Wayfinder sign

The new Wayfinder sign along Route 66 at Boswell Park. Tourism director Nicole McGinnis said the letters in the yellow block pointing to "Downtown" will be outlined to make them more visible.

The city of Lebanon’s Tourism and Parks and Recreation departments will assume more of the responsibilities of the Lebanon Route 66 Festival in 2020.

The Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society, which has been the primary sponsor of the festival since it began in 2001, had been seeking a replacement for Loretta Young, who is stepping down after three years as chairman of the society’s festival committee.

Board members also have been concerned about the work involved in organizing the festival as it grows, especially considering the small size of the Route 66 Society.

Nicole McGinnis, Lebanon tourism director and also a member of the Route 66 Society board, volunteered her department’s services last month, noting the importance of Lebanon having a community festival at that time of year. (The festival currently is held Father’s Day weekend.) She said Tuesday that the parks department also would participate. The Route 66 Society already had partnered with the parks department since the festival moved to Boswell Park in 2016.

“We will offer the support for the planning and organization of (the festival),” McGinnis told the Route 66 Society board at its monthly meeting.

The Route 66 Society will continue to play a major role in the festival.

McGinnis said she and her staff will set up a meeting schedule for a festival committee.

In other tourism-related business, McGinnis reported that the first of three planned “wayfinder” signs has been erected on Route 66/Elm Street at Boswell Park. The sign alerts travelers to various Lebanon attractions, including the Route 66 Museum. Signs also will be placed at Atchley Park and at the corner where westbound Route 66 turns onto Millcreek Road.

McGinnis said the Lebanon City Council has renewed contracts for the two Interstate 44 billboards that promote Route 66. The eastbound billboard, which is smaller, will be redesigned to make it more visible.

And Route 66 banners will be installed on light poles along the route after Christmas.

The Route 66 Society board thanked McGinnis for all the work she has done on behalf of Route 66 since becoming tourism director.

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