By Michael Pineda
The city of Yukon unveiled a new green space for its part of the Route 66 Triple Tour Saturday.
A Rockabilly concert entertained visitors who also enjoyed a car show, food trucks and activities for children.
The event kicked off Saturday morning in Warr Acres and made its way to Bethany before finishing in Yukon off of Main Street on 4th Street.
“For our first time to do this, it was an amazing turnout,” Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby said. “We celebrated Route 66, the Mother Road, with the community and it was wonderful.
“Working with Bethany and Warr Acres was a joy.”
Mother Nature made it warm for visitors but overall, the event was not only a success but set the foundation for future events.
“For our first event, I really liked the setup, utilizing downtown space,” Yukon Assistant to the City Manager Jason Beal said. “Overall, I think the heat kept some people away. We will look at making some improvements.”
To help combat the heat, there was a tent set up to the left of the stage. There was also a cooling tent available. Beal said some event attendees also brought tents.
“The children’s activities were on the side of a building so they were all shaded,” he said. “A lot of people were in front of the stage and they seemed fine with it.”
The city space utilized for the event is the former site of a lumber yard, which was removed. There are plans to develop the space and take advantage of its downtown location.
“It is a peek of what is to come,” Selby said of the venue.
Organizers began setting up for the event at 8 a.m. Things kicked off in Yukon at 4:30 p.m. There were several cars from the car show in Bethany that parked in a lot just to the right of the stage. Beal said the Bethany and Yukon Police departments escorted the cars to Yukon.
“They did lose a few cars because of the heat,” Beal said. “They really wanted a paved area and we knew that. Eventually, when we make this a downtown space, it will be a lot better.”
Beal said there were some cars that took advantage of parking on Main Street. The goal of utilizing the new open space was to give the event a different personality from Rock the Route. Main Street is typically shut down for that event. Having it in the new space allowed for the city to keep Main Street open.
“Every event needs something unique about it,” Beal said.
Poker runs from Warr Acres and Bethany traveling through Yukon took place throughout the day. Having the event on 4th Street allowed those people to drive through Yukon, Beal said.
Those who attended the concert were treated to the sounds of Jimmy Dale Richardson and Dale Watson.
“My biggest feedback, this was some peoples’ first time to hear rockabilly and they were pleasantly surprised to hear it,” Beal said. “The people I talked to were surprised some of the songs, like Johnny Cash, were rockabilly. They grew up hearing some of those songs.”
The spotlight on Route 66 will grow brighter in the upcoming years as the 100th birthday of the road approaches. With each year, Beal expects the Triple Tour to grow bigger.
“We have three more years to get under our belt,” he said. “As long as we improve, we will make the 100th really pop.”