AAA Oklahoma Resumes Route 66 Centennial Countdown

Start your engines and get ready to travel because the AAA’s Route 66 Road Fest centennial celebration is out of the garage and back on course. Postponed for one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, planning has resumed for the event, now set for June 18-26 of 2022.

The Road Fest will be a weeklong celebration of the highway’s history and the event will initiate a five-year-long ramp-up to the highway’s 2026 centennial, which will be observed in cities across the country and draw visitors from around the world.

“As disappointed as we were to delay our event, we are as excited as ever to be moving forward with planning for 2022, when families, car enthusiasts and Route 66 lovers from around the country will begin the celebration,” said Jared Peterson, president of AAA Club Alliance Great Plains Region.

The nine-day event will begin on June 18 at OKC Fairgrounds, and it will end in Tulsa’s SageNet Center at Expo Square on June 26. Meanwhile, all 420 miles of Route 66 in Oklahoma will be at center stage as visitors join the celebrations in OKC and Tulsa, then experience the Mother Road’s historic charm first-hand along the way.

“Ever since Tulsa’s Cyrus Avery helped pioneer the U.S. highway system in the 1920s, Route 66 has been intrinsically connected to Oklahoma and its early history,” said Tulsa Regional Tourism President Ray Hoyt. “It’s only fitting that Oklahoma will be first in line to begin a national celebration. After all, Tulsa has been celebrating the historic highway since it was built.”

Weekend events in Oklahoma City and Tulsa will feature immersive historical journeys through the decades, allowing visitors to travel through time from the 1920s to futuristic visions of the Great American Road Trip. No family friendly festival would be complete without food, games, live music and more. All types of vehicles will be represented, including RVs, motorcycles, and especially cars, ranging from classic cars, and remote-controlled cars to automated vehicles destined for the future of mobility. Go to Road Fest to see a video that gives a taste of what is to come at next year’s centennial celebration.

“Travelers can view our state capitol from Route 66 as they pass through Oklahoma City, so it’s been a part of our fabric for as long as this iconic road has been in existence,” said Zac Craig, president of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We can’t wait to kick off the celebration next June and show the nation and the world why the Mother Road is such an icon.”

The event has been endorsed by major stakeholders, such as the National Park Service, the nationally recognized Road Ahead Partnership, the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation as well as the Oklahoma Route 66 Alliance and the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, all dedicated to furthering the importance of the Mother Road. Proceeds from the event will be used to help fund the Route 66 Revival Fund, established by AAA Oklahoma to support improvements.

Vendor booth spaces will be available at both event locations to provide Route 66 enthusiasts an opportunity to purchase unique Route 66 souvenirs as reminders of this inaugural event. Contact Ronda Adkisson for more information about booths.