Okay, as promised, and in response to your inquiries, here is the latest information about the Route 66 International Festival scheduled for the weekend of August 16 in Kingman. There are still a multitude of loose ends and questions to resolve but things are starting to really take shape.
First, I am not a big fan of crying over spilled milk, spilled beer is another matter. So, just let me say there have been a litany of false starts, frustrations, and missteps but as of mid January the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce under the guidance of Pam Wilkinson has assumed the leadership position for coordinated development of the festival. This has dramatically affected the course as well as speed of development for the better. So, I feel quite confident in asserting that this will be an historic event for the city of Kingman as well as the Route 66 community.
The chamber of commerce will only be assuming direct responsibility for the development of the exhibition of artists, authors, collectors, and Route 66 association representatives and the Route 66/electric vehicle conference. However, they will be the central point of contact for information about the festival, the coordinator for the overall event, and the clearinghouse for press releases as well as sponsorship opportunities.
The phone number for the chamber of commerce is (928)753-6253. You may also contact me about any aspect of the festival. I will respond and I will find a point of contact who can address your specific need or provide an answer to your questions.
My primary role from the inception of Kingman gearing up to serve as the host city has been to serve as a consultant to ensure the essence of the Route 66 experience is not lost in the events development. I can assure you that the festival will center on Route 66 but that aspect will be wrapped in a wide array of activities ensuring a little something for everyone.
The film festival is morphing into a delightful blending of Route 66 independent films and classics that feature the iconic double six in a starring role. For information about participating the contact is Rob Chilcoate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am working with Mike Ward to find a suitable location for the invitation only Route 66 E-group breakfast, a traditional mainstay of each festival. You may find information about the group, and how to join, at this link.
The tentative list of fascinating speakers for the Route 66 development conference that will include information about electric vehicles and related infrastructure is growing but if you would like to participate, contact me or the chamber of commerce. The proposed format is for each speaker to be allocated one half hour which includes time for questions and answers. Each speaker will be required to provide a handout that summarizes their presentation, and that includes contact information.
There will be a 15 minute break between presentations. A schedule of presentations will be made available so attendees can choose subjects of interest rather than sitting through an update about Route 66 in Kansas while waiting for a presentation about bicycle tourism.
The festival will be an anything with wheels event that celebrates Route 66 and the American love affair with the automobile. Current plans call for two evenings of activities on Beale Street, and a wide array of events planned to take place from Needles, Topock, and Oatman to the Stetson Winery, Seligman and Grand Canyon Caverns will encourage people to explore Route 66. In addition, the new owners of the Frontier Motel and Restaurant in Truxton are planning to be open, and as Hualapai Tourism is a signature sponsor there will also be currently undetermined activities in Peach Springs and at Grand Canyon West Resort. Even though people will be enjoying Route 66, and Kingman, in rental cars, classics, and antiques as well as in motor homes and on motorcycles, the emphasis will be on electric vehicles and VW’s. The various automotive aspects of the festival, including an exhibit of historically significant electric vehicles is free with but one exception. TNT Engineering, site of the Bob Waldmire exhibit and mural, also free, is hosting a massive celebration of the iconic VW.
In regard to the Route 66 awards banquet, all I know is that there is going to be one, but I do not have information on this as of yet as it is being hosted by the Route 66 Alliance. You can contact them through this link for more information.
Acclaimed author, television and radio personality Bob “Boze” Bell will be introducing a new book about growing up in Kingman on Route 66 at the Mohave Museum of History and Arts during the festival. This museum is located across the park from the Powerhouse Visitor Center. Mr. Bell has also offered to reunite his band from the 1960’s for a little musical entertainment. Plans are for other bands to also provide entertainment throughout the weekend but the big news is inclusion of the Road Crew affectionately referred to as the Route 66 musical ambassadors. Another project being evaluated for inclusion is an Annie Mouse Party. Acclaimed children’s author Anne Slanina will be attending the festival and it is hoped that a venue can be developed for a party to ensure even the youngest participate has a delightful time. As inquiries and questions about lodging often dominate the in box I would like to provide an update on that front. The former Holiday Inn in Kingman at 3100 E. Andy Devine Avenue, now the Magnuson Hotel, is undergoing an expansive ground up renovation that will be complete before the festival. I have not had an opportunity to confirm special rates for the festival. However, I did give the property a quick examination yesterday. With completion of the lounge, restaurant, and swimming pool renovations this is going to be a destination for tour groups of any size as well as Route 66 travelers. For additional information call (928)753-6262. As updates become available, I will continue to post them. Meanwhile, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.