Aug 072013
 




As celebrations go, we think the Route 66 International Festival was top-notch. On behalf of our community and our readers, we want to thank the Route 66 Alliance for choosing Joplin as the site of the festival.

We also tip our hat to the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau and all the local volunteers who made it a great event.

Michael Wallis, one of the co-founders of the Route 66 Alliance and the man providing the voice of the sheriff in the Disney-Pixar movie “Cars,” signed about 2,200 autographs in Carthage. He called his fan base “future road warriors.”

We like the idea that there are those who are keeping the story of America’s Mother Road alive. As a result of the festival, it’s clear that our own appreciation has been rekindled. Events promoted the history of the route from Vinita, Okla., to Carthage, Mo., with stops in Kansas in between.

And it seems like every time there’s a discussion about Route 66, we learn something new or discover something new right here in our own backyard.

A lot of work and planning went into the event, from the car cruising, to the kids roadie parade.

With that said, it would be a shame to wait 20 years for Joplin to get another turn to be hosts for the festival.

Wallis described the success of the event this way:

Route 66 is a linear village that has no state lines, county boundaries or city limits. We have to work together, and we saw that beginning to happen for the first time in Joplin.”

It’s an experience we would love to repeat again somewhere down the road.

Aug 052013
 




Kingman residents and businesses have a year to dust off their saddle shoes, glam up their retro rides and spruce up their storefronts before putting out the welcome mat for the Route 66 Alliance’s annual Route 66 International Festival.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase Kingman as more than just a stop on Route 66,” said Mother Road historian Jim Hinckley. “It is an opportunity to come together as a community and say with pride, ‘Welcome to our town.’”

The Alliance announced that Kingman was the winner of next year’s Route 66 festival as this year’s festival in Joplin, Mo. wound down Saturday evening. The annual event brings approximately 10,000 people to the event city.

Hinckley has been working with Josh Noble, the executive director of tourism for the Kingman Chamber of Commerce, and Steve Wagner from Re/Max on Hualapai Mountain Road for more than a year to bring the festival to Kingman.

“It started after I ran into Rick Freeland (one of the co-founders of the Route 66 Alliance) last year at the festival in Victorville, Calif.,” Hinckley said.

Freeland told him that the location of the 2013 festival was already set, but the Alliance would be more than happy to consider Kingman for the 2014 festival. When Hinckley returned to Kingman, he met with Wagner and Nobel about the idea.

“The trick was, we had to show that there was community support and involvement with the idea,” Hinckley said. “Wagner really picked up the ball and ran with that.”

While Hinckley and Nobel worked on ideas for events and contacted local artists, authors and car enthusiasts, Wagner collected more than 30 letters of support from area businesses.

And then they had to wait for word from the Alliance. The official approval came at this weekend’s festival in Joplin.

“We’ve already got a basic foundation for the festival. The theme is ‘Kingman – Crossroads of the Past & Future,” said Hinckley, who traveled Joplin this weekend.

The Kingman festival will run from Aug. 13-17 next year. It will include events at the Hualapai Mountain Resort; an exhibit of Route 66 authors, artists and collectors at the new events center in historic downtown Kingman; a film festival featuring movies that were filmed on Route 66, in Kingman or feature Andy Devine; a bowling tournament; a golf tournament; tours of Desert Diamond Distillery; activities in Hualapai Mountain Park; and car cruising at night.

Electric highway

It will also feature a special edition of Kingman’s Chillin’ on Beale car show with an exhibit of alternative energy vehicles. Hinckley and Wagner hope to get a very special guest for the display that night, a 1902 electric Studebaker owned by Don Robertson of Jerome, Ariz. The car still runs.

They also hope to install electric recharge stations along Route 66 for the festival and turn the historic highway into one of the first electric highways in the nation.

“We wanted to plan more things for people to do than they could do in one day,” Wagner said. “We wanted them to say, ‘There’s too much going on. I have to come back tomorrow.’ This is great exposure for Kingman.”

Hinckley echoed those words from Joplin.

