Missouri neon sign near Route 66 restored

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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) _ One of the largest neon signs in Missouri has been restored after more than two decades.

The Joplin Globe reports that the historic Wilder’s Steakhouse sign in Joplin was taken down in February for restoration and returned to the restaurant in early April.

Owners Mike and Marsha Pawlus received a federal grant last year through the Route 66 National Corridor Preservation Program for the restoration. Congress established the program in 2001 to preserve and protect Route 66’s history.

Wilder’s neon sign glowed so bright that it would draw travelers off Route 66 passing nearby.

Marsha Pawlus says the restoration cost about $43,000 with the grant covering about $24,000. The owners paid the remainder through community donations and fundraisers.

She says they’re excited to bring some history back to Joplin.