The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership updated its ongoing project report on September 30, 2022. The new report is available on its website, www.route66roadahead.org (by clicking on the “News” or “Resources” tabs). The most significant updates are in the areas of Association Advocacy, Preservation, and Research and Education.
The Route 66 State Associations Advocacy Working Group collaborates with each other and the Road Ahead Board of Directors to share common interests, opportunities, and support. This third quarter report identifies three current needs and three common interests and opportunities.
The first goal is assembling a list of all the annual Route 66 events in all eight states. Additionally, New Mexico is seeking guidance and help in establishing its own state Centennial Commission. Finally, the Working Groups welcomes any assistance available in speeding up the California Department of Transportation work on San Bernardino bridges to promote completion prior to the 2026 celebration.
|The Springfield, MO, “birthplace event” was well received and well attended this summer. Missouri and Texas are both experiencing high participation in motor tours in 2022. Finally, a report on the Oklahoma AAA Route 66 Road Fest indicates that the inaugural event was well received, if not well attended.
AAA sponsored the Road Fest in Oklahoma this year, with plans to help develop similar events in all Route 66 states leading up to the Centennial in 2026. They have already completed a site visit in Amarillo, TX. The AAA Road Fest project supports objectives of both the Road Ahead’s Association Advocacy Working Group and its Promotion Working Group.
The Preservation Working Group has completed its Quick Reference Guide for Financial Incentives. The Historical Preservation Toolkit, also now completed, will be made available when the Centennial Commission website launches. The other big project is planning for the 100th birthday “Party with a Purpose.” Much work continues to be done on this important milestone event, but cannot be made official until the White House approves the Centennial Commissioners and their first meeting is scheduled. The goal is for the inaugural meeting to be held before the end of 2022.
The Research and Education Group made significant progress in three areas. One exciting report was that the “History of Route 66” article from Oxford Research Encyclopedia is now permanently available online. In addition, the “Bibliography of Route 66” (David Dunaway and Steve Mandrogoc, 2022) will be available in print and online in December. Finally, the National Endowment for Humanities has awarded a grant to train 72 teachers on a new, multi-cultural curriculum based on the Mother Road in Flagstaff, AZ, in July 2023.
You can find more details and more updates in the full report available on the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership website (www.route66roadahead.org).
Established in 2015, with the support of the National Park Service and the World Monuments’ Fund, The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership’s mission is to revitalize and sustain Route 66 as a national and international icon through partnerships focused on promotion, preservation, research and education, and economic development.
Bill Thomas, Chairman
Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership