Calif. -- The
2012 Route 66 International Festival wrapped up on Sunday at the
San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, Calif. Each
year, the Route 66 International Festival takes place in one of
the eight states where "The Mother Road" runs through.
This was the first time it was held in southern California. Highlights
included the vintage car show, National Miss Route 66 Pageant,
Taste of 66 Food Truck and Wine Festival, Live Musical Entertainment,
a Military Display & Veterans Tribute, the Ross Bonnie Golf
Tournament and much more.
year, I go from Santa Monica to Chicago doing all sorts of car
shows to openings to pageants," said National Route 66 Ambassador
Terry Lea Smith. "I do on average 10 to 20 events per year.
Last year, the international festival was in Amarillo. I've lived
in the high desert for 30 years and when they said they were bringing
it here, I was over the top, just so excited. Eighty-five percent
of Route 66 is still drivable. I drive all the time, I don't fly
anywhere that I go. There is just little bits that you'll have
to get on Interstate 40 and then get back on Route 66. They're
trying to make it to the bottom of the Cajon Pass to finish going
all the way through the Foothill Boulevard. There is still little
two-lane highways, mom and pop little towns. The people are like
they've known you for 100 years."
little over 5,000 people visited this year's festival, according
to The Victorville Daily Press. That is down
from the 30,000 attendees that organizers and nearby business
owners were hoping for. It may have been due to the weather because
temperatures were over 100 degrees throughout the entire weekend.
really enjoying it," said Joe Stevenson from Hesperia, Calif.
"It's a great experience for my kids. I've lived here for
my whole life so I love old cars. This is the spot to be. I think
it's the whole experience. You can't say you just came here for
the cars or the food or the entertainment. The price was five
bucks and my kids were free. It's perfect. I have to drive a car
that seats eight, I have a Jeep Commander. It's just a great time.
We're going to look at some fancy cars right now."
200 classic cars were on display at the vintage car show on Saturday.
However, it was cut short due
to the threat of strong storms and the sirens from the National
Weather Service on the radio.
had it for about 10 years," said Jim Kennell, who showed
off his 1964 Ford Fairlane 500. "I've slowly been getting
it to where I got it in the condition it's in. No, I didn't build
the car myself. I do what I can do, but I have good friends who
helped me. I've had the transmission gone through. I just put
a brand new motor in it. It has a 289 with a four barrel and a
small cam. It's putting out about 320 horsepower. It's not a screamer--it
don't light up the tires. It's just a nice driver. We touched
up the paint. My son and I polished it all out and rubbed it out.
This is my first time showing it here. I do the big Route 66 fest
in San Bernardino. There's three or four other ones that I'll
be in. I don't have the record right now."
Don Seymour entertained audiences with his Tribute to Johnny Cash.
Classic pop/rock band The Working Poets, Will Glover (a tribute
to Chuck Berry) and David Presley's Elvis Experience also performed
on Saturday. Classic rock bands No Way Out and Heat entertained
visitors on Friday.
sister and I have the shop called 4 Women on the Route,"
said Melba Rigg of Galena, Kan. "We own the inspiration for
Tow Mater, which his name is Tow Tater. We found him in 2006 parked
up against a wall with a tree growing up through its boom. We
were asked by the city of Galena to get rid of him, he was an
eyesore. So we did, we sold him to a local farmer. But when we
did that, Michael Wallis, who is the voice of The Sheriff car
in the movie and the editor of Route 66: The Mother Road,
which we all call the bible, told us to get him back. 'He was
Tow Mater.' We said, 'Tow who?' We bought the building in 2006,
hadn't seen the movie yet. We went and watched the movie, laughed
ourselves silly and bought the truck back. We've been going strong
of 66" food and wine festival featured over 60 food trucks
from all over southern California.
was here this morning and I enjoyed it very well when all of the
cars were here," said Theodore Payne, an attendee from Victorville,
Calif. "I was very impressed so I went home and got the wife
and brought her back so she could have some delicious gourmet
food and see some cars and what not. It's been an excellent festival,
I've enjoyed myself very well. The cars were excellent, a kind
of nice, wide selection, more than I've anticipated. I don't want
to tell you I wasn't distracted by the beauty pageant for just
a moment. The food is off the hook. We're specialists in food,
so we're good on that. We'll come again."
group of 12 queens were crowned during the National Miss Route
66 Pageant. This year's winners include Monica Burrola for the
classic division, Cassidy Garrard for the junior talent division,
Kristina Lewis for the talent division and Terry Kafides as the
ambassador. Other new queens include Makenzie Vuiller (baby),
Olivia Roberts (petite), Keira Villafana (tiny), Nadya Crain (junior),
Hailey Lorance (pre-teen), Riley Hunsucker (junior teen), Kelly
Smith (teen), Sonali Mohanty (Miss), Wendy Lorance (Mrs.) and
Kara Knudsen (Ms.).
had this for about seven years," said Alan Ricard, who displayed
his 1953 Chevrolet 210 Club Coupe. "I bought this from a
gentleman in Williams, Ariz. He had it for a very long time and
owned a restaurant called Twisters on Route 66. It took me about
five years to talk him out of this car, but he finally gave in.
I've had it and restored it. I've rebuilt the engine, transmission,
all upholstery, tires, shocks, everything. It's a 235 with a six-cylinder
and a power glide. B.K. Automotive did the work for me. He's a
well known mechanic here in the high desert. This is the first
time we've had the festival in the high desert. We're very fortunate
here. We're doing a mural on the Route 66 museum. It's almost
finished. We're having this up and finished next month."
queens were introducing during a dinner on Saturday evening. The
banquet, titled "Hooray for Hollywood," was held inside
the Green Tree Inn hotel. Michael Wallis, a Pulitzer prize nominee
and the voice of The Sheriff in the "Cars" movies, delivered
the State of the Road address.
really great, it's really humid out here, but other than that,
it's great," said Morgan Kennedy, an attendee from Apple
Valley, Calif. "The cars are old, but they're pretty cool.
The weapons and everything, I like it in there. We haven't tried
the food yet. I want to get a funnel cake or pretzels. I like
David Presley, we listen to one of his shows every year. We come
out here every year."
festival t-shirts and hats were sold by 66 to Cali, a gift shop
located on the western terminus of Route 66 in Santa Monica, Calif.
All of its souvenirs are manufactured in the U.S.A. Dan Rice,
who is originally from Novi, Mich., owns and operates the gift
like the music, it's pretty nice," said Erin Brunson, another
attendee from Apple Valley, Calif. "Yeah, I like old cars.
They're pretty good. The tanks are pretty cool. I've seen some
of them before. They're pretty big. We were told the food truck
were way too expensive. I like the Elvis song 'Return to Sender.'"
classic car owners: mark your calendars! The 23rd Annual Stater
Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous is scheduled for Sept. 13 - 16, 2012
in downtown San Bernardino, Calif.