It was Tuesday, July 27, 2021 when Missouri Governor Mike Parson and the First Lady traveled Pulaski County’s Route 66 to Waynesville as they continued the Bicentennial Tour on Historic Route 66. The tour also stopped in Marshfield, Lebanon and Cuba.
The outdoor event opened with greetings and a warm welcome by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau President Rick Morris. Former Representative Jim Mitchell of Richland spoke to the significance of the event location. “It was Waynesville, in 1990, that then-Governor John Ashcroft signed legislation that designated the 307 miles of Route 66 that travels through Missouri as a historic byway” Mitchell said. Missouri was the first state to award the Highway the designation. This was also the first legislation signed in Pulaski County, Missouri. The legislation was co-sponsored by former Representative Mitchell.
Speaker Luge Hardman, State of Missouri Route 66 Centennial Commission member, shared some of the incredible history of Pulaski County’s 33 miles of Route 66, and addressed continued growth throughout the county both by business investors and governmental entities.
As Governor Parson addressed the audience, he encouraged “you to explore more Missouri history during Missouri’s Bicentennial year either on the road or through virtual tours.” He also reflected on his time in Pulaski County as a younger man , “I guarantee I would not be standing here today” if he had not started a military career at Fort Leonard Wood at the age of 19 years old.
A group photo op was taken at the 8-foot tall, 1,000 pound Route 66 Shield; a vision and community-sponsored project led by local businessman Tim Berrier. The Governor and First Lady received a private tour of the 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum, one of two Missouri courthouses located along Historic Route 66.
After a private tour of the 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum, the governor and his wife left for their next tour stop discussing their desire to return to tour again.
Photos for this article were provided by the office of Governor Mike Parson
For additional images/video of the event visit:
Special thank you to the Pulaski County Historical Society and Courthouse Museum volunteer curators Mike and Denise Seevers, for coordinating the venue location. Special recognition to the volunteers and Crocker Preservation & Restoration Alliance, Waynesville Police Department, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, the Pulaski County Clerk, Dave Ernst, and Pulaski County Commissioners for their support and contributions to coordinating the event.
The Bicentennial Tour highlights tourism attractions across the State of Missouri with visits to communities throughout the months of July and August. Tourism is the second-largest revenue-generating industry for the state of Missouri and plays an integral part in the economic growth of the state of Missouri. For more information about the Missouri Bicentennial, visit https://governor.mo.gov/bicentennial-celebrations