From March to September on the third Saturday afternoon of the month, Beale Street in Kingman, Arizona, just one block north of Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66) is transformed into an automobile enthusiasts version of paradise. As a bonus there is great music, a vibrant historic district framed by stunning skylines of towering buttes, mesas, and spires of stone, cold beer served at two award winning microbreweries, and a delightful array of diverse restaurants. In October the date for the Chillin on Beale festivities is adjusted to coincide with the arrival of Craig Parish’s Route 66 Motor Tour.
Even though I have attended this event more times than I can count, it is never boring. The diverse array of vehicles that turn out for this old fashioned, free event that centers on cars, cruising, and cars always amazes me. As an example, at the April event there were classic and vintage cars lined along both sides of the street from Fourth Street to Eight Street, filling the parking lots, and cruising the streets. The diversity of vehicles was astounding; a VW Rabbit pick up with factory diesel engine, a customized Hudson pickup truck, not one but two very rare Rambler Rogue’s including a convertible sporting a for sale sign, and an AMC Javelin Mark Donahue edition that looked showroom new. These were but the tip of the iceberg.
When was the last time you saw a stock 1933 Dodge coupe that is a daily driver? How about a 1972 Honda or a Mercury Cyclone? And it is the same every month, always surprises and rarities. During attendance of recent events I photographed a mid 1930’s Indian motorcycle, a BMW Isetta, a battered but original 1940 Ford sedan, a 1910 Cadillac and an original 1950’s MG.
Adding events such as Chillin’ on Beale to the itinerary can greatly enhance a Route 66 adventure. To assist with planning a Route 66 road trip that includes events, we have begun adding promotion to the Travel Center page on the Jim Hinckley’s America website. We will also be providing links to sites that contain event information such as that for the Blue Carpet Corridor in Illinois.
Details are being finalized but in coming weeks we will be hosting Adventurers Club live programs on the Jim Hinckley’s America Facebook page from events along Route 66. These will then be added to the YouTube channel. The first of these programs will be at the Route 66 Fun Run, an annual event that transforms 160 miles of that storied highway in western Arizona into a living time capsule. From noon to 2:00 on Saturday on May 4, I will be at Freedom Apparel on Beale Street in Kingman. In addition to the program I will be autographing books including copies of Travel Route 66. Also on the schedule is a program at the May edition of Chillin’ on Beale. There have been a few setbacks but plans are still under development for a 21 day series of live programs from the road, including at events. Once the schedule is finalized it will be added to the Facebook page.
If you are planning a Route 66 adventure, I suggest adding Chillin’ on Beale to the schedule. And for more event information, be sure to check out the Travel Page on this website.