“There are people here from as far away as Australia and Tasmania. They came here just for this festival,” he said. “The potential for Kingman is astounding.”

With all of that international and national attention focused on Kingman, it’s a great opportunity to sell Kingman as a great place to visit, and a wonderful place to start a business and raise a family, Wagner said.

“I see it as a catalyst for the transformation of Kingman,” Hinckley said. “If we can just ignite the passion for a sense of community.”

He pointed to Galena, Kan., which also sits on Route 66. The city’s economy picked up after it started marketing its connection to the historic highway, Hinckley said.

The city is home to the International Harvester truck that was the basis for the character Mater in the Disney movie “Cars.” People started moving to the area, sales tax revenues went up, new businesses started moving in, old businesses were revitalized and historic buildings were restored, he said. Kingman could do the same thing.

By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa – Daily Miner

Apr 242013
 




SAN BERNARDINO — Two months after the annual Route 66 Rendezvous car show stalled out, one of its organizers said she’s jump-started the show – and is moving it to Ontario under a new name.
Shelly McNaul, who previously served as the director of special events for the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau, announced the move Saturday on the Route 66 Rendezvous Facebook page.

“I will be continuing under another name called the ‘Route 66 Reunion’ that will be a three-day car show modeled after the Route 66 Rendezvous scheduled for the same weekend, Sept. 20 to 22, 2013,” her post read in part.

The event, which pays tribute to classic cars, hotrods and the famous Mother Road itself, has been huge in San Bernardino for more than two decades, drawing thousands of visitors from outside of the city, filling local hotel rooms and filling local businesses with customers.

Jim Gerstenslager, chairman of the board for the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau – which stopped day-to-day operations in March – said the Route 66 Rendezvous is San Bernardino’s signature event and nobody ever talked to him about it.

“We can’t stop people from having their own event as long as they don’t infringe on our trademark,” Gerstenslager said. “Our Convention and Visitors Bureau owns the name and Stater Bros., as title sponsor, owns Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous. We’re sticking to it and it’s absolute. “

In Ontario, which is actually a few miles south of the original Route 66, Gerstenslager’s counterpart was already gearing up for the launch of an Ontario event, which the city sees as its own way to attract visitors.

“We’re finalizing details on bringing it to Ontario under a different name,” said Michael Krouse, president and CEO of the Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Krouse went on to say, “It’s a great opportunity to bring visitors to our city, and the goal is to make it bigger and better. “

McNaul had hoped to move the event – which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to San Bernardino each summer – to Glen Helen Regional Park, she wrote, but will instead be moving it to Euclid Avenue in Ontario. McNaul has been hired by the Ontario Convention Center and Visitors Bureau, she said. The San Bernardino convention center announced in February that, after 22 years, this year’s Route 66 Rendezvous was canceled because of a lack of funding. In early 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown shut down redevelopment agencies around the state, and redevelopment funds had previously been used to help cover clean-up and security at the event. Several months later, the city declared bankruptcy.

“The challenges with doing the car show on the downtown streets of San Bernardino became greater with an unpleasant element at night,” McNaul said. “We want to give the car enthusiast back the freedom they once had to relax and enjoy the reunion of family and friends while sitting next to their babe. “

Public safety staffing has been an issue in the city.

Between declaring bankruptcy in July 2012 and March 2013, the city lost 285 employees, nearly one in four, including dozens of police officers. Police emergency response time has risen 30 seconds, to 5.4 minutes, and non-emergency calls now average a 30-minute response time.

That hasn’t stopped San Bernardino organizers from organizing something.

Meanwhile, an alternative car show, Rendezvous Back to Route 66, is scheduled for the same weekend at San Manuel Baseball Stadium in San Bernardino. The car show is being planned by the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce and car clubs, including Over the Hill Gang, according to chamber president and CEO Judi Penman.

“It’s already on the car club calendar,” Penman said. “We’ve had a great response so far, with people coming forward to participate.”

Ontario organizers are keeping the spirit of the original Rendezvous.

