Fans of the cars of days gone by are converging on Springfield this weekend for the International Route 66 Festival. It began Friday evening. “Mile for mile in Illinois,” says festival president Kim Rosendahl, “you can experience more Route 66 than in any other states. In some of the other states, you have to drive a long distance between Route 66 iconic stops, but in Illinois, you don’t. You can see something Route 66 probably every 20 or 30 miles.”
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More than 1,000 cars are expected. Springfield mayor Mike Houston adds for people overseas, cruising Route 66 – which winds from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif., more than 2,000 miles all the way – has become a rite of passage for some. And the fascination continues, with foreign film crews on hand to document the proceedings this weekend.