Lake of the Ozarks salutes Route 66

Families, car enthusiasts flock to Bagnell Dam Strip

Sightseers and visitors wander between extravagant, old, or customized cars at the Lake Ozark Strip's Hot Summer Nights Festival on Friday, June 13, 2014.

Sightseers and visitors wander between extravagant, old, or customized cars at the Lake Ozark Strip's Hot Summer Nights Festival on Friday, June 13, 2014. Photo by Travis Zimpfer.

The second 2014 Hot Summer Nights “Cruise In” event was held Friday at Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark for its classic and custom car, truck and motorcycle summer-long series as “The Lake Salutes Route 66.”

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Clay Edwards, in car, speaks with his father about Joe Cardella's 1969 Hurst/Olds convertible in which he's sitting. Cardella owns Anchor Marine and boasts that you'll never see another car like his.

Members of the Missouri Route 66 Association attended the event. In addition, representatives and members from the Route 66 Visitor Centers of Conway, Kansas Historical Route 66 Association, Oklahoma Route 66 Association and Darrell Pollock, executive director of Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, also came the June event in honor of the special Route 66 designation.

Outside of many Route 66 association members present to help salute the roadway during Hot Summer Nights, author of “Route 66: The Highway and It’s People,” Susan Croce Kelly, and local historian Ray Speckman interacted with guests, as well as the National Full Size 1965-1966 Full Size Chevy Club, which caravaned down the Bagnell Dam Strip.

Since Flag Day was Saturday, the show opened with a “Salute to Old Glory” and the Main Street Music Hall singers sang “God Bless the USA” and the “Star-Spangled Banner” opened the event on the Strip. A fireworks show, presented by Iguana Fireworks and co-sponsored by Iguana Water Sports, Beaver’s at the Dam and Rockwood Resort Hotel, also was held.

More to come

On July 11, Hot Summer Nights presents “A Salute to the Muscle Car Era.” All muscle car owners are encouraged to bring their cars to the “cruise in.”

On Aug. 8, Hot Summer Nights will have the theme from the movie, “Grease” and the LOZ Community Dance Project will perform to music from the hit-movie and Broadway production. In addition, Hot Summer Nights will be invaded by a giant bird that evening; parents will definitely want to bring the kids to this special August event where the bird will interact with Capt. Scalawag, clowns and Charcoal Chuck.

On Sept. 5, it will be “Vettes for Veterans” as the Lake of the Ozarks Corvette Club has taken on the task of organizing the tribute to our veterans. The Lake of the Ozarks Corvette Club will be saluting our veterans with a cruise down Bagnell Dam Boulevard with the veterans riding in their corvettes. Hot Summer Nights organizers will again be passing out American flags for the spectators to wave as the cruise proceeds down the strip. In addition, the International T-Bucket will be in town with plans to attend the September finale to Hot Summer Nights.

At every Hot Summer Nights event through the summer, there's fun for the entire family. There is no registration as this is a cruise for all classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. Live music at two different stages, clowns such as Merry Mary and Sparkie, Charcoal Chuck drawings, Mz Loretta’s artistic interactive projects, Captain Scalawag, face painting and more for the kids are a part of the festivities, as well as food, fun, live entertainment and shopping.

For more information, call Jeff Van Donsel at 573-365-2460 or Bob Schwartz at 573-348-4053, or visit www.cruisehotsummernights.com.

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