About 200 attend relighting of neon sign of Hi-Way Cafe near Vinita

Approximately 200 gathered Saturday evening to view a relighting ceremony for the neon sign of the Hi-Way Cafe near Vinita, Oklahoma.

It was the first time in about 30 years the sign experienced a glow from its neon tubing. Tom Schwartz, who built the Route 66 restaurant and its sign in 1963, threw the switch for the sign around dusk.

Rhys Martin, president of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, reported that attendees came from six states for the ceremony.

Next are images from Facebook posted from the event, including before the sign was turned on:

Here is a short video of the relighting itself:

And here is the archived live stream from the event by Rich Dinkela, president of the Route 66 Association of Missouri:

The Hi-Way Cafe in October received a $17,200 cost-share grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program to restore the sign. The Route 66 Association of Missouri Neon Heritage Preservation Committee also assisted in the project.

The restaurant last summer also was one in 25 to receive a $40,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Small Restaurants Grant Program.

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