The Santa Monica Pier, identified last year with a sign indicating the western end of Route 66, will mark the 84th anniversary of the world-famous highway with a celebration of activities from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11.
The celebration will host local and national “Mother Road” enthusiasts to recognize the significance of the road.
The National Route 66 Birthday Celebration in Santa Monica began as an extension of the restoration of the once lost “End of the Trail” sign to the Santa Monica Pier by Dan Rice, owner of 66-to-Cali, Inc., and the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation in 2009. The pier was recognized by the Route 66 Alliance as the newly designated “western terminus of Route 66.”
With a celebration of American history that includes the people, cars, icons, and landmarks that made Route 66 famous, the Veterans Day event will also pay tribute to the veterans that made the American dream possible, organizers said.
“It has been 84 years since the most famous road in the world was born and now is the time to recognize all of the people, communities, and history that have come to make this country great,” said Rice. “We are ready to celebrate the ‘End of the Trail’ in Santa Monica this Veterans Day and hope everyone that loves this country will celebrate one of our most endearing icons.”
Activities will include a car show of 100 vintage vehicles, speeches by civic leaders, and an “Authors & Artists” event featuring leading authors and artists from across Route 66. Other highlights will be a Route 66 “Legends” Interview Series on the pier’s main stage featuring owners of legendary landmarks on Route 66, as well as a special appearance by Ron Jones, Vietnam veteran/Purple Heart recipient who is also known as Route 66’s famed “Tattoo Man.”
Hailing from Oklahoma, Jones boasts 87 tattoos of various Route 66 locations.