimated $1.2 million to $1.5 million for the Springfield economy.
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It’s also going to draw scouts looking for a place to have a car show: “Ten different car associations will be here to look at this event and Springfield as a site for 2014 and beyond,” says festival president Kim Rosendahl. Bill Kelly, executive director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, says the Lincoln sites and other Illinois attractions were built “to get people to stop here in Illinois,” which – he says – makes Downstate Illinois the 66-iest place between Chicago and Santa Monica, more than 2,000 miles all the way.