In her post, McNaul wrote that the Route 66 Reunion will have the same “elements” as the Rendezvous, with vendors, entertainment and a continuous three-mile cruise route looping around Euclid Avenue, from Holt Boulevard to 6th Street.

She added that the surroundings are ideal, with Euclid having three lanes to park cars on both sides and cruise down the middle. Businesses, historic homes and a grass median provide trees for shade for the crowd.

“It really has a great feel, and I think it would be a perfect location for the car participants,” she wrote.

McNaul will be mailing out vehicle entry forms in May, she wrote.

By Beua Yarbrough and Michel Nolan – The Sun

Apr 182013
 





Route 66 tourism has become a multimillion dollar business in this country, and thanks to a small group of local historians and city officials, Edwardsville is working to raise awareness on a national and international level. Below are some of the ways Edwardsville will showcase its Route 66 heritage this year.


Route 66 Experience Hub

For several weeks motorists at the corner of Schwarz and West Streets have wondered about the mysterious structure beneath a large blue tarp at the side of the road. Saturday morning at 11 a.m. the cover will be removed for all to see. A Route 66 Experience Hub, one of only 13 in Illinois, will be revealed at the site of the former Idlewood Tourist Camp, a favorite stop for tourists and locals along Route 66.

The public is invited to attend the dedication. Area residents with vintage vehicles that may have driven Route 66 are encouraged to bring their restored vehicles. Brief remarks by Mayor Gary Niebur and William Kelly, director of Illinois Scenic Byway, will be followed by a ribbon cutting and unveiling of the new Route 66 Experience Hub.

Awareness of the Edwardsville Route 66 experience will be raised thanks to the work of City Planner Scott Hanson, Alderman Barb Stamer, the Historic Preservation Commission and other city officials who worked with the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway to design panels for the structure and bring the Route 66 Experience Hub to Edwardsville. Edwardsville is the sixth city along the route to install their exhibit.

The design of the structure was influenced by the fins of 1950s era automobiles. Attached to the “fin” are three panels, a large map showing the path of Route 66 through Illinois and two smaller panels showing local and regional attractions and Route 66 history. While reading about the Route 66 experience in Edwardsville, visitors can listen to Bobby Troup’s “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.”

The experience hubs also feature a tactile station where visitors can make a pencil rubbing of a design unique to each city. In Edwardsville the design is the Centennial Monument in City Park.

 

Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame

This week word was received that Edwardsville’s nomination of George Cathcart for the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame has been accepted. In 1922 George Cathcart and his wife purchased the Joseph Hotz house at 454 E. Vandalia in Edwardsville and opened it as a tourist home. Two years later, Cathcart built a modest hamburger stand next door at 456 E. Vandalia. As business grew, he expanded the building to include a large restaurant and grocery.

Cathcart’s Café became a popular stop along Route 66. The café building no longer exists, but the house just west of it that most recently housed the Galleria Hearth and Home, has been beautifully preserved. The Cathcarts later built tourist cabins next door to the house, some of which still exist. In the early 1930s the Cathcart Tourist Home and Cabins were sold to the Goddard family who rented rooms to Route 66 travelers for many years.

Cathcart was important to Edwardsville’s story of Route 66 not only because of his businesses, but because he led a successful fight in 1938 against state plans to move Route 66 away from Edwardsville’s business district.

 

Route 66 Festival

The 16th annual Edwardsville Route 66 Festival will kick off on June 6 with a sock hop and continue on Friday night and Saturday, June 7 and 8, with events in City Park. Classic cars, music, great food and family fun have proved to be a winning combination for the festival. The event is drawing people from an ever widening geographic circle of Route 66 fans. A full schedule of events will be published closer to the dates of the event visit www.edwardsvilleroute66.com.

 

New Route 66 Heritage Posters

Members of HPC along with designer Sherrie Hickman of Creative Options Graphic Design are creating posters reflecting the history of ten different Edwardsville buildings along Route 66 (now Route 157). The posters will be on display at the Route 66 Festival and in the store front windows of businesses interested in promoting their Route 66 history. A bright blue Route 66 shield will draw visitors to the buildings.

