ANTICIPATION, EXHAUSTION, ANXIETY, EXCITEMENT, AND THE ROUTE 66 INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
This could easily be my shortest blog post to date as the title sums up things rather well. We are now mere weeks away from the 2014 Route 66 International Festival and as a result, there is a palpable sense of growing excitement every time Dora Manley, festival organizer, calls me with an update, and an almost uncontainable anticipation that fuels ever increasing levels of anxiety as we await confirmation of approval for pending arrangements. There is also just a faint hint of exhaustion made manifest in foggy thinking and weariness as I juggle development of the latest book, a job with an ever shrinking staff, festival arrangements, meeting with tours as they stop in Kingman and the assorted tasks associated with daily life.
On Friday, Dora notified me that traditional dancers from the Hualapai, Hopi, Navajo, and Apache tribes are going to be added to the schedule. However, final arrangements that allow for creation of a press release with scheduled times for the performances can not be made until Monday.
As of Friday, indications are that the planned broadcast of the historic and unprecedented Route 66 Crossroads of the Past and Future Conference via the magic of Youtube, and showing it at the authors, artists, and collectors exhibition, will most likely take place. However, there are a few details that can not be resolved until Monday.
This festival, and a first annual event in Holbrook scheduled for the weekend before that includes the rare opportunity to take a guided tour through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest along an abandoned segment of Route 66, ensure that for an entire week this storied old highway in Arizona will truly be the crossroads of the past and future.
A peek at what the Route 66 enthusiasts of this highways second century will look like can be seen in the smiling faces and laughter of the children participating in the various Annie Mouse activities created by Anne Slanina, an acclaimed children’s author.
Before these youngsters can take to the road on memory making adventures of their own, a new generation will assume the mantle of stewardship when the old guard passes. There will be an ample representation of these passionate enthusiasts in attendance as well.
Rich Dinkela, known among fans of the double six as Roamin’ Rich, has become the Indiana Jones of the Route 66 community. The autographed hood from his legendary adventure truck will be on display at the event center.
Kumar Patel, the passionate promoter of Route 66 and the family owned Wigwam Motel that was recently profiled by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, a Los Angeles Times article, and a feature by Harry Smith of NBC, is always in search of new ways to promote the road, the people who make it special, and the families iconic motel.
Ian Bowman perfectly bridges the gap between past and present with a passion for automobile design utilizing computer programs, restored theaters where premiers of Sunset Boulevard fill the screen, and sharing the wonders of Route 66 with the audience that ebbs and flows past 66 to Cali, a delightful Route 66 oasis on Santa Monica Pier.
Dan Rice, the executive director of the Route 66 Alliance and founder of 66 to Cali and passionate promoter of the road that spearheaded endeavors to move the spotlight from the bland official terminus of Route 66 to its exciting traditional end at Santa Monica Pier, will also be in attendance.
The future and past will also be made manifest in electric cars produced by Tesla and Detroit Electric, Studebaker and Nissan. Of course what would a celebration of Route 66 be without Corvettes and ’57 Chevies, colorful hotrods and vintage VW’s? Rest assured, these as well as a century of automotive evolution will also be well represented.
I hope that each and every one of you can join us for a weekend of fun, friends, music, good food, fun, adventure, and memory making fun. If you haven’t made arrangements or reservations yet.
The Ramada Inn has a few rooms left and is offering special rates –