It is the dawn of a new era on Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona. The town forever immortalized in a catchy tune about getting your kicks on Route 66 is embracing their historic connection to the storied highway in a very big way. As we move closer to the Route 66 centennial, and (hopefully) a post COVID 19 world with the return of international tourism next year, Kingman is making up for lost time as the city transitions from stop to destination.
The Route 66 Association of Kingman, a leading proponent of Route 66 related development in Kingman since 1994, has been involved with a number of projects in recent years. A few years ago, in partnership with Legacy Signs and the City of Kingman, the association funded creation and installation of a sign near the Powerhouse Visitor Center.
The colorful sign designated distance to the communities note in the song about getting your kicks on Route 66. The association that is funded entirely by membership has also hosted receptions for groups such as the Dutch Route 66 Association, worked with property owners on façade renovations, and acquired, and restored, historic signage. The association also funds a graffiti clean up program and is in the early stage of creating a neon sign park.
Last year the City of Kingman unveiled a retro styled sign for the visitor center. This Saturday they will host the opening ceremony for a drive through Route 66 arch, a cooperative project funded by the City of Kingman and Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. Both of these signs were designed and created by Legacy Signs.
In early 2021, Kingman Main Street launched an ambitious initiative that has the promise of transforming the historic district and Route 66 corridor. The multifaceted projects includes an innovative self guided narrated walking tour. This link is for the website with a sample of the walking tour. I am honored to provide the narration for this tour. Also included will be a public arts component and revitalization of the dormant Route Walk of Fame.