June 3rd, 4th, and 5th are the dates for this year’s “Route 66” Summerfest in Rolla, Missouri.
This is the 16th year for this event, which is held on the first weekend in June each year. It was originally started to promote downtown Rolla but it has evolved into an area wide celebration for all ages to promote old Route 66 and the beginning of summer. The weekend begins on Thursday evening where eligible ladies compete at the Rolla Middle School Auditorium for the honor of being crowned “Miss Route 66”. All single girls from Phelps or any of the surrounding counties, currently enrolled in school, and between the ages of 15 and 18 are encouraged to participate. You must have your registration in however no later than May 10th.
Friday morning portions of downtown are closed as food vendors and musicians set up for the evening’s festivities. At 4:00 Friday afternoon hundreds of classic cars and motorcycles arrive at the St. James Visitor Center to show off their cars and prepare to “Cruise Route 66”. At the same time, back in downtown Rolla, the cooks for the annual Association of United States Army (AUSA) picnic will be working hard to prepare the evening meal for AUSA members and anyone else who supports the military. Tickets are $8 which covers all food and drinks.
At 6:00 Friday evening the classic cars gathered in St. James will begin their cruise down old Route 66. They will bring with them all of the queen candidates, one of which will be crowned the 2010 Miss Route 66. Bring your lawn chairs for the 7:00 crowning ceremony and stay for the “drive-in” movie that evening. Also, on Friday is the charity poker run for all you motorcycle enthusiasts and skateboarding events for the kids.
Saturday morning you’ll find coffee and doughnuts in the food court, the craft festival on 9th Street, the classic car show on Pine Street and the motorcycle show on 8th Street. In addition, there are a ton of things to do for the kids. There will be bouncy games, pony rides, barrel train, face painting, commercial games, and as always, the giant sand pile. And don’t forget all of the great food all day.
Again this year we’ll have the traveling interactive display from SCOPE Science Exhibits, which has been a big hit for the curious of all ages. They will also be bringing several Seqways which can be rented for those willing to take a chance on this new mode of transportation.
As always, there are several sporting events throughout the day. Beginning at 8:00am at Oak Meadow Country Club is the TOUR-de-PHELPS BICYCLE RIDE to St. James and back. This is a scenic and relatively easy 12 mile round trip ride for the whole family with plenty of stops and water along the way. Also beginning in the morning is the annual DOUBLES TENNIS TOURNAMENT at Ber Juan Park. For the younger ones, there are BICYCLE AND TRICYCLE RACES in front of Meeks Lumber. Again we’ll have the DOWNHILL DERBY at 8th and Pine and the FIRE TRUCK PULL at in front of Meeks Lumber and MFA. You’ll want to start right away with your kids or grandkids building your cars for this non-motorized race, similar to a soap box derby. Both Friday and Saturday we will have the skateboard park open with many games and prizes and a professional exhibition Saturday at 3:00.
As the day wanders into evening, the festival kicks into high gear again. At 5:00pm the classic cars and motorcycles drive into the festival grounds to be a part of the evening’s activities. At 6:00pm there is the ever popular “burn out contest” where drivers compete to see who can generate the most smoke and crowd appeal. At 8:00pm the Saturday musical entertainment begins with the St. Louis band, Fanfare. This is one of those shows that you definitely don’t want to miss.
This is just a preview of some of the events which make up the annual “Route 66” Summerfest. Even if you go through the entire web page, www.route66summerfest.com, you won’t grasp all that goes on during this weekend. You just have to be there!! For information not on the web page you may call 573-341-2562.