May 30-June 1 are the dates for this year’s “Route 66” Summerfest in Rolla, Missouri. This is the 20th year for this event. It was originally started to promote downtown Rolla but it has evolved into an area wide celebration for all ages to promote old Route 66 and the beginning of summer. The weekend begins Friday, May 30th at 7 PM where eligible ladies compete at the Rolla Downtown Band Shell for the honor of being crowned “Miss Route 66” or “Miss Summerfest”. All single ladies from Rolla, Cuba, St. James, Newburg or attending a local college or university between the ages of 17 and 21 are encouraged to participate.
Friday morning portions of downtown are closed as food vendors and musicians set up for the evening’s festivities. At 4 PM Friday afternoon hundreds of classic cars and motorcycles arrive at the St. James Visitor Center to show off their cars and prepare to “Cruise Route 66”.
At 6 PM Friday evening the classic cars gathered in St. James will begin their cruise down old Route 66. They will bring with them all of the queen candidates, one of which will be crowned the 2014 Miss Route 66. Bring your lawn chairs for the 7 PM crowning ceremony and stay for the “drive-in” movie, Frozen, that evening. Also, on Friday is the charity poker run for all you motorcycle enthusiasts and skate boarding events for the kids. New this year is a drummer’s competition at 8:30 PM at the band shell. Also on Friday the annual Tennis Tournament begins at 6 PM in Ber Juan Park.
Saturday morning you’ll find coffee and doughnuts in the food court, the craft festival on 9th Street, the classic car show on Pine Street and the motorcycle show on 7th Street. In addition, there are a ton of things to do for the kids. There will be bouncy games, pony rides, face painting, commercial games, and as always, the giant sand pile. And don’t forget all the great food all day.
As always, there are several sporting events throughout the day. Beginning at 8 AM at Oak Meadow Country Club is the TOUR-de-PHELPS BICYCLE RIDE to St. James and back. This is a scenic and relatively easy 12 mile round trip ride for the whole family with plenty of stops and water along the way. For the younger ones, there are BICYCLE AND TRICYCLE RACES under the bridge. Again, we’ll have the DOWNHILL DERBY at 8th and Pine. You’ll want to start right away with your kids or grandkids building your cars for this non-motorized race, similar to a soap box derby. Both Friday and Saturday we will have the skateboard park open with many games and prizes and a professional exhibition Saturday afternoon.
As the days wanders into evening, the festival kicks into high gear again. At 5 PM the classic cars and motorcycles drive into the festival grounds to be a part of evening’s activities. At 6 PM there is the ever popular “burn out contest” where drivers compete to see who can generate the most smoke and crowd appeal. At 8 PM the Saturday musical entertainment begins with Kricket Alley.
Sunday at 10AM is the Hellbender Missouri State Championship Road Cycling Race beginning at Columbia College on the west side of town. Also at noon the Tennis Tournament continues at Ber Juan Park.
This is just a preview of some of the events which make up the annual “Route 66” Summerfest. Even if you go through the entire web page www.route66summerfest.com you won’t grasp all the goes on during this weekend. You just have to be there! For information note on the web page you may call 573-341-5488.