Dutch tour operator Dries Bessels and his wife Marion this week were officially honored as Route 66 Walk of Fame in Kingman, Arizona, as Dries brought a group of 50 of his fellow countryman on a cross-country journey on the Mother Road, according to the Kingman Daily Miner.
The Walk of Fame was created, Dora Manley said, to “acknowledge and honor people who were or are instrumental in the development and continued appreciation of our Mother Road.” Marion was unable to attend; she was back in her home country.
They rode from downtown to the Canyon 66 Restaurant and Lounge at the Ramada in style, thanks to regular participants in the Chillin’ on Beale Street Car Show and Block Party, who chauffeured the city’s foreign guests in their classic automobiles.
Manley said Dries and Marion are founding members of The Dutch Route 66 Association. The couple, she said, helps Europeans – where the highway is wildly popular – plan tours to the U.S. and Route 66.
They also hold receptions for American Route 66 enthusiasts who visit Europe. They also support Route 66 preservation initiatives, both in the U.S. and Europe, said Manley.
Other 2015 inductees are Czech Route 66 Association founders Zdnek and Eva Jurasek, Australian Route 66 enthusiasts Dale and Kristi-Anne Butel and longtime Route 66 artist and researcher Jerry McClanahan. The Walk of Fame is part of the inaugural Best of the West on Route 66 Festival in Kingman later this month.
UPDATE 9/12/2015: Frank Kocevar update this video a few hours ago that included footage from the award presentation.
(Image of Dries Bessels by Lynne Kocevar via Facebook; hat tip to Jim Hinckley)