Route 66 Festival

Route 66 Festival

Summer
Known as the "Mother Road" and "America's Main Street," Route 66 once carried travelers across the southern part of the United States for over 2,400 miles, passing through some of Arizona and New Mexico's most scenic areas. But when Interstate 40 was built in the 1960s, Route 66 was bypassed, causing great economic hardship to the communities—some of them Native American—that depended on the highway for their livelihood. Entire towns were boarded up, and miles of the road bed were replaced with cornfields.
The movement to "Save Historic Route 66" by promoting heritage tourism along the historic highway began in the late 1960s and has been going on ever since. Route 66 festivals have been held in several towns and cities located along the old highway, particularly Landergin, Texas, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Clinton, Oklahoma, where the Route 66 Museum is located. They feature such events as lectures by authors who have written books about the highway, the showing of films involving Route 66, photographic and art exhibits, and music by such well-known performers as the late Bobby Troup, best remembered for his hit song, "Get Your Kicks on Route 66."
The Route 66 National Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in Albuquerque July 20-22, 2001. It was the site of the annual Steinbeck Awards Dinner, at which an award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to preserving Route 66.
CONTACTS:
New Mexico Route 66 Association
1415 Central Ave. N.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-852-2995
www.rt66nm.org
Oklahoma Historical Society
2401 N. Laird Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
800-288-2577 or 405-521-2491; fax: 405-521-2492
www.ok-history.mus.ok.us