It was a delightful and fun filled event that my dearest friend and I enjoyed immensely. Even better, it was an event that was shared with, and enjoyed by friends from the Netherlands.
The Best of the West on 66 Festival was but one manifestation of how Kingman, Arizona was transformed by the 2014 Route 66 International Festival.
The long dormant Route 66 Association of Kingman was reactivated shortly after that event, and has become a leader in historic district revitalization initiatives, in the fostering of a sense of community purpose, the marketing of Kingman internationally, and an array of beautification projects.
As examples, in partnership with the local True Value store, the Hualapai Tribe, and Legacy Signs, the organization launched an ongoing graffiti clean up program, a mural program, and neon sign restoration program. They have also contributed signs for organizations and businesses such as Luv of Paws and Route 66 Car Wash.
In partnership with the Graves family, the facade renovation at the Old Trails Garage, a current project, is generating tremendous international interest.
In large part this is resultant of the recovery and restoration of a towering circa 1930 neon lit Packard sign that hasn't seen the sun since the 1940's. The lighting of this sign will surely serve as a catalyst for revitalization a block that is at the heart of the historic business district.
Good times and good friends were the order of the day this past weekend. I didn't expect anything different. After all, these are exciting times in Kingman, Arizona.