Permanent Route 66 Drive-Through Shield debuts on “National Drive-Thru Day,” Saturday, July 24, 2021
KINGMAN, Ariz. – The dedication ceremony will be held on “National Drive-Thru Day,” Saturday, July 24, from 5-8:00 p.m. It will be celebrated with music and a car show hosted at the Powerhouse, home of the Kingman Visitor Center and Arizona Route 66 Museum, located at 120 W Andy Devine Avenue, Kingman, Arizona. The car show will be capped at 66 cars, all car show entrees must be a classic or custom from 1991, or earlier and must pre-register to participate. For more information or to register for the car show, call the Kingman Visitor Center at (928) 753-6106 or email Kingman Tourism Director Josh Noble at [email protected].
The evening event will wrap up with the inaugural lighting and first pass under the bright neon lights at sunset, approximately 7:45 p.m. 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.
Legacy Signs was selected to build the new landmark early 2021, construction and preparation began in short order. The new drive thru sign 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.
“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.