The restored sign at the Kingman Club that will reopen as a microbrewery in a few weeks.
Every once and awhile an event will develop that over the years seems to take on a life of its own. Such an event takes place in Kingman, Arizona on the third Saturday evening of each month, April through October.
It commenced when the now defunct Kingman Route 66 Association launched Chillin’ on Beale several years ago in the hopes of supporting the businesses sprouting in the historic district and drawing attention to that languishing part of town. There was also the hope that in the process there would develop a sense of community.
That was several years ago. Since that time the event developed with leadership, without leadership, and with feuds over who exactly was in charge. Still, in spite of this it has morphed into the most delightful of events; a block party where folks cruise, stop to visit with friends and neighbors, cruise some more, and enjoy dinner or beer at the microbreweries with friends, and a bit of music.
They arrive as tourists in rental cars and local in rat rods. They show up in colorful hot rods and battered classics, restored trucks and well worn work horses. Mixed in among them are jaw dropping customs and absolute rarities. When was the last time you saw a 1930 four-cylinder Indian motorcycle in any condition?
1930 Indian at the April edition of Chillin’ on Beale.
Last evening was the kick off for the 2015 season of Chillin’ on Beale and without a doubt it was the most amazing event yet, and that wasn’t just because it included an opportunity to enjoy dinner with friends at Redneck’s Southern Barbecue or the fact that temperatures were as perfect as they could get even if ordered from a catalog.
In all honesty I can not remember attending any event that featured a more diverse array of vehicles. A faded old 1960 Volvo stood in stark contrast to a pair of 1957 Ford’s, including a stunning convertible. An original 1917 Ford stood in stark contrast to a blindingly orange 1940 Willys coupe, and a GTO Judge framed by a bizarre contraption that began life as a 1942 Chevy Suburban made for a study in contrast.
After dinner and strolling the streets, we set up our “foldie” chairs, savored some excellent peanut butter pie brought by our dinner companions, whiled away the hours with delightful conversation, and visited with friends and acquaintances (good to see you Lynette, Allen, and Kim) that had come downtown to enjoy the festive atmosphere. As the sun sank into the west, we eagerly awaited the lighting of the refurbished Kingman Club sign.
If you happen to find yourself in Kingman on the third Saturday of the month, you might want to include Chillin’ on Bealedinner at Redneck’s, and a cold one at the Kingman Club in the schedule.