I can feel it in my bones. The planning committees for local car shows and cruise nights are buzzing with activity. The roar of motorcycles has ticked up a notch or two (I wonder if anyone has given thought to inventing a muffler for motorcycles), vintage cars in ever growing numbers are appearing at local car washes, and the number of international visitors stopping into my office, an unofficial Route 66 Visitor Center, increase with each passing day. The kick off for road trip season is just weeks away!
Here in Kingman the first biggie of the season, for auto enthusiasts and fans of Route 66, is the annual Route 66 Fun Run scheduled for the first weekend in May. Early indications are that regardless of, or in spite of, the current economic conditions this may be the best one yet.
In essence this event is a three day, 180 mile block party celebrating Route 66 and the American love affair with the automobile and the road trip. This year a number of local organizations will add more activity to the already jam packed weekend ensuring the celebration is a memorable one.
On Friday evening, May 1st, the Kingman Route 66 Cruizers, with assistance from the Route 66 Association of Kingman and the Kingman Downtown Merchants Association, will host their annual “50’s & 60’s Sock Hop.” In a departure from previous years festivities this years sock hop will be held on Beale Street one block north of Route 66 in the historic district.
This is the same evening that the Fun Run officially kicks off in Seligman so some will see this as conflicting. However, as many participants and visitors choose to stay in Kingman Friday evening this will enable them to get in the mood for the big events on Saturday. Moreover, as the Sock Hop will run until at least 10:00 PM some will choose to overindulge themselves with fun by taking in the festivities in Seligman as well as Kingman.
Also scheduled for Friday evening is the opening of a Route 66 exhibit at the Beale Street Brews & Gallery, 418 E. Beale St., one half block west of the sock hop. The exhibit will include the photography of yours truly, my dearest friend, several local artists, and historic photos on loan for the Mohave Museum of History & Arts. This is part of a month long celebration that commenced with Mayor John Salem proclaiming May to be Route 66 month.
As the season progresses I will keep you updated on the news from Kingman. I will also fill in for that crazy uncle with the never ending slide show of his vacations by sharing our adventures here and on the website –
In other news the Route 66 Association of Kingman is initiating a membership drive. If you want to share in the excitement of being part of the resurrection of a Route 66 time capsule consider joining together with this visionary and ambitious nonprofit organization.
This association is is also seeking donations to refurbish a towering vintage Packard sales and service sign, the first step in the creation of a neon park along Route 66 in Kingman. The association has already proven themselves a potent force in turning back the tide on Route 66 with the acquisition of numerous historic signs, including the one from the recently demolished City Cafe, and assistance to organizations and groups working to promote or preserve remnants from this legendary highway.
For more information contact the president, Tim McDonnell, at 928- 377-9684