The two-day Lebanon Route 66 Festival returns after a seven-year absence thanks to a partnership between the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society and the Lebanon Parks and Recreation Department.
LEBANON, Missouri-The second Route 66 mural planned for Boswell Park will be unveiled Saturday, June 17, at the Lebanon Route 66 Festival.
The mural depicts a 1929 Texaco gas truck crossing the Gasconade River bridge in eastern Laclede County. It will join the previously unveiled mural of a 1957 Chevrolet driving Route 66 at the entrance to Lebanon.
A third mural – a tribute to the Nelson family, Lebanon Route 66 pioneers — will be unveiled later this year at a ceremony honoring the donors of the project. The plaque listing the donors will be unveiled at that time.
The Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society is closing in on the $75,000 fund-raising goal. The Saturday of the festival will be the last day donors of $100 or more may have their names added to the plaque.
The unveiling of the second mural will be part of a program at 2 p.m. Saturday of the festival on a stage by the murals. Representatives of Laclede County government, which donated $25,000 toward the project, will pull the cord.
The two-day Lebanon Route 66 Festival returns after a seven-year absence thanks to a partnership between the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society and the Lebanon Parks and Recreation Department. Previous festivals were held from 2001 to 2009.
The festival will be in two locations, both on Route 66. On Friday afternoon and evening, June 16, attendees will gather outside the 71-year-old Munger Moss Motel, one of only a handful of existing Lebanon businesses that were operating on Route 66 before it was bypassed locally by Interstate 44 in 1957.
On Saturday, activities will move to Boswell Park, which has been redeveloped with a Route 66 theme, including the murals. Parking will be available at the Nelson Park ballfields, with shuttles, courtesy of Laclede Electric Cooperative, to Boswell Park. To avoid congestion, it’s suggested that drivers access the Nelson Park parking lot by turning south on Madison Street at Lindsay Ford, then taking Maple Lane west to the park. Boswell parking also will be available at nearby Elm Street businesses that are closed that day.
Festivalgoers should bring lawn chairs or blankets for activities at both locations.
“The festival is coming together nicely,” Loretta Young, chairman of the Route 66 Society’s Festival Committee, said. “Everything is falling into place. We look forward to starting a new Route 66 tradition – an annual reunion of the Route 66 family.”
This year’s theme is “Celebrating 100 Years of The Ozark Trail,” recognizing the 100th anniversary of the June 27-29, 1917, convention in Amarillo, Texas, at which the “Northern Route” through Lebanon and Laclede County was selected to be on the Ozark Trail, a predecessor of Route 66. A brief program prior to the unveiling ceremony will salute local efforts to bring the Ozark Trail and Route 66 to Lebanon.
Festival T-shirts will have a “66” theme, depicting a 1966 Corvette owned by Route 66 Society board member Leland Townsend and a 1966 Chevelle owned by board member Cliff Claxton. T-shirts will be sold at both locations for $12. Sizes 2X and 3X wlll be $14. New Munger Moss T-shirts will be available at the motel office for the same prices.
Festivities will begin at 1 p.m. Friday at the Munger Moss. Similar to last year when the motel celebrated its 70th birthday and the 45th anniversary of Bob and Ramona Lehman’s ownership, antique, classic and custom cars are invited to a cruise-in at the motel, and the Tennessee-based US 66 Band, featuring Jess McEntire, will perform both in the afternoon and evening. Dancing will be encouraged.
Pig Pen BBQ of Lebanon will serve pulled-pork barbecue, smoked brats, chips, soda and bottled water from 1 p.m. until the food runs out.
The band will auction off a guitar autographed by country-music legend Loretta Lynn. A portion of proceeds from CD sales will be donated by the band to the Route 66 Billboard Association.
Attendees on Friday evening are invited to dress in ’50s-themed costumes, with prizes for the best man’s and best woman’s costume.
Saturday’s festivities will begin with a parade of antique, classic and custom cars at 10 a.m. Cars should line up starting at 9 a.m. on Wyota Drive in the Lebanon Industrial Park, east of the Munger Moss on Route 66.
The parade will travel west on Route 66 to Boswell Park. Although all classic cars are welcome to a cruise-in at 11 a.m. at Boswell Park, cars participating in the parade will be given priority parking positions.
At least one car club, the Cave State Cruisers, and two motorcycle groups, Freedom of Road Riders and Guardians of the Children, are expected at the cruise-in.
Young said about 15 arts-and-crafts vendors will sell handmade Ozark items all-day Saturday, as will vendors offering Route 66 memorabilia. Food vendors will serve hamburgers, hot dogs, walking tacos, funnel cakes and shaved ice.
“I’m really excited about all the vendors of food and the quality of local craftsmen and Route 66 memorabilia vendors who will be attending our festival,” Young said.
Music will be provided all day by John Fensterer of Waynesville, who performs a virtual trip on Route 66. The US 66 Band will perform at 2:30 p.m.
Family games are planned for the morning, with a “Gasconade Bridge” casting contest for children at noon, sponsored by KJEL/KBNN radio.
Festivities will conclude with the outdoor showing of the family movie “Sing” at 9 p.m. No formal seating is available, so lawn chairs or blankets are recommended.
Besides the Munger Moss Motel, two Route 66 landmarks will be open during the festival. The Lenz Homotel (now called Lenz Manor), which currently is for sale, will be open for tours on Saturday. A new business managed by Katie Wrinkle Hapner, granddaughter of the late Glenn Wrinkle, will be open in Wrinks Market. The Vintage Cowgirl at Wrinks Market, which includes displays of Glenn Wrinkle’s Route 66 memorabilia, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Route 66 Museum at the Lebanon-Laclede County Library will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Scott Chase State Farm Insurance, across from Boswell Park at 629 W. Elm (Route 66), will have an open house from noon to 5 p.m. Friday to show new Route 66 murals by Chase’s son-in-law, Adam Wolken, as part of a remodeling with a Route 66 theme.
The festival has no rain date. If bad weather forces cancellation, the announcement will be made on the Lebanon Parks cancellation line – (417) 532-6309 — KJEL radio and the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society Facebook page.