In light of the groundswell of interest in Route 66, and the Route 66 Alliance sanctioned annual Route 66 International Festival sparked by the recent festival in Joplin, Missouri, and Galena, Kansas, I am not surprised by the number of inquiries being received about the 2014 event. As I have been tasked with providing updates for the press, as well as the development of promotion for the 2014 Route 66 International Festival, it seemed best to address these inquiries through a blog post as well as by direct response.
Please keep in mind all of this is a bit rough. Still, as we have a full year to iron out the wrinkles I am confident the event will be a most memorable one for all who attend.
Organizers are developing several main events but they are also providing assistance to area businesses that are looking to host activities that will ensure there is something exciting and fun for everyone who attends. In addition, they are working with the tourism office to promote area attractions (such as the beautiful hiking/mountain bike trail system in the Cerbat Mountains and under the pines in Hualapai Mountain Park) that might enhance the weekend for visitors.Here is the link for the website with a basic format of planned events. At the bottom of the page is a link for information pertaining to Kingman area lodging and attractions on the official tourism website.
The core events will largely center in the historic district of Kingman with the exception of the film festival, and the annual arts and crafts fair that will be coupled with special events at Hualapai Mountain Resort twelve miles south of Kingman. These will include vendors, an evening car show with a twist, and an exhibition of work by Route 66 authors, artists, and collectors.If you have interest in participating in the exhibition, please let me, or the Kingman tourism office, know. We have the new Kingman event center on the corner of Fourth Street and Beale Street (one block north of Route 66) reserved for this aspect of the festival, and are also evaluating the possibility of utilizing the historic Elks Building as well as the Central Commercial Building. The reason for looking at other buildings in the immediate area is based on more than just mere wishful thinking. In addition to the Route 66 exhibition we are also planning on the inclusion of western and Native American artists, the subject of last evenings conversation with Bob “Boze” Bell of True West magazine.
The car show will be a drastically expanded version of the monthly Chillin’ on Beale event and will include vendors as well as a band or two. The twist is that building on the events theme of Kingman being the crossroads of the past and future, the centerpiece will be alternative energy vehicles of the past, present, and future. With that in mind organizers have secured a commitment from an automotive collector for the display of what is purported to be the oldest operational electric Studebaker, a 1902 model designed by Thomas Edison.So, we are looking for historic vehicles to display, as well as materials that can constitute a display of alternative energy vehicle infrastructure evolution please let me know. Moreover, if you or your car club are interested in making this festival a part of your summer schedule please let me or the tourism office know if there is anyway I may be of assistance.
As with all components, the Route 66 film festival is still under development. So, the original plan to feature movies filmed on Route 66, in Kingman, or that star Andy Devine has been amended to include select Route 66 documentaries such as Bones of the Road by Jim Ross and Jerry Mclanahan.There will be a cost per film but work is under way to create a package. In addition, we are working to include a preregistration option on the website.Now, a number of people have asked about the weather here in August. As with Missouri, Texas, or Ohio, it is hot. However, the humidity in Kingman runs from 10% to 30% during the monsoon season. The average temperature in August is 93 degrees. However, I have seen temperatures reach as high as 107 degrees but I have also seen August days where it never hit ninety degrees.Still, this is one reason we are utilizing pine shaded Hualapai Mountain Park where temperatures seldom top ninety degrees for some activities, and pushing events such as the car show toward the evening when the weather is almost perfect. I should also note that there is a dramatic fluctuation in temperatures along the 180-mile Route 66 corridor between Seligman and Topock.As an example, 115 degrees is common along the Colorado River in August. Kingman is, in general, about 15 degrees cooler, and Seligman five degrees cooler than that. I will keep you posted as the event develops but if you have questions, feel free to ask. The tourism office or I should be able to either questions, or find someone who can. So, will you be joining us for the fun next August?