Williams travels back in time for Route 66 festival
Hot rods like the one above will cruise into Williams this weekend for the 6th Annual Cool Country Cruise-In and Route 66 Festival. Last year 124 vehicles were shown off during a park-and-shine show. This year, anitque cars and roadsters will line Route 66 for the celebration.
ÒGet out your blue suede shoes and poodle skirts, folks, because the time is turning back to the 1950s in Williams as we twist our way to the 6th Annual Cool Country Cruise-In and Route 66 Festival,Ó the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce monthly newsletter states.
This Saturday, Route 66 will be lined with antique cars and roadsters along with those from more recent eras.
ÒWeÕre going to have everything entered from Model TÕs to Prowlers and Vipers,Ó said Dave Pouquette, owner of Twisters 50Õs Soda Fountain/The Route 66 Place, 417 E. Route 66. ÒI think a majority will be Õ40s and Õ50s.Ó
ÒAll the net proceeds go to DARE,Ó he said. ÒThatÕs why we started all this. I think it will be much bigger this year and weÕre going have a great turn out.Ó
Last year the annual cruise-in was combined with the Route 66 Festival.
ÒThe 3rd Annual Battle of the Bands on Route 66 will begin with the two-year in a row winner, Truly Reckless, at the Mountain Side Inn (642 E. Route 66) from 2 to 3 p.m.,Ó said Pimi Bennett, event committee member and City of Williams/Forest Service Visitor Center information specialist. ÒAlong with that weÕre going to have the Best Dressed Couple contest Ñ both young and old Ñ so get your costumes ready.
ÒThen weÕre going to bee bop down to TwisterÕs because between 3 and 4 p.m. Pony Express will perform,Ó she said.
Twisters is also the home of the hula-hoop contest, which will be held during the bandÕs performance.
ÒThen we cruise on down to CruiserÕs CafZ 66 (233 W. Route 66) from 4 to 5 p.m. for Exit 64,Ó Bennett said. ÒAnd be on the look out of the King, because CruiserÕs is holding an Elvis look-a-like contest.
ÒWeÕll rock on to RodÕs Steak House next for the sounds of Pure Profit from 5 to 6 p.m.,Ó she said.
A limbo rock competition will take place while Pure Profit performs at RodÕs, 301 W. Route 66.
The four bands will be judged and whichever takes the top spot will perform during a sock hop at TwisterÕs from 6 to 10 p.m. and receive $1,000 in prize money.
ÒWeÕve got quite a few pre-registered,Ó said Pouquette about the cruise-in. ÒRegistration will begin between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The entrants will be the judges. Every entry will get a vote. We have 17 trophies to give away.Ó
Prizes for the best paint job, interiors and engines, along with many other categories, will be awarded at 4 p.m.
This year vendors will display their wares, food will be served, special performances are scheduled and a radio station will broadcast live from the event.
A precision motor- cycle group from Phoenix will arrive in town to perform during the cruise-in.
ÒIt will be six guys doing an exhibition behind Twisters at noon on Saturday,Ó Pouquette said.
All day Saturday, arts and craft vendors will be set up at Linear Park, located on Railroad Avenue behind Twisters.
ÒTheyÕll be open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.,Ó said Joan Larimore, chamber volunteer and event committee member. ÒThe food vendors will be in Mike PatelÕs Route 66 Inn parking lot, during the same hours. We have a variety of foods including Italian and Greek.Ó
There will also be two other vendors located at the Route 66 Inn, 128 E. Route 66.
ÒOne is a gal who does air brush tattoos that last two to three days,Ó Larimore said. ÒThe other gal does Asian bamboo items like wind charms, live fish and puppets on a string.Ó
COOL 96.7, which is owned by Red Rock Communications in Flagstaff, will broadcast live from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Twisters.
A number of local businesses and organizations have donated prizes for the contests. These include the Route 66 Roadstore, Twisters, Avon Gifts and Collectibles and Tom QuinnÕs Firearms, the Route 66 Inn, Pizza Factory, Pizza Hut, WhoÕs on Third, Jack-in-the-Box, Dairy Queen and the chamber.
Anyone who wants to step back in time and twist the day away is invited to break out those felt poodle skirts decorated with sequins and poodle designs, bowling shirts, blue jeans and bobby socks.
Style those fabulous locks with Brylecream or pull them back into ponytails and head to downtown Williams for a day filled with free events for the whole family.
For more information on SaturdayÕs Cool Country Cruise-In and Route 66 Festival, call the chamber at 635-1418.
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