Cars line St. Louis Street during the 2017 Birthplace of Route 66 Festival. Organizers announced the 11th edition of the event will be Aug. 10-12 in Downtown Springfield. (Photo by Downtown Springfield Association)

Local singers, dancers and other performers will compete in the Great Route 66 Talent Competition for a chance to appear on the national television show “America’s Got Talent” as part of this year’s Birthplace of Route 66 festival.

The lineup for this year’s festival, scheduled for Aug. 10-12, was announced March 28 at the Shrine Mosque.  

The Festival will kick off at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10 at the Aaron Sachs Stage in Motorcycle Village (Jefferson Avenue and McDaniel Street) with a free concert dubbed the Rockin’ the Route 66 Kickoff Concert. The featured artist has not been announced.

A car and motorcycle show will happen Aug. 11-12. Concerts start on Friday evening at the Aaron Sachs Motorcycle Village Stage at 7 p.m. with Machine Gun Symphony and Sixwire.

For the talent competition, singers, dancers and other performers 18 years or older are encouraged to start the process by filling out the interest form on the website. Applicants will receive more information about submitting one or two videos showcasing their talent. The videos eventually will be shared on, where the community will be able to vote on them. 

The Top 20 finalists will perform in front of a panel of judges and a live audience on Saturday Aug. 12 at the Chevy Dealers of the Ozarks/KY3 Stage at Park Central Square. Winners will be selected from each category to “advance” to the America’s Got Talent audition.

U.S. Highway 66 was one of the original highways, and Springfield is along its path. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

Registration open for car show and other events

Go online to the Route 66 Festival website for registration links for the weekend car show, Charity Bike Show, and the Gypsy Tour Poker run that benefits the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

A full schedule of free entertainment is planned. The festivities include the Friday parade which starts at 6 p.m. at Grant Avenue and College Street. The parade will travel east through Park Central Square to St. Louis Street and disperse at National Avenue. 

Returning to the festival this year is The Women’s World Expo at the Shrine, including the Authors, Artists, Collectors & Associations expo at The Old Glass Place. 

On Saturday, concerts begin at 1:15 p.m. at the Aaron Sachs Stage in Motorcycle Village with Nathan Bryce and the Loaded Dice. Red Light Runner will go on at 3 p.m. followed by The Rosy Hips at 3:40 p.m. The National Anthem will be sung by Harper Atkins at 4:35 p.m. Damsel will perform at 5:45 p.m. followed by Dirty Saints at 7:00 p.m. and Sixwire will be the final act on the stage at 9 p.m. 

A raffle for a custom-built 1932 Ford Roadster pickup truck will be organized by the Mother Roadster Foundation. It is the fifth Mother Roadster the foundation has raffled off with the funds from the raffle benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children. The Discovery Center is raffling off a 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood as well. Links to purchase tickets for both raffles can be found here. Tickets are $20 each or six for $100. 

Dylan Durrington

Dylan Durrington

Dylan True Durrington is a general assignment intern at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He’s currently a senior at Missouri State University studying Journalism and Mass Media. Durrington is interested in voice over, music, computers and broadcasting. More by Dylan Durrington