SELIGMAN, Ariz. – The Route 66 Fun Run is the largest and longest standing Route 66 rally in the world. The 2019 Run takes place May 3-5, marking the 32nd annual celebration.
The Fun Run is not a timed race but a 140 mile pleasure cruise of classic and custom vehicles that traverse the Mother Road from Seligman, Arizona to Topock/Golden Shores, Arizona. The rally takes place over three days. Last year, 788 vehicles participated in the cruise from Seligman to Topock.
According to the Fun Run committee, the run means many things to many people.
“To the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, it is their annual celebration of how much they’ve accomplished. To many participants it’s a chance to catch up with old friends who meet at the run every year. For Route 66 business owners between Seligman and Topock it’s a very busy time,” said Nikki Seegers, director of Operations for the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona.
Seegers said the Fun Run Committee has been busy working to make this run the best yet. This year, the Fun Run will debut a new drive thru shield and will have an expanded car show area and a fun scavenger hunt.
According to Seegers, the beloved drive-thru shield took a spill the last time it was put up, necessitating a new shield and a different approach. The committee decided to go with an inflatable shield, similar to the finish line at 5K runs.
“When you show someone a photo of a car driving under the iconic white and black arch, their first question is, where can I get a photo?” Seegers said.
Seegers said the new drive thru shield will be able to withstand more wind than the previous arch, up to 25 mph. It will also be more portable which enables the Association to set it up in more than one location during the weekend.
Additionally, because of a lack of parking spots last year, the committee has expanded road closures to Beale Street to include Second Street to Fifth Street in Kingman, Arizona.
This year will also mark the first scavenger hunt that has been held for participants in many years. During the hunt, participants find landmark Route 66 shields along the route.
“The committee thought it would be fun to bring back the idea and have participants identify unique Route 66 shields along the way,” Seegers said.
Winners who turn in their completed cards have a chance to win a prize in Topock at the awards ceremony.
Fun Run festivities start May 3, in Seligman with registration, live music and an impromptu car parade through town. Kingman will also be hosting the seventh annual Route 66 Drive-in event, featuring American Graffiti at Best Western King’s Inn at 8 p.m. that day.
The first leg of the journey officially begins at 10 a.m. May 4, with a cruise from Seligman to downtown Kingman led by the Grand Marshal Bob Boze Bell, author of The 66 Kid. Mr. Bell will have a meet and greet at the Powerhouse Visitor Center where he will be signing books from 2 – 4 p.m.
The route takes drivers through the attractions and communities of Grand Canyon Caverns, Peach Springs, Truxton, Valentine, Keepers of the Wild, Hackberry, Antares and Valle Vista.
Upon arrival in Kingman, participants line up their cars, trucks, motorcycles, trailers, buses and vans on Route 66 (Andy Devine Avenue) and Beale Street for a show and shine viewing and judging. Thousands of spectators enjoy vendors, food, music and the museums in Kingman’s historic district all afternoon until 5pm. After the car show enjoy a special cocktail hour hosted by Rickety Cricket Brewing on Beale Street.
The second leg of the journey begins Sunday morning, May 5. Departing from Kingman, participants head to Topock/Golden Shores for the final gathering and awards ceremony at 1 p.m.
All participants who complete the entire route from Seligman to Topock will receive a limited edition patch from the association. If you collect all 10 patches in the series, they fit together to form a large shield. Each patch features an Arizona Route 66 landmark.
Registration for the event is $60 per vehicle. The fee includes a shirt, dash plaque, commemorative license plate, custom tote bag, entrance to the Kingman Show-n-Shine and Topock/Golden Shores award ceremony. More information or to register is available at www.historic66az.com or (928) 753-5001.
Information provided by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona.