SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- (08/11/2017) The Route 66 Festival kicked off today as excited spectators and car owners filled the streets of downtown Springfield.
"It's just fun to look at everyone's car and what they've done with them. Everybody looks forward to coming to this," said Ann Hancock, classic car owner and festival attendee.
Car owners from all over the United States have traveled to the birthplace of Route 66 to line up their classic cars along the streets of Park Central Square.
"We're up here today to show off our 1958 Chevrolet . We've been up here two years in a row now and have really had a good time," said Jay Morton, classic car owner and festival attendee.
A festival that started with only 4,000 attendees seven years ago, now boasts over 50,000 visitors, some of whom have traveled many miles to be a part of it.
"I'm here. I've come all the way from Australia, halfway across the globe," said Kerry Walton, a visitor to the festival.
Even though it's Walton's first time on Route 66, he says it won't be his last.
"I'm going to talk to my wife and children, and I reckon we're going to come back here and start our Route 66 adventure right here from this here town," explained Walton. "I'll be here every year, you can't get rid of me."
And with cars, food and live music apart of the festivities, the Route 66 Festival is an event the whole family can enjoy.
"The food is fantastic and the hot rods and the bikes and the stunt shows; just seeing everything, it's mind blowing for me," said Walton.
If you weren't able to make it out today, the car show will still be going on tomorrow with festivities kicking off at 8 A.M. For a full schedule of Saturday's events, click here.