 

Writing About Route 66 in Edwardsville

Local author and historian Cheryl Eichar Jett has been spreading the word about Edwardsville’s Route 66 story through articles in regional Route 66 publications. During the past year she has written “Along Route 66,” a monthly column in the Prairieland Buzz covering Route 66 in Montgomery, Macoupin and Madison counties, and written specifically about Edwardsville in magazines for the Illinois and Missouri Route 66 Associations. She is the author of two books on the old highway, “Route 66 in Madison County” and “Route 66 in Springfield.” Jett also authored the successful Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame application for George Cathcart.

Until now, Edwardsville has not had a high profile in tourist publications describing historic Route 66. Fortunately, that situation is being remedied by folks with a love for America’s Mother Road and pride in Edwardsville’s heritage.

By Cindy Reinhardt – Intelligencer

Nov 132012
 



r111212xmaswindows.jpg



— It starts with plain brown paper and cardboard. Then come the sketches and the brush strokes — thousands of them.

By the time they are finished, June Stokes and Dixie Boyd-Carter will have committed more than 100 hours each to a labor of love that they hope will recapture what it was like when storefront windows in downtown Joplin were decorated for the holidays.

As Boyd-Carter draws black outlines around the windows of a skyscraper, Stokes weighs in on her work.

“That’s looking pretty good, girl,’’ said Stokes to her friend of more than 20 years. “I draw them up, and she helps paint them.’’

This year, they are tackling an ambitious task — the recreating of Route 66 from Chicago, Ill., to Santa Monica, Calif. The artists have created 22 panels that depict images one might see along the Mother Road. Among them are many that local residents will recognize.

The Route 66 panels will be placed in the Main Street windows of City Hall, the historic Newman Building, at Sixth and Main streets. They will be unveiled at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30.

“We used a Route 66 travel guide,” said Stokes, who is a gifted artist in that she can see an image and then recreate it by hand on paper. “I would see a little picture and think: That would be neat.’’

Boyd-Carter said, “This has been a lot of fun. It’s different than anything we have ever done. We like doing stuff like this together.’’

When the Newman Building was a department store, its window displays depicted the latest fashion trends with elaborate seasonal decorations, specialty items and a large assortment of toys.

To bring back the tradition, City Manager Mark Rohr and City Clerk Barbara Hogelin worked with the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2009 to implement the idea so the holiday magic of Joplin in the early 1900s could be relived.

Said Hogelin: “It creates a fun and festive atmosphere for the holidays. Many of our citizens may recall Newman’s windows being elaborately decorated for the holidays, but the younger generation may not have ever experienced anything like this. We are happy to share a little piece of history with them.’’

This year, as in past years, the Joplin Model Railroad Club will continue its tradition of providing a working model train for display. The 40-foot display will be presented in the windows facing Sixth Street.

Hogelin recruited Stokes and Boyd-Carter for the displays in 2009. The construction part of the project is being managed by Jeff Tennis and Rick Allen, maintenance mechanics for the city, who help assemble the various scenes for the display.

The Route 66 display will be used again this summer when Joplin plays host for the Route 66 Festival on Aug. 1-2.

After the unveiling of the Route 66 display, those attending can observe the Holiday Tree Lighting at 6:30 p.m. in Spiva Park at Fourth and Main streets. The event is put on by the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department staff.

By Wally Kennedy – The Joplin Globe

Oct 162012
 




About a month ago (or so) I posted I think it woudl be a GREAT idea to have Joplin host next years festival – it will be good to pump some much needed dollars into their economy especially after they are recovering from the 2011 tornado…

The International Route 66 Festival, an event that attracts thousands, will hit the road to Joplin next year.

Organizers of the festival, along with the director of the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau, announced Tuesday that the festival will be held Aug. 1-3 in Joplin.

The event was staged this year in Victorville, Calif., and last year in Amarillo, Texas.

Michael Wallis, the Tulsa, Okla., author of “Route 66: The Mother Road” and the voice of the sheriff in the animated movie “Cars,” said the festival is set around an annual meeting of eight state associations and the National Park Service to work on strategy for preserving and promoting the historic highway.

