Pair of Saturday festivals to put focus on art and Route 66 nostalgia

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
A Route 66 street party is one of two festivals set for Saturday.

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

A pair of festivals will have adjacent Amarillo neighborhoods hopping Saturday.

The Texas Route 66 Festival along Sixth Avenue runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by the All Things Artful festival at Amarillo Art Institute at Sunset Center from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Route 66 fest — stretching from Georgia to Western streets — will feature a car show, a swap meet, sidewalk shopping, a scavenger hunt and a 1950s and '60s costume contest.

"We feel like this helps give the neighborhood something to do," said Dora Meroney, president of the Old Route 66 Association of Texas, treasurer of the Historic 6th on Route 66 Association and owner of Texas Ivy Antiques. "Since we don't have a gate fee, it allows everybody to attend."

In addition to shopping up and down the street, three bars and restaurants will offer live music:

Public parking will be available at Georgia and Bryan streets as well as school parking lots on Fifth Avenue.

The Route 66 association held a similar festival last year, and organizers hope Amarillo will continue to take advantage of its association with the Mother Road.

"Gosh, we have festivals from Chicago all the way to Santa Monica (Calif.) every year because roadies and foreigners alike love the road and love what it represents," said Bob "Croc" Lile, an artist and Sixth Street shop owner. "We had the International Route 66 Festival in 2011 for the first time, and if we can get people on board and get people to work together, we can have it here again in 2018.

"It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of people to put one of those together, and of course, when you do, you'll get people from all over the world and all over the country here."

Later Saturday, the art instructors at Amarillo Art Institute will host the school's annual art festival.

"We really want to make it a fun event for people to come to," said Rachel Flores, the institute's director. "Everything revolves around art."

The institute's six full-time instructors and other guest instructors will give demonstrations, and attendees can shop for works in a variety of media, including painting, pottery and leather goods. A silent auction will feature artwork donated by students, instructors and other community artists.

Boxcar Bandits, a bluegrass band from Denton, will perform.

Admission is $40, which includes pizza from 575 Pizzeria, craft beers from Budweiser and homemade ice cream (in a keepsake bowl crafted at the institute). 

"It's our main fundraiser of the year. People get to have fun and get to see our school, but we also get to showcase our instructors' and students' work," Flores said.

The institute has about 120 members and about 75 students, she said. It's located inside The Galleries at Sunset Center, 3701 Plains Blvd.


Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at on Facebook.    

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