By Nikki Garrett Metzger
(Victorville) — The crowd has started to swell as fans of Route 66 flock to the Victorville Fairgrounds to join in on this year’s Route 66 International Festival.
Today’s line-up starts off with the Official Welcome to the Route 66 International Festival 2012 Opening Ceremony at 10am. Special guests, local and national Route 66 dignitaries and government representatives will be on hand to kick off the Festival; and the Young Marines will perform a patriotic flag ceremony.
One of the first events to see is the Route 66 Military Vehicle Display & Tribute to Veterans. Vehicles on display include restored Half Track, APC, Command Car, Mules, 105 Howitzer, Jeeps, Weapons and old-era memorabilia. New and modern military vehicles will also be on display from the US Army & US Marine Corp. Visitors can sit in a full-size Humvee or MRAP vehicle, and peruse the photo galleries and miniature military displays at the Festival.
Another fun and yummy event going on today Saturday is the “Taste of 66″ Food & Wine Festival, showcasing the best gourmet foods along Route 66. This is the first of its kind for the Festival and the High Desert. The “Taste of 66″ Food & Wine Festival will feature celebrity chef, author and TV Host Ingrid Hoffmann, along with over 65 gourmet food trucks from all over Southern California to serve you the best tastes of Route 66.
Hours for this event are 12-6pm today, and 10am-8pm tomorrow. Appearance by Ingrid Hoffman will be tomorrow from 11am-2pm and includes a “special” cooking demonstration, meet & greet and opportunities to win fantastic prizes.
Enjoy great music while touring the Route 66 International Festival and Taste of 66 Gourmet Food Truck and Wine Festival at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds.
Live daily entertainment kicks off today with Classic Rock Band BANO WAY OUT from 11:30am-3:30pm, followed by HEAT playing Classic Rock, R & B, and more from 4:00pm-8:00pm.
The first full day of events wraps up with the Friday Evening Banquet hosted by the National Historic Route 66 Federation. The evening’s theme is – “California 50′s Dreamin’ Celebration.”
This banquet will include a 50′s style buffet dinner, live entertainment and special guest Cynnie Troup – Bobby Troup’s daughter. Cynnie will talk about her days with her father and her experiences in the entertainment industry.
Also, joining the as guest speaker, Zdenek Jurasek, founder of the Czech Republic Route 66 Association. Zdenek will tell us about the Route 66 enthusiasm sweeping his homeland.
And the final guest speaker is Jim Farber, guest curator of the Autry National Center. Jim explains what promises to be the largest and most expansive exhibition ever devoted to the history and spirit of Route 66.
Saturday’s line-up includes the Route 66 Military Vehicle Display & Tribute to Veterans, the Route 66 International Festival and Taste of 66 Gourmet Food Truck and Wine Festival with celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffman, the National Miss Route 66 Pageant starting at 10am, and the Route 66 International Festival Vintage Car Show, which is open to vehicles from 1900-1985, classics, muscle cars, hot rods, and trucks.
Saturday’s entertainment starts off rocking with THE WORKING POETS bringing Classic Pop, Rock, Oldies 50′s thru 80′s to the arena from 9:30am-11am. Up next is Will Glover – Tribute to Chuck Berry playing Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits from 12:30-1:30pm. THE WORKING POETS return to the stage from 1:30pm-3:00pm. From 3:00pm-4:00pm come enjoy Don Seymour – Tribute to Johnny Cash.
Finish off the evening with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Presley Tribute: DAVID PRESLEY – THE ELVIS EXPERIENCE from 4-6pm.
The Festival finale will be the Saturday Evening Banquet – “Hooray for Hollywood” taking place at the Historic Green Tree Inn from 6:00pm-8:00pm and is hosted by the California Historic Route 66 Association. Each annual international festival is attended by three time Pulitzer Prize nominee, Michael Wallis, who will present the “State of the Road” address. In addition to publishing over sixteen books, Mr. Wallis was the voice of the Sheriff in the Disney/Pixar movie, CARS. The buffet dinner will also include an update on Route 66 Preservation Projects by Kaisa Barthuli, National Parks Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Director.
Wear your favorite Route 66 clothing, bid on our Silent Auction items, and celebrate the historic Route 66 International Festival 2012.
For more information on tickets, the Festival schedule and more, visit http://www.route66festival2012.com/