It began almost twenty years ago in a rented tent in the faded wide spot in the road that is Landegrin, Texas. From those humble origins this event has now morphed into an international celebration of Route 66, its culture, its history, and the people who give it a unique vibrancy.
Still, as with the road itself, the Route 66 International Festival retains more of the attributes of a family reunion that mirrors the diversity of the Route 66 community than a lavish production. It is the very essence of this iconic old highway distilled.
Initiated be the National Historic Route 66 Federation, the event currently managed under the auspices of the Route 66 Alliance is hosted by a different community each year. For 2014, Kingman, Arizona is a front runner to serve as the host city.
Organizers are banking on approval and that the event will showcase the city of Kingman as a destination. To be held in conjunction with the August 2014 edition of Chillin on Beale Street, initial plans call for a Saturday evening car show, an exhibition of Route 66 and Southwestern artists as well as authors, a barbecue in Hualapai Mountain Park, live music, and other events that will introduce visitors to some of the communities unique attractions such as the Stetson Winery and the award winning Desert Diamond Distillery.
The next step in ensuring Kingman is ready to host a gather of international Route 66 enthusiasts is the creation of committees to oversee development of various aspects of the event and of beautification along the Route 66 corridor. If you are interested in helping write an exciting chapter in Kingman and Route 66 history, contact Steve Wagner at 928-377-2239 or Jim Hinckley at 928-530-7899.
If you’re unfamiliar with the lure of the 2,000 plus small town that is Route 66, this summer is an ideal time for a voyage of discovery. The Route 66 International Festival this year is scheduled for August 1st through 3rdand the host city is Joplin.