Route 66 in the News

Route 66 Celebration Planned

2011-07-20 20:03:53

NEEDLES, Calif. - An 85th Route 66 celebration to be held Nov. 11 and 12 in Needles is taking shape as organizers continue to solidify plans for the event.

Linda Fitzpatrick, Eastern Vice President of the California Historic Route 66 Association, led the conversation for the group consisting of local community leaders. She reminded the group of where they left off on previous planning. She told group members they need to buckle down and establish more specifics so they can begin marketing the event and begin attracting participants. She said additional details can come later but she wants to solidify what activities are certainly going to happen versus what may happen so as to begin advertising.

Plans thus far are to have car show participants come into town around lunch time Nov. 11, sign into the hotel they are going to stay at and receive their “poker card.” They then will get ready to participate in a procession that will begin around the Burger Hut on Broadway. There will be a barbecue for the participants.

The second day of the event will feature a car show, a disc jockey playing 50s music and a street dance that evening. Group members are planning to have vendors at the event also. The event falls on Veteran's Day weekend so the group intends to include some type of patriotic ceremony to pay homage to veterans.

While plans are being solidified, they are still subject to change. The location of the car show is yet to be finalized along with what vendors will be available and other details.

Dan Stoltenberg of CamDan Recycling said he couldn't say with certainty the number of participants there will be in the car show. Stoltenberg is helping with putting the car show portion of the event together. He has previous experience, including the car show portion of the Route 66 Hot Boat and Custom Car Show held in February. He said most car clubs and individuals don't sign up for events until about two weeks prior, the main reason being weather. There is a lot of money put into the vehicles, he said. Car show participants don't want to drive those vehicles in inclement weather or have them sitting out in poor conditions. Stoltenberg said he agreed with getting the information out early so participants can plan to attend, but he can't say for certain how many will show up until closer to the event.

Group members also discussed the dinner portion of the first night of the event. The original idea was to have a barbecue outdoors behind Juicy's River Café and Best Western Colorado River Inn. Mike Bradley of Juicy's said he thought there needs to be an option for having some indoor dining as well. He said in November the wind could be an issue. “Eating is the most personal thing we do most often,” he said. “Adverse weather doesn't give that warm, fuzzy feeling.” He said he thought what they could do is have the conference room open to participants and others if they want out of the weather and to be warm. They could always go back outside for the events occurring behind the restaurant and hotel.

Bradley said the group wants to be sure to have some kind of alternative because if the weather is bad, then attendees are likely to leave the premises altogether and not come back. The idea is to keep participants and other attendees nearby so they can enjoy the entire event.

Fitzpatrick said her concerns with that are if the room is open, it will take away from the event. People may not stay outside or even go back to the outdoor event.

After some discussion, they agreed to have an indoor option available. Bradley pointed out there is fairly easy access to get in and out of the restaurant as needed.

The conversation also included who they may get to sing the National Anthem and getting a color guard for the patriotic ceremony. They discussed how to encourage participants to stay locally.

Another meeting will be held at 9 a.m. July 9 at Juicy's River Café, 2411 Needles Highway. The California Historic Route 66 Association will meet right after and they, too, will discuss the event. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. Anyone interested is welcome to attend either or both meetings. The association is always seeking new members. Dues are $20 for individuals and $50 for businesses.

~Jennifer Denevan, Needles Desert Star


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