If you’ve ever wanted to get your kicks on Route 66, there’s no better place than Shamrock, Texas. It’s the site of this year’s Route 66 Festival from July 12th – 15th. Shamrock is the big, little town with a Texas size heart. It has a soul that hearkens back to the heyday of America’s Mother Road and all that was right with those bygone days.
Every year Texas Welcomes the World to its slice of nostalgia with an annual weekend of Route 66 events. Enthusiasts celebrate all that kitsch, neon and good old American muscle car motoring. Mistress of antiques, Dora Meroney at Texas Ivy (3511 W. 6th St.) in Amarillo, is part of the dedicated spirit behind the Old Route 66 Association of Texas which organizes the event. Her passion for all that made the 1950s and 60s full of Americana is in her soul and reflected in her wonderful shop, a must-see in Amarillo. The annual festival moves from town to town each year to give everyone in Texas a big slice of the Route 66 pie.
My drive across this great land introduced me to Shamrock at the historic art deco U-Drop Inn (207 No. Main St.). The iconic old Conoco gas station is now a welcome center, museum and gift shop rolled into one. The ladies who hold the fort love the roadsters who cross their path. Even the wee ones who remember the Inn’s appearance as Ramone’s Garage in the Disney/Pixar movie Cars recognize its charm. I was sad to leave this lovely spot full of great people.
This year’s festival will have plenty of great people and lots of things to do including a two-day rodeo, an art show and of course, a car show. At least 100 cars are expected with entries from as far away as Germany. There are several concerts throughout the weekend and good old-fashioned rockabilly music from The Road Crew. Admission is free except for the rodeo and concerts.
Remember, everything is bigger in Texas, even the historic stretch of the Mother Road. There are 178 miles of road across the panhandle with a story in every town. It stretches from Glenrio in the West to Shamrock in the East and all the tiny spots along the way A must-see is the halfway point and the MidPoint Café in Adrian (305 W. Historic Route 66/Ex. 22 on I-40).
To say that Texas was by far my favorite state along Route 66 is an understatement. Its people, its shopkeepers and restaurants, all offering up a big old helping of friendship, conversation and stories from the wayback machine. Get a taste of it yourself at the 2018 Texas Route 66 Festival.