Two Route 66 festivals on the same weekend but more than 1,500 miles part drew good crowds over the Sept. 25-27 weekend.
The president of the board of directors for the 14th annual International Route 66 Mother Road Festival in downtown Springfield, Illinois, told the State Journal-Register that festival attendance was up “substantially” this year.
The Friday night Cruise for Crime Stoppers had a record 2,135 cars, cars that registered to be judged numbered 1,100, “the most we’ve ever had,” and Springfield police, who have estimated crowds at 80,000 during the past several years’ festivals, “indicate this year that the crowds were up,” Rosendahl said.
“We parked cars on streets and in parking lots that we’ve never used before,” she said. “We literally ran out of real estate for cars downtown, which was amazing.”
Good weather was cited for the strong attendance.
The second annual Best of the West on 66 festival in Kingman, Arizona, “went over pretty well,” the organizers already are working on setting up a 2016 edition, reported the Kingman Daily Miner.
The festival built on the success of last year’s International Route 66 Festival in Kingman that drew about 8,000 and coincided with this year’s Andy Devine Days Parade and PCRA Rodeo at Mohave County Fairgrounds.
Plans are already under way for next year’s festival with a greater emphasis on international marketing.
“Since they’re already making plans for next year, I feel it was a huge success for Kingman,” said Jim Hinckley, who was named “King of the Mother Road” and signed festival programs for visitors. “I’ve had inquiries from Australia and Europe.”
Frank Kocevar, who went to the Best of the West event, put together this video from it, starring Route 66 author Jim Hinckley: