The attractions along the road make Route 66 a road trip of a lifetime. You can stop at a giant green head, the largest dry cavern in the United States, and a meteor crater. These one of a kind stops make a Route 66 road trip exciting from start to finish.
The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona knows the value of the attractions on Route 66 in Arizona. They recognize preservation of icons like Standin’ on the Corner Park are vital to the continued success of the road. The Association was excited to donated to the Standin’ on the Corner Foundation. A $10,000 check was presented to the Foundation at the Annual Arizona Route 66 meeting held July 19th in Williams, Arizona.
The Eagle’s 1972 song, Take It Easy, took on a physical form at the corner of Kinsley & E. 2nd St. in Winslow Arizona at the Standin’ on the Corner Park. The Foundation bearing the same name created the park for visitors to step into the song. The unique attraction is visited by an estimated 125,000 visitors annually.
A 2004 fire in an adjacent building damaged the wall at the park as well as the mural. It necessitated the Foundation to secure the wall, rework the mural, and more securely attach the mounting boards to the wall. The Standin' on the Corner Foundation, a 501 (c)(3), has been working to bring the mural back to its former glory since the fire happened. The project has experienced it’s fair share of challenges. A specialist attempted to brighten the colors of the mural. It was then realized the mural would need to be completely redone. Once this decision was made, it was also decided to drill through the 18 inch concrete wall to secure the panels better.
World renowned artist, John Pugh, completed the original mural at the Standin’ on the Corner Park in 1999. He was contracted to return to Winslow and recreate the mural. Mr. Pugh will be using a new mural method, by which he’s painting on a non-woven material that will adhere to an aluminum composite board when complete. The boards will then be attached to the wall at the park. The Foundation hopes that with the new mural method, along with securely attaching the panels, it will endure for a long time at this iconic stop. As of 2019 the Foundation has spent over $17,000 on the project.
The Foundation hopes the mural project will be complete by their Annual Standin’ on the Corner Festival September 27th & 28th or by the end of the year.
It should not take long for drivers in Arizona to spot the black and white Route 66 license plate as the eye catching specialty plate has achieved great success adorning a recorded 13,833 vehicles. Available since late 2016, the design and approval process for the specialty plate was lengthy and expensive. Requirements for an Arizona specialty plate include a $32,000 contribution, an organizational history of at least 30 years, and allocated monies to a charitable organization with 501 (c)(3) status.
Eight dollars from the sale of the $25 plate is used for administrative purposes, leaving the remaining $17 for the Association. Revenue from last year’s plate sales totaled $231,161.
The Association is proud of their progress and perseverance. They were honored for their hard work when the plate was recognized by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association (ALPCA) as the Best Plate of the Year for 2016.
The Association is excited about the new opportunities available for the road thanks to the license plate program’s success with revenue being used for preservation and grant opportunities. The Association has hired an attorney to assist in the creation of long term programs to ensure license plate revenue is responsibly allocated. Much thought and consideration is required to ensure that sustainable, impactful projects and causes are supported. Several projects are currently under consideration and the Association will announce some projects and new programs in the near future as they become available.
The Association is moving away from a membership based organization in order to focus on becoming a resource to Arizona Route 66 businesses and communities. Key community members and business owners will gather this week for their annual Arizona Route 66 meeting. The group will be celebrating Route 66 in Arizona, share successes, as well as identify projects and preservation opportunities that would benefit the Arizona Route 66 community.
In the early years, the budget was tight, so an all volunteer force supported the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona’s mission to preserve, promote, and protect Route 66 in Arizona. The Association now has a full time Director of Operations and operates a Gift Shop inside the Powerhouse Visitor Center in Kingman, Arizona. The Association is governed by a Board of Directors who represent Route 66 across Arizona.
Angel Delgadillo, President Emeritus and founding member of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, has always stressed the importance of individuals contributions and enthusiasm that continue to make Route 66 special and an experience like no other destination. That is exactly what the license plate program does, allows individuals to support the Association in their mission as well as advertise one of Arizona’s greatest economic assets, Route 66.