By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon and its neighbors to the east will celebrate the Mother Road on Saturday, June 18 with an activity-filled day.
The cities of Yukon, Warr Acres and Bethany have partnered to present the “Route 66 Triple Tour” featuring all free festivities.
“This is an opportunity for people to celebrate Route 66 – right on the Mother Road,” said Jenna Roberson, the City of Yukon’s public information officer. “We’re hoping this attracts people from all over the region because it really will be a neat, unique celebration of Route 66.”
A rockabilly concert and food trucks will highlight Yukon’s share of the activities from 4:30-8:30 p.m. June 18. The Route 66 Triple Tour will start that morning in Warr Acres and continue that afternoon in Bethany before attention shifts to Yukon.
“We’re excited to unveil this new festival this year,” Roberson said. “We hope to continue it through Route 66’s 100th anniversary.”
With the centennial coming up in 2026, city officials from Yukon, Warr Acres and Bethany want to host an annual event celebrating the Mother Road and its impact on local communities.
“It’s incredibly important to work with Warr Acres and Bethany,” Roberson said. “We can do a lot more when we partner together. There’s no way we could do something as special as this without Warr Acres and Bethany.
“We haven’t done anything like this before, so it will be really fun to see just what happens with this festival.”
Oklahoma is home to the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 with more than 400 miles. About 7-1/2 miles of the Mother Road are in Yukon city limits.
Rock-and-roll will meet country at 5:30 p.m. June 18 when Dale Watson is headlines the rockabilly concert in downtown Yukon.
Special guest is Jimmy Dale Richardson.
“We’re really looking forward to this because it’s a different music genre that we’ve never really had at our festivals before,” Roberson said. “We’re inviting everyone to come. If they want to dress up in their rockabilly finest, we would love to see them.
“It’s going to be a really great time.”
Watson is an Austin-based honky-tonker who carries on in the tradition of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson with his “Ameripolitan” brand of American roots music. He has flown the flag for classic honky-tonk for more than two decades.
Watson is a country music maverick, a true outlaw who stands alongside George Strait, Jennings and Nelson as one of the finest country singers and songwriters from the Lone Star State.
Richardson has performed music professionally across the U.S. over the last 25 years. With his versatile vocals and guitar leads, he brings new life to the obscure art of traditional honky tonk, rockabilly and jump blues – as well as other music genres.
Nathan Cross of Grady’s 66 Pub has helped event organizers find these talented concert performers – as he has with the City of Yukon’s annual “Rock the Route” music festival.
Besides the live music, there will be a variety of food trucks and other activities presented June 18 north of Route 66 on Fourth Street.
A highlight of Bethany’s Route 66 Triple Tour will be a Route 66 Car Cruisers’ cruise that afternoon. Participants will drive their classic vehicles west along Route 66 and then park in Yukon.
FULL DAY OF FUN
The June 18th Route 66 Triple Tour promises a full day of fun. Warr Acres and Bethany will both offer their own activities before Yukon.
- Warr Acres (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.): Food trucks, disc jockey, jazz band, a Silver String orchestra, Putnam City dancers, car show, and touch-a-truck.
- Bethany (noon to 4 p.m.): City-wide yard sale, downtown sidewalk sales, poker run with classic cars, firetruck display, and car cruise.
- Yukon (4:30-8:30 a.m.): Rockabilly concert and food trucks.
Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby is passionate and enthusiastic about the Route 66 Triple Tour rolling into her town.
“We have been working for two years on it in conjunction with Bethany and Warr Acres,” said Selby, a member of the Yukon 66 Main Street board. “We look forward to our city being filled with car show enthusiasts.
“It will be a fun-filled day and evening.”
Yukon Main Street Director Vicki Davis is likewise thrilled to see the focus on Route 66 for the upcoming Triple Tour activities.
“It will be a great addition to a week when so much attention is given to Route 66 in Oklahoma,” Davis said.
A “Route 66 Road Fest” is coming June 18-19 to the Bennett Event Center at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds and June 25-26 to Tulsa’s SageNet Center at Expo Square.
That event will feature interactive exhibits that bring the history of Route 66 to life, hundreds of classic cars, regional and local musical artists, indoor drive-in theater, vintage TV park, activity zone, and autonomous vehicles.