Revving engines and polished chrome dominated the streets of San Bernardino over the weekend for the annual Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous.
“Anyone who has grown up around classic cars—just loves cars—this is the event for them,” said Patrick Caffery, one of the event’s founding fathers.
The event, which boasts nearly 1,700 souped up classic cars, is the city’s way of celebrating the historic Route 66, the cross country highway that runs through San Bernardino.
“I think it’s just a nostalgia thing, harkening back to when things were simpler, when gas was just 19 cents a gallon,” said classic car owner Bob Hill.
America’s continued love affair with cars drew nearly half a million people—pumping nearly $45 million into the local economy.
But Route 66 was more than just a roaring good time—folks also talked about what drives them to get involved in their community.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan California Forward co-sponsored the event and gave out a Cruisin’ Award to Riverside business owner, Harold Rogers, for his involvement in the community and his hot rod Corvette.
“I’m truly honored – thank you,” said Rogers. “This car is probably the car that every kid wanted when he turned 16.”
Nancy Lloyd, a volunteer who helped staff the California Forward booth, said, ”we interacted with a variety of people, collected names, too, for a prize drawing of two Apple iPad’s.”
“The people with whom we interacted were often discontented, disgruntled, and dismayed; anxious to vent frustrations about government, legislators, and more,” said Lloyd. “The juxtaposition of Happy Days redux, struggling citizenry, and Californians striving to bring that back – while progressing forward was interesting indeed.”
Brenda Bell, Inland Empire regional partnerships lead, said California Forward believes people are the engines that will get the state revving again, by looking under the hood and helping give government a tune up.
“And also to remove the roadblocks that are keeping us from getting the government we deserve—that we want—that we all work together for,” Bell said. “Route 66 is a great example of people coming together from all over the state to show off our best and brightest.”
Bell hosts the radio show California Forward on KCAA 1050 AM, which broadcast live from the event and can be heard every Friday at 1pm.
Cheryl Getuiza is communications specialist for California Forward