KINGMAN – The temperatures will be cool for what organizers of the Best of the West on Route 66 Festival plan on being a blazing good time for attendees.
The festival, which kicks off today at 3 p.m. and runs all day Saturday, is a spinoff of the hugely successful International Route 66 Festival hosted in Kingman in 2014. The event was renamed and coordinated along with the Andy Devine Days PRCA Rodeo in 2015 to give visitors a full taste of southwestern flavor.
“We think this is going to be a great event,” said Josh Noble, festival committee chairman. “So far, so good. The phone’s been ringing off the hook. It’s going to be a blast,” said Noble.
He said they have lined up more than 40 vendors that highlight the local ambiance, and there will be plenty of variety for people to check out and enjoy.
And it won’t just be locals. Noble and his team have reached out to the Phoenix area with eight digital advertising billboards and also with promotions in Las Vegas along with social media, radio and newspapers.
Festival-goers can find out about all of the activities and pick up a pamphlet with a map at the festival headquarters, which will be at Beale Celebrations, 201 N. Fourth St. Pamphlets are also available at the Powerhouse.
On the last page of the pamphlets is a festival passport. Get all 20 squares stamped by vendors/participating businesses for a chance to win one of several prizes valued at $50 to $250. Rules are on the page.
One of the big draws to the festival is that many of the attractions are free and run both days.
On tap is the Hualapai Mountain Resort Rock Wall. The 25-foot high wall will challenge rock climbers of all ages.
Another event sure to be a hit is the Kingman Chevrolet Buick Mechanical Bull. There will be free rides and competitions with a split pot for winners. Riders must be 18 years of age.
Giant Water Slide
For those who don’t mind getting wet, the Hualapai River Runners Monster Water Slide is offered. It features a 24-foot drop.
All of those wishing to try out the above-mentioned attractions need to sign a liability waiver, which will get them a wristband. That can be done at festival headquarters at Beale Celebrations. Most of the attractions run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight and from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.
For the little ones there will be a toddler playground, located on the grass near Oak and 4th streets.
For the older ones, a beer garden and free street concert is planned from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. tonight.
Human Tractor Pull
For those interested in a team event, the Tractor Supply Co. Tractor Pull Competition might suffice. Contestants will be able to test their strength for the best time tonight from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Teams will consist of either five men for the men’s division or two women and three men in the Coed Division. Teams are required to pull the tractor 100 feet. Entry fees are $100 per team, and the winning team will receive 50 percent of the registration intake for their division.
Spectator seating will be available for the race, located on Beale Street between 4th and 5th streets.
A definite crowd-pleaser will be the Anderson Ford Lincoln of Kingman Best of the West Car Show on Saturday. It’s a celebration of “anything on wheels, featuring boats on trailers, ATVs, side-by-sides, rat rods, hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles, military vehicles, tractors, travel trailers and bicycles.
Registration and staging will take place on Spring and Fourth streets between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cars will enter Beale Street from under the shield on 5th Street approaching from Andy Devine. There will be no access to Beale Street until 1 p.m.
Hot Wheel Drag Races
There will be Hot Wheel drag races and a 50/50 drawing for raffle prizes. Judging starts at 3 p.m., and awards will recognize the Hot Ten, Mayor’s Choice and Best of Show.
Attendees can find inspiration for a memorable vacation or weekend getaway at the Beale Celebrations Travel Expo. Acclaimed travel writers will be on hand and travel planning assistance will be available.
The Travel Expo runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.