The recently restored Crestwood Bowl neon sign was relighted Saturday evening in a well-attended ceremony at the bowling facility, on the Watson Road alignment of Route 66 in the St. Louis suburb of Crestwood, Mo.
Jim Thole, in a news release, noted the temperature coincidentally was 66 degrees when the switch was thrown on the sign at 6:48 p.m. An estimated 300 people attended.
It was a big local event, to say the least … so big, in fact, that parking overflowed across Watson Road onto a shopping center lot — where cars lined up along the outer spaces and their occupants sat along Watson Road in lawn chairs, waiting for the relighting — just like a summertime parade!
The three-color neon sign had been dark for over three years, until a cost-share grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program assisted the owners with the restoration of this well-known sign. The historic neon sign, erected 55 years ago in 1957, is the only vintage 66 neon sign still lighted on the primary Watson Road alignment in St. Louis County. Furthermore, it is one of only three signs in St. Louis County designated as a County Landmark by the Historic Buildings Commission of St. Louis County.
The event included music, commemorative cakes, a commemorative T-shirt, classic cars, large banners over the parking lot, and a special program. Two aldermen for the Crestwood City Council also delivered remarks.
The last speaker was Crestwood Bowl co-owner Ray Bluth, who expressed delight in seeing his sign shining again. Bluth was a three-time Professional Bowlers Association champion, and a member of the Budweiser bowling team that won the national title four times. He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1975.
Ray Bluth’s wife, Carol, and their son, Mike Bluth, also are co-owners of Crestwood Bowl.
UPDATE: It looks like the videographer is trying to re-create part of the “Sh-Boom” sequence from the movie “Cars.”
(Photos courtesy of Jim Thole)