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Permanent Route 66 Drive-Thru Shield debuts on July 24,2021

“Where can I go to get my picture under that?” is a common question at the Kingman Visitor Center. Maybe they saw it in a brochure, on a TV show, or online somewhere. But the answer has always been “Come back in May during the Route 66 Fun Run. ” The annual Fun Run event, organized by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, is where the 66 Drive Thru Shield has been a main-stay since it was introduced in 1991.

Tens of thousands have since made the pass under the “Historic Route 66” Drive-Thru, making it an iconic symbol of the Arizona Route 66 Experience. The temporary shields have been of various construction over the years, each one an improvement from the last. But all of them remained susceptible to wear and tear and - perhaps mostly - to Kingman spring winds.

Fun Run participants would return every year, excited about the prospect of driving under the famous sign, but there were many years without a drive thru experience due to gusty spring days. The Kingman Office of Tourism and Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona recognized this as an opportunity to commission a permanent sign for all to experience – on any weekend or weekday, any day or night. Plans for a permanent Drive-Thru were set in place, and the anticipated return of American road trips in 2021 seemed to make the timing especially serendipitous.

Legacy Signs was selected to build the new landmark early 2021, construction and preparation began in short order. The new Drive-Thru shield is nearing completion and soon to be permanently installed near the Powerhouse, home of the Kingman Visitor Center and Arizona Route 66 Museum. Engineered to withstand high gusty winds, the new sign will provide the ever-present opportunity for travelers and road trippers to stop in Kingman and commemorate their time on the Mother Road.

The dedication ceremony will be held on National Drive-Thru Day, Saturday, July 24, from 5pm to 8pm. It will be celebrated with music and a car show hosted in the Powerhouse parking lot. The car show will be capped at 66 cars, first-come first-served, all car show entrees must be a classic or custom from 1991 or earlier and must pre-register to participate. Registration is free and can be made over the phone, by email, or in person at the Kingman Visitor Center.

The evening event will wrap up with the inaugural lighting and first pass under the bright neon lights at sunset, approximately 7:45 pm. Car show participants will follow in procession, driving under the shield directly following the inaugural lighting. All are welcome to witness the momentous occasion, public parking is available nearby on Beale Street adjacent to Locomotive Park.

For more information or to register for the car show, call the Kingman Visitor Center at 928-753-6106 or email Josh Noble at jnoble@cityofkingman. gov.

Posted:
07/02/2021
Written by:
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