In recent years the term “cottage industry” has been used to describe the surge in businesses and related services that are resultant of the resurgent interest in Route 66. Well, I am not exactly sure what that means but do know that from Chicago to Santa Monica this old road is fast becoming a gold mine for the mom and pop entrepreneur that has imagination and ambition as well as a desire to find enjoyment in their work.
For those who are enamored with this iconic highway and that make regular pilgrimages along it, this translates into an ever changing kaleidoscope of sites, sounds, and tastes. It is also transforming the highway into a linear community of friendly neighbors who warmly greet visitors.
Whether you are an old veteran intimately familiar with the charms and nuances of life on Route 66, or are new to its wonders, I am quite sure you will find excitement all along this highway in the months to come.
The long anticipated Pontiac-Oakland Museum in Pontiac, Illinois is now open. It joins a prestigious list of attractions awaiting discovery in this beautiful little town.
The date for the Route 66 Association of Missouri’s 22nd Annual Motor Tour is fast approaching. Scheduled for a kick off on September 9, this event will combine the very best of the Route 66 experience – cars, good food, scenery, fun, and friends, old and those yet to meet.
On November 11, Needles in California along the Colorado River is the place to be. A gala 85th anniversary Route 66 celebration is in the works and it promises to be a very memorable event.
Jumping to next year the big event is shaping up to be the 2012 International Route 66 Festival in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and a caravan running west from Chicago that will coincide with the event as well as the opening of Cars Land at Disneyland. This link provides more details in a video from Michael Wallis of the Route 66 Alliance.
The animated film Cars, released in 2006, fueled the resurgent interest in Route 66 like gasoline on a fire and its astounding international popularity introduced an entirely new audience to the wonders only found on this amazing highway. If you are curious about the people and places on Route 66 that inspired the creation of the characters and Radiator Springs, this link for an older post on Ron Warnick’s Route 66 News provides an excellent overview.
Chillin on Beale Street, in the historic district of Kingman, Arizona, one block north of Route 66, is scheduled for the evening of August 20th. This open event is part cart show, part block party, and a whole lot of fun. Dining choices in the immediate area are many; Redneck’s Southern Pit BBQ, a favorite of our international visitors, legendary Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner, Dora’s Beale Street Deli, and El Palacio are just a few.
I am still unsure what “cottage industry” has to do with Route 66. Perhaps as you take to the road this summer you can find out and explain it to me.

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