Photo op: Permanent Route 66 drive-thru shield debuts on ‘National Drive-Thru Day’
The dedication ceremony for Kingman’s new, and permanent, Route 66 Drive-Thru Shield at the Powerhouse Visitor Center will be held on National Drive-Thru Day from 5–8 p.m. Saturday, July 24, and is set to include music and a car show.
The event will be held at the Powerhouse, 120 W. Andy Devine Ave., home of the Kingman Visitor Center and Arizona Route 66 Museum, the city wrote in a news release. The car show will be capped at 66 cars and all entrees must be a classic or custom from 1991 or earlier. Those interested must pre-register to participate.
The event will conclude with the inaugural lighting and first pass under the bright neon lights at sunset, or 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,” the city wrote, adding that public parking is available along Beale Street, adjacent to Locomotive Park at 310 W. Beale St.
Legacy Signs was selected to build the new landmark in early 2021, and construction and preparation began shortly after.
“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 city wrote in the release.
When visitors have asked in the past where they could take a picture with the shield, which they may have seen in brochures or pictures, the city’s answer was to return to Kingman for May’s Route 66 Fun Run, which incorporates the shield and is organized by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona.
“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 city continued. “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.”
Those gusty spring days have resulted in disappointment for participants in the years in which the temporary shields could not be erected.
“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,” the city wrote. “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.”
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@example.com.