Route 66 in the News
National Route 66 Event Scheduled
BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. - Thousands of Route 66 enthusiasts from around the country, plus Europe and Asia, are expected to converge June 17-20 in the area.
The Kansas Historical Route 66 Association is sponsoring the national Route 66 convention at Downstream Casino Resort. Carolyn Pendleton, director of the Baxter Springs Route 66 Visitors’ Center, and Renee Charles with Four Women on the Route, Galena, announced the plans on Friday.
“This is the national Route 66 community getting together,” Pendleton said of the annual event.
The event is being called Tri-State International Route 66 Adventure 2010.
The Route 66 Summit Meeting takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 17. That event is open to the general public.
Pendleton and Charles said most of the convention events will be held in the pavilion at Downstream. They said Route 66 groups in each of the three states involved also will sponsor side trips for participants.
Two events being promoted are a Hornet Spook Light cruise and a visit to a Route 66 preservation project at the viaduct in Galena.
The Kansas organizers said past annual conventions have been held in Flagstaff, Ariz., and Litchfield, Ill. They said groups in Belgium and Japan already had notified them that they will be among the participants.
The event will include Route 66-themed vendors, authors, artists, historians and other enthusiasts.
National awards will be presented at an awards banquet on Saturday, June 19. The late Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire will be remembered during the event.
A Taste of Route 66 event is planned for Friday, June 18.
A classic car and motorcycle show will be part of the event.
The Kansas Historic Route 66 Association has worked closely with the Joplin (Mo.) Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Miami (Okla.) Chamber of Commerce to plan for the event.
Vince Lindstrom, director of the Joplin CVB, said his organization will be promoting the event in California, New Mexico and Arizona. He said the planned Mother Road Marathon on Oct. 10 and the national Route 66 convention show that the region is taking advantage of its Route 66 connection.
“I am just delighted we’re starting to work Route 66 as a region,” Lindstrom said. He said the stretch of the road that includes Joplin and Carthage in Missouri, Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs in Kansas, and Miami, Okla., is the best the road has to offer.
“We think we’re kind of in an ideal location” in the midpoint of the old highway, Lindstrom said. “We’re Main Street, America.”
Vince Lindstrom, director of the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Tri-State International Route 66 Adventure 2010 at Downstream Casino Resort, comes the week after Boomtown Days in Joplin. He said it will allow Joplin residents to celebrate for another week.
~Roger McKinney, Joplin Globe