Route 66 News

Route 66 Rendezvous moving to another town with a new name

The Route 66 Rendezvous classic-car show, canceled this year in the traditional host city of San Bernardino, Calif., because of the town’s financial woes, is moving to nearby Ontario, Calif., with a new name, according a post over the weekend from the Rendezvous’ Facebook page.

The event will be renamed the Route 66 Reunion, and will take place along Euclid Avenue in Ontario on Sept. 20-22.

According to the Facebook page’s writer:

I am existed to say that I have been hired by the Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau to make this car show bigger and better. The San Bernardino Convention & Visitors Bureau has given me their full support and is backed me in my efforts to continue to keep the car show in the Inland Empire. However, they will keep custody of the name “Route 66 Rendezvous.”

I know you want an event like the Rendezvous to continue, and there are several other organizations willing to put their hat in the ring, but this could be the only solution to continuing a QUALITY car show like the Route 66 Rendezvous. The challenges with doing the car show on the downtown streets of San Bernardino became greater with an unpleasant element at night. We want to give the car enthusiast back the freedom they once had to relax and enjoy the reunion of family and friends while sitting next to their babe.

The Route 66 Reunion would have the same elements as the Rendezvous with vendors, entertainment, contests and a continuous 3-mile cruise route looping around Euclid Avenue from Holt Blvd to 6th Street. Euclid has 3-lanes to park cars on both sides and cruise down the middle. There are businesses, historic homes, and a beautiful grass median about 50 feet wide with trees for participants to sit under, historic monuments, and a gazebo. It really has a great feel and I think it would be a perfect location for the car participants.

I believe the Route 66 Reunion could pull the same if not more attendance and car participants as the Rendezvous. I hope you will stand by me and participate.

Organizers in February canceled the Rendezvous, scheduled for Sept. 19-22, after the City of San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy and the state eliminated funding for the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The City of Ontario offered to host the Rendezvous just days after its cancellation. And organizers in March reportedly were in talks with Beaumont, Calif., to host the event.

Ontario sits about 20 miles west of San Bernardino. It never was part of Route 66, but lies just a few miles south of the Mother Road communities of Rancho Cucamonga and Upland.

UPDATE 4/23/2013: The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that Shelly McNaul, former director of special events for now-defunct San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau, wrote the Facebook post.

UPDATE2: The San Bernardino County Sun reported that San Bernardino is hosting a competing car festival the same weekend:

Meanwhile, an alternative car show, Rendezvous Back to Route 66, is scheduled for the same weekend at San Manuel Baseball Stadium in San Bernardino. The car show is being planned by the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce and car clubs, including Over the Hill Gang, according to chamber president and CEO Judi Penman.