The theme for this years Route 66 International Festival was Crossroads of the Past and Future. Well, with each passing day this seems more appropriate.
This morning I spoke with Tudor Melville who has been promoting the festival to fellow Tesla owners and enthusiasts. Between him, “EV” Jerry, an electric vehicle evangelist, and Roderick Wilde of the National Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation there was the need to reserve blocks of rooms at the Ramada Inn.
This in itself represents a blending of the past and future on Route 66. Roderick will be driving a 1930 Detroit Electric during the festival, Jerry his now famous Nissan Leaf, and Tudor will have his Tesla. David Heward of Holbrook is spearheading participation of GEM car owners under the Route 66 Electric Car Club banner.
Combine this with an unprecedented exhibition of electric vehicles dating to 1902, and inclusion of the White Zombie, the fastest street legal electric car in the world, and Route 66 becomes a bridge between the past and future.
Further bridging the chasm of time is the film festival. There will be a showing of the 1925 silent classic Go West starring Buster Keaton and the debut of The 66 Kid, a companion to the new book by Bob Boze Bell that will also be introduced at the festival.
Even though the Keaton film predates Route 66 by one year, it has something very special for the fan of the double six. Keaton stayed at the Beale Hotel during filming on a ranch owned by Tap Duncan, and shot the final scenes in the area of Seventh and Broadway in Los Angeles, the western terminus for Route 66 in 1926.
Next is the Crossroads of the Past and Future Conference. Open to the general public the scheduled speakers include Tudor Melville, Michael Wallis, Bob Boze Bell, historians, and representatives from most state Route 66 associations, and a few from Europe.
The schedule for the festival is to be finalized late next week. There will be a slate of main events – the two day conference, the exhibition of authors and artists, the Cine 66 film festival, the historic electric vehicle exposition, the Annie Mouse Party, the walk of fame dedication, and two car shows(one all day Saturday and another Saturday afternoon and evening).
The list of secondary activities is more extensive. They run the gamut from distillery tour to a Frisbee golf tournament, from receptions with bands, authors, and film producers to historic district walking tours, bowling tournaments, presentations at the Mohave Museum of History and Arts, and the music of the Reunion and the Road Crew (follow this link to listen to some tunes). There will also be tours of the distillery, and to historic sites in the area.
Most activities are free to the public. One exception is the Reunion concert on Saturday evening.
For general event information, or for tickets for the Reunion, contact the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce at (928)753-6253. This is also a primary contact for information about advertising rates for the official festival program.
After the meeting Tuesday evening, I should be able to provide details about the various activities taking place during the festival weekend.
Now for those who worry about the Arizona weather in August, there is a pretty good chance that it will be a bit warm (100 degrees or so). Of course, there is also the chance of delightful weather such as today with overcast skies, a slight breeze , and temperatures hovering just south of ninety degrees.