Route 66 in the News
Route 66 Festival in Preparation
VICTORVILLE, Calif. - Victorville will host the 2012 International Route 66 Festival in less than four months, and organizers expect to entertain thousands of visitors with a classic car show, food trucks and Route 66-related events.
The festival is held each year in one of eight states the Mother Road runs through. This year’s event will take place from Aug. 9 through 12 mainly at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds.
“We want to educate locals about Route 66 and what it means to Victorville and the country,” said Sharon Foster, who co-chairs the 2012 festival and volunteers at the California Route 66 Museum in Victorville. “First, we’d like to put Victorville on the map. In ‘Get Your Kicks on Route 66,’ Victorville kind of got left out.”
The famous song by Nat King Cole mentions Barstow and San Bernardino, but not Victorville. Route 66 used to run through Seventh and D streets.
The festival will kick off Aug. 9 at Green Tree Inn with the invitation-only Route 66 summit, where representatives from each state will report on what’s happening along the road, Foster said.
The opening ceremony will take place the next day at the fairgrounds, where authors, artists and collectors will put up booths. About 40 vendors will offer foods from eateries along Route 66, according to Foster.
The vintage car show Aug. 10 and 11 will be open to classics, muscle cars, hot rods and trucks from 1900 through 1974.
Other events include:
- a poker run from either Needles or Santa Monica to Victorville on Aug. 10
- a showing of “American Graffiti” at the Skyline Drive-In theater in Barstow on Aug. 10
- a 1950’s-style evening banquet with live entertainment Aug. 10
The Daily Press reported in December that a co-chairman of the festival committee estimated the attendance to be more than 50,000. But he since stepped down, and organizers say the number was unrealistic.
Last year’s festival in Amarillo, Texas, attracted around 5,000 people including out-of-town fans and locals, Foster said.
“To be a really good event, we want over 10,000 people, but we are expecting about 6,500 people,” Foster said.
The festival is hosted by the California Historic Route 66 Association in collaboration with volunteers at the Victorville museum.
For more information about the festival, visit www.Route66Festival2012.com or contact Foster at (760) 885-9369.
~Tomoya Shimura, VVDailyPress.com