The Route 66 Festival’s “Wang Dang Doodle Parade” is set for Saturday, July 10.
According to Virginia Wright, Director of the Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce, the unique feature of the parade is that anyone can participate. “There is no pre-registration and no entry fee for those wishing to be a part of the parade,” said Wright. “As long as they show up at 8:30 a.m. they will be given a spot in the parade.” Wright said last year’s parade was well-attended, and she expects this year’s parade to be even bigger. “I expect the parade route from K-Mart to the Tucumcari Convention Center to have lots of people lining both sides of Tucumcari Boulevard,” she said. “There will be a few surprise entries in the parade this year.” One of the surprises Wright alluded to is an entry from the Big Texan restaurant in Amarillo. Wright said representatives of the Big Texan will be bringing their large fiberglass steer.
“They are bringing Elmer, their popular steer,” said Wright. “Also they are bringing people on stilts, possibly clowns. The Big Texan heard about our parade and called us, asking if they could participate.” In addition to the Big Texan’s entry, there will be antique cars in the parade that will also be shown at the Rotary/Route 66 car show at the convention center later in the morning. Wright said a variety of floats will be entered. “The Tucumcari cheerleaders always have a float,” she said, “and Plateau Wireless is bringing a large roadrunner float. We will also have fire trucks and horses.” Wright said she hopes to see Tucumcari residents show up with their cars. “I encourage residents to decorate their cars with streamers and be a part of the parade procession,” she said. “Children are also welcome to be in the parade. All we ask is that the parade participants do not toss trinkets to the crowds along the sides of Tucumcari Boulevard. One side of Tucumcari Boulevard will still have regular traffic, and we don’t want any safety problems.”
Ruby Ann Boxcar, the headlining act at the Route 66 dinner show, will lead the parade. Wright said the chamber of commerce is expecting the parade to grow in popularity year by year and eventually attract more nationally-known celebrities. The parade will begin at 9 a.m.