Never in a million years would I have guessed that transforming a main street into a drag strip for a weekend, even if it was only one block off historic Route 66, could attract huge crowds of spectators as well as participants from all corners of the country. Well that is exactly what happened during Street Drags VI in Kingman, Arizona.On Friday evening I drove down town after work and was awe struck at the crowds, the traffic, and the palpable excitement in the air. It was almost as though the clock was rolled back a few decades and Route 66 was again the “Main street”, the circus had come to town, and every motorcycle owner in the nation had decided to come to Kingman for the weekend.
Every parking lot and every vacant lot along Route 66 was filled to capacity. There were motor homes with enclosed trailers, vintage cars, colorful hot rods, tour buses at the Power House, and crowds.
The first round of races filled the air with the sound of screaming tires and thundering motors. Even the rumble of countless motorcycles were drowned by the din. Side streets were filled with all manner of vendors in brightly lit trailers selling everything from steak sandwiches to kettle corn
On Saturday, the primary day for all the festivities. the crowds seemed to have doubled in size. For at least a mile west of Kingman on Route 66 every pull out was filled with vehicles. Crowds spilled from the sidewalks bringing traffic to a crawl.
At the east end of the historic district, on Beale Street, the roar of engines sounded as distant thunder and served as a back drop for the band that played to the seething crowds. The sidewalk cafe at Beale Street brews was filled to capacity. On Route 66, crowds filled the balcony of the historic Hotel Brunswick, and bikers swarmed the Sportsman Bar. It was full sensory overload.
What an amazing event and that is from someone who passionately avoids crowds, seeks the silence of the desert as a prospector searches for gold, and feels that a town with two stop lights is to large. To say the Kingman Street Drags was a success in regards to boosting Kingman’s tourism revenue would be a gross understatement. As details become available I will update this post.