It features exhibits and presentations by authors and artists whose subject is the route. There will be a Main Street America Marketplace where vendors sell their Route 66-related memorabilia and merchandise.

This year’s event in Victorville offered a military display, a food and wine festival, a Miss Route 66 Pageant, and a bike rally.

Patrick Tuttle, director of the local tourism bureau, said the event locations have not been decided yet, but they can be spread through the area along the route. He said it is the intent of organizers to include cities along the route in Missouri in the event and to feature products made in Missouri.

Tommy Pike, with the Route 66 Association of Missouri, said that organization was formed in early 1990 by a handful of route enthusiasts, and has grown to involve members from 30 states and other countries.

“Hopefully this will be a festival everyone can get behind despite the adversity suffered here about a year and a half ago,” Pike said, alluding to the 2011 tornado. He said he hopes the festival will be a pleasant diversion for residents and will give the area an experience to build on in celebrating its heritage along the route.

Wallis said interest in the old highway, significant as the byway that took sightseers and those seeking a fresh start to the West, is still growing.

He is the author of 17 books on the West, and was hired as the consultant for the movie “Cars” and for the new amusement attraction Cars Land in the Disneyland amusement park.

Wallis said “Cars” and Cars Land are bringing up a new generation of Route 66 fans.

Debby Woodin – The Joplin Globe

Aug 262012
 

 



I find the article interesting only because while they are stating the rendezvous WILL take place – BUT they are still asking for donations. Also, I feel if this years event fails – it might be the last time this takes place….

The 23rd Annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous is taking place in downtown San Bernardino from Sept. 13-16. That is a fact. And, in an effort to provide some background information and clear up any misconceptions, here are more facts regarding the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Route 66 Rendezvous.

The Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous is solely owned and operated by the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau, a non-profit 501c(6) corporation, with major support from our partnerships with the city of San Bernardino, the county of San Bernardino and our event sponsors, particularly our title sponsor, Stater Bros. Markets. The first Rendezvous was held in 1990 in Devore with the collaboration from the Over the Hill Gang. The event has grown each year and now attracts over 500,000 spectators during the four-day extravaganza.

Established in 1989, the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau’s main mission is to serve as the marketing arm of the city by promoting travel and tourism opportunities.

Initial funding for the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau was provided by a Memorandum of Understanding with the city of San Bernardino, whereby the SBCVB would receive 20 percent of the TLT (Transient Lodging Tax) collected by the city. As the economy became depressed, over the years that percentage has decreased and for the past three years the majority of our funding came through the Economic Development Agency.

In order to produce the annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous all of the funds received from our sponsors, vendors, and car participants are used to pay the costs of the event, with an annual shortfall covered by the SBCVB. With the elimination of the Economic Development Agency and the subsequent loss of funding, coupled with the city’s current fiscal situation, there are no longer any funds available to subsidize any future losses on the Rendezvous.

While the 2012 Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous will take place in downtown San Bernardino this September, we are asking for the support of local businesses and individuals to help us cover the loss of funding and in-kind support from the city, as well as to help us continue to move forward in planning for next year’s Rendezvous.

Donations made will be allocated exclusively for the operational expenses of keeping the Route 66 Rendezvous in downtown San Bernardino.

Donations can be made on the www.route-66.org website by clicking on the different dollar amounts ranging from $10 to $250, making the donor a “Friend of the Rendezvous” as bronze, silver, gold, super or ultimate cruiser. There is also an account set up at the 1st Valley Credit Union, 401 W. Second St., San Bernardino, CA 92401.

Or, businesses can become “Business Friends of the Rendezvous.” For a $2,500 or $1,500 donation, businesses will receive a large banner to display at their business, hundreds of billboard images on the large electronic sign on the 10 Freeway near the 215 Freeway junction and the San Manuel electronic billboard on the 215 Freeway near the Second Street exit.

Wayne Austin is president and CEO of the San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau and wrote this article.