"Coming together, sharing together, working together, succeeding together," was the theme of the Fourth Annual Arizona Historic Route 66 All-Community Meeting hosted by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona (Association) and Winslow Chamber of Commerce on July 21 in Winslow. More than 50 community leaders, business owners, government partners, and concerned citizens came together from across the state to work on initiatives that will continue to evolve Arizona's Route 66 into a premier travel destination.
The annual meetings started in 2008 to begin rethreading the fragmented Arizona Route 66 communities by identifying commonalities, celebrating differences, and working on projects that will save Arizona's Route 66 treasures.
This year two major projects were tied into Arizona's upcoming Centennial celebration. Planned are a Route 66 Centennial Passport, and a Historic Route 66 Geocaching Project. In addition, the 25th Annual Historic Route 66 Fun Run, the Association's major furndraising event held the first week in May each year.
All-Community Meeting is just one of the ongoing efforts of the association, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization founded in 1987. This year the association began hosting a series of Community Networking Meetings to keep the lines of communication open between local leaders, community members, and the Association Board. The association has had many successes over the years including securing Route 66's designated as an Arizona Historic Road which set the stage for National Scenic Byway designation in 2006, followed by an All-American Road designation in 2009.
There are only 31 All-American Roads in the entire United States, opening the door to Highway Transportation grant funds, and worldwide marketing through the Scenic Byways Program. Since establishing the Arizona Byway Program in late 2007, the Association has secured 11 grants for a variety of projects across the Route, and successfully developed and implemented the Historic Route 66 Passport, which encompasses all communities not matter what their ability was to contribute financially.
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