A reception for the first Route 66 Germany tour since 2019 was held at the historic Dunton Motors Dream Machines dealership on Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66) in Kingman, Arizona on July 20th. As Dries Bessels of the Dutch Route 66 Association was also in attendance the event highlighted the international nature of Route 66.
The event catered by Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner was hosted by the Route 66 Association of Kingman Arizona. The reception was the associations July meet and greet. Open to the public these monthly events are organized to foster development of cooperative partnerships within the community. They also provide business owners and community organizers with a better understanding of Route 66 related tourism.
For receptions such as this, Gene Kirkham, organizer of Chillin’ on Beale in Kingman, coordinates with local car clubs and the association to provide the visitors to Kingman with transportation from their motel to the event. In addition to giving visitors a memorable experience in Kingman, residents have an opportunity to interact with Route 66 travelers from throughout the world. They allso have a unique opportunity to develop international friendships as well as a better understanding about the interest in Route 66.
The Route 66 Association of Kingman Arizona was established in 1994 by Scott Dunton Sr., author Jim Hinckley, and community leaders who were passionate about revitalization of the historic business district and the Route 66 corrdior. Aside from the meet and greet, and a monthly newsletter about projects and promotional initiatives, the association also acquires and restores neon signage, partners with property owners to assist with facade renovation, and funds public arts projects such as the murals on the city’s signature water tanks along Route 66.
The association has also developed an array of initiatives for the marketing of Kingman as a destination for Route 66 travelers. In addition, they also provide funds to ensure Kingman has representation at events such as the European Route 66 festivals and the forthcoming Miles of Possibillity Conference in Pontiac, Illinois.
Route 66 Germany and the Dutch Route 66 Association are examples of the international passion for Route 66. There are also associations that organize events and that publish guide books about Route 66 in Canada, Japan, Poland and the Czech Republic. Companies that specialize in Route 66 tours, with detours to iconic locations in the southwest such as the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon and Monument Valley are based in the UK, Norway, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil.