As questions about the Route 66 International Festival scheduled for August 14th through 17th dominate my inbox, lets start with a few updates. Last evening the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce hosted an organizational meeting and things are starting to really take shape.
The historic district will be the primary focal point for the event. Even though there is a wide array of parking facilities in the area, and plans include providing maps in the program guides, access to the area is rather constricted even without street closures and a major event.
So, to facilitate traffic flow and to ensure visitors can enjoy events in the historic district as well as other activities such as the film festival with a minimum amount of frustration, KART (the city bus service) is working with the chamber of commerce to develop a special festival route. A key component will be providing service from centralized parking areas such as the Mohave County Fairgrounds.
A rough outline for activity locations has been set but as development evolves, I am quite sure there will be adjustments. In essence there will be two groups of activities separated by about four blocks. Linking them will be various displays.
At the west end anchored by the Powerhouse Visitor Center, site for the historic electric vehicle exhibition, Metcalf Park and Locomotive Park will serve as the venue for vendors and the stage for the musical entertainment. At the other end, roughly between Fourth and Sixth Street on Andy Devine Avenue the railroad depot will have a special exhibit including a few displays pertaining to area railroad history and extensive model railroading exhibits, TNT Automotive will host a VW “bug fest” as well as Bob Waldmire exhibition, and there will be related vendors and a Redneck’s Southern Barbecue catering truck.
One block up, on Beale Street, there will be the artists, authors including Bob “Boze” Bell, Michael Wallis, Joe Sonderman, and other acclaimed authors), collectors, and Route 66 association exhibition. There will also be expanded activities at the Cellar Door, Black Bridge Brewery, and restaurants.
There will be two evenings (Friday and Saturday) for special editions of the low key Chillin’ on Beale. There will also be special exhibits on Beale Street.
Next, the film festival. Rob Chilcoate is ramrodding this aspect of the festival and he is doing a masterful job. This link is for a story that provides a few details which appeared recently in the Kingman Daily Miner.
There is ample space at this time for vendors. However, I should note that registration for spaces is escalating so if this is of interest, you might want to make arrangements soon. Here is a link for more information as well as the required forms.
At this time I do not have any additional details pertaining to the awards banquet that will be hosted by the Route 66 Alliance. I can, however, tell you that there will be one, and that details will be made available soon.
A very exciting component for this years festival will be a Route 66 conference that includes representatives from various state associations, people associated with property and infrastructure preservation, and various Route 66 “celebrities” talking about ways to ensure the roads relevance for future generations. There will also be number of speakers form the electric vehicle community, a primary key to moving Route 66 into the future.
For general information about the festival the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce is the primary contact. The phone number is (928)753-6253.
The chamber of commerce in Holbrook is developing a companion event for the weekend before the festival in Kingman. I will be talking with Kathleen Smith in Holbrook next week and should be able to provide information afterwards.
In the southwest, before either event takes place the focus will be on Kingman during the first weekend in May for the annual Route 66 Fun Run, and on Tucumcari for the Rockabilly on the Route festival in June. Both events will capture the very essence of the Route 66 experience and, if possible, should be included in the development of a travel calendar.
As always, if I may be of assistance in regard to the planning of a Route 66 adventure, to planning participation in the festival, or to answer related questions, just drop me a note.