OKC VeloCity | Route 66 Centennial Celebration to launch next summer

Route 66 Centennial Celebration to launch next summer

By Staff Reports / Member News / September 30, 2020

A national celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of U.S. 66 will start in Oklahoma with a weeklong road festival that AAA Oklahoma will kick off next June.

 “Ever since Tulsa’s Cyrus Avery helped pioneer the U.S. highway system in the 1920s, the Mother Road has been intrinsically connected to Oklahoma and its early history,” said Jared Peterson, president, AAA Club Alliance Great Plains Region.  “So, it is only fitting that Oklahoma will be first in line to begin a national celebration of the 2,400-mile highway’s 2026 Centennial.”

The AAA U.S. 66 Road Fest event will stretch from Tulsa to Oklahoma City and include communities all along the state’s 420-mile section of historic highway. 

The Road Fest will begin in Tulsa’s River Spirit Expo at Expo Square June 18 and 19, then move to the Bennett Event Center on the OKC Fairgrounds June 25 and 26.

Both events will feature immersive historical journeys through the decades, allowing visitors to travel through time from the 1920s to futuristic visions of the Great American Road Trip. No family friendly festival would be complete without food, games, live music and more.  Of course, there will also be RVs, motorcycles, and cars, lots of cars, ranging from classic cars, and remote-controlled cars to automated vehicles destine for the future of mobility.

During the celebration, Oklahoma communities will swing open their doors to thousands of visitors touring the landmarks, museums and other sites that distinguish the Mother Road from any other highway in the world.  

“With more miles of Route 66 than any other state, Oklahoma can’t wait to join AAA as it prepares to celebrate the Mother Road’s centennial,” said Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell.

“The AAA Route 66 Road Fest will provide a tremendous opportunity to embrace the Great American Road Trip, while taking advantage of everything our state has to offer. From unique road stops like the Blue Whale, to colorful restaurants and diners like the Rock Café. Oklahomans and travelers from across the nation can easily see why our state is the hub of America, and the hub of Route 66,” Pinnell said.

The AAA Route 66 Road Fest is being endorsed by major stakeholders, such as the National Park Service, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, Convention & Visitors Bureaus in Tulsa and Oklahoma City as well as a growing list of car clubs, RV camper groups and motorcycle associations.

Proceeds from the event will be used to help fund the Route 66 Revival Fund, which AAA Oklahoma has established through the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to support improvements. Money from the fund will be used to pay for signage, beautification, walkability, street lighting, bike lanes, historical markers, restrooms, and other amenities along Oklahoma’s stretch of Route 66.

Vendor booth spaces will be available at both event locations to provide Route 66 enthusiasts an opportunity to engage the attendees during this weeklong festival. For additional information, visit www.route66roadfest.com or contact Ronda Adkisson at ronda.adkisson@route66roadfest.com    

For more information, visit www.route66roadfest.com

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