The clock is ticking. It is now less than three weeks until the 2014 Route 66 International Festival kicks off.
As excited as I am about this fun filled, historic event and an opportunity to visit with friends from Europe and along the Route 66 corridor, as well as an opportunity to listen to the music of the Road Crew on two evenings, there will be a huge sigh of relief when it is over. In recent months my initial role as a consultant morphed into a position where I served as press agent, disaster control assistant, and information bureau manager.
Along the way I learned a great deal about things I never want to experience again. I also learned that a great deal of time, money, and other precious resources are squandered as communities reinvent the wheel with the development of each festival or special event. I also received confirmation that a minimum of eighteen months lead time is needed if an event wants to include our friends from distant shores.
In a more perfect world, the festival location and dates for 2015 would have been announced last year in Joplin, and at this festival we would be announcing the 2016 event. Unfortunately that didn't and won't happen for a litany of reasons, but that is about to change.
Meanwhile, after a relatively relaxing weekend spent cleaning up the rest of the storm damage and some progress on the next book, and enjoying a pleasant dinner with my brother in law and his wife, and a movie shared with my dearest friend, it is now time to tackle what promises to be another intense week.
David Knudson of the National Historic Route 66 Federation has offered to run another advertisement for the festival provided materials are provided today. That is one project.
The Federation is an organization that often flies just under the radar with its quiet, low profile. However, as I have experienced with the development of this festival, they are an organization that is intently focused on providing service and assistance to the Route 66 community.
In the morning its a radio interview. Tomorrow evening its an enlistment drive for volunteers to assist with the festival. Next is the writing and distribution of press releases for various aspects of the festival (dedication of the Route 66 Walk of Fame with special presentation by Kaisa Barthuli of the National Park Service, the unprecedented conference, profiles of attending authors, film festival, etc.).
It looks as though conference speakers are confirmed. That schedule will be posted soon. I will also be sharing film festival details. So, stay tuned for details.