Remember those old boss cars with the slick paint jobs and bold chrome that used to dominate the roads? Well, you can hop into a time machine down memory lane at the annual Route 66 cruising festivals along the Mother Road.
These events let you relive the golden days of automobiles when cars had style, and engines had muscle. Hundreds of classics like cherry '57 Chevys, purring GTOs, and funky VW vans gather to strut their stuff. From greasy burnout pits to poodle skirt pinup contests, the culture, food, and nostalgia will bring out your inner teen rebel.
1. Route 66 Cruisin' Reunion (Ontario, California)
Imagine streets lined with gleaming chrome and polished paintwork as hundreds of classic cars take over Ontario, California. The Route 66 Cruisin' Reunion is an annual celebration of the vintage car culture.
It's not just about the cars; live music sets the tone, and vendors offer a variety of treats. This event is a must-visit for any classic car enthusiast dreaming of the golden era of the automobile.
2. Route 66 Car Show (Flagstaff, Arizona)
Flagstaff's Route 66 Car Show is a vibrant showcase of automotive history. From meticulously restored vintage cars to custom-built street rods and bikes, there's something for everyone.
The backdrop of Flagstaff's scenic beauty, live entertainment, and local culinary delights makes this show a perfect family-friendly event steeped in nostalgia. Speaking of culinary delights, you should double down on Route 66 nostalgia by trying these diners: 5 Vintage Diners on Route 66 for the Ultimate Retro Experience.
3. Route 66 Mother Road Festival (Springfield, Illinois)
The festival's highlights include live music, a high-energy burnout competition, and the much-anticipated Miss Route 66 contest. This festival is a true celebration of the Route 66 spirit.
4. Route 66 Summerfest (Rolla, Missouri)
Rolla's Route 66 Summerfest is a delightful blend of classic car culture and summer fun. Visitors can enjoy a parade of vintage cars, tapping their feet to live bands and savoring delicious treats from a variety of food trucks. It's a throwback experience that brings together car enthusiasts and families for a memorable day on historic Route 66.
5. Route 66 Rendezvous (San Bernardino, California)
The annual Route 66 Rendezvous in San Bernardino is a haven for classic car lovers. Participants and spectators gather to admire vintage vehicles, enjoy live performances, and partake in iconic cruising events.
This rendezvous is more than a car show; it's a celebration of the rich automotive and cultural history of Route 66. You can learn more about Route 66's cultural history through fun and artistic roadside attractions, too: 7 Quirky Roadside Attractions You Can’t Miss on Route 66.
Get Your Kicks at a Route 66 Cruise
Whether you're a collector with a pristine classic Chevy or an enthusiast who just enjoys admiring chromed-out carburetors, Route 66's cruising festivals offer something for every vintage vehicle lover.
Don't let worries about travel expenses or event fees stop you — caravanning with friends can save costs. And many shows let you display that old beater still sputtering along for free. Route 66 cruises are about celebrating our automobile history in an inclusive, communal atmosphere.
And who knows — you might discover a forgotten gem along the way, hidden behind an old barn or buried in overgrowth. You can check out some of them here: Route 66 Forgotten Ghost Towns & Their Tragic History
The adventure is out there!