New Mexico to join the Rose Bowl parade

By Ryn Gargulinski: QCS

Tucumcari residents who spot a caravan of classic cars hauling down old Route 66 on Tuesday and Wednesday need not be alarmed.

Unless, of course, one is alarmed by the thought of New Mexico being a part of this year’s Rose Bowl Parade.

New Mexico’s Classic Car Caravan, comprised of nearly 20 auto enthusiasts from across the state, will be trekking out of town down Interstate 40 on their way to Pasadena, Calif., in time for the Jan. 2 Tournament of Roses Parade.

“This is not only a great way to travel to California, it is also a great way to promote New Mexico both nationally and internationally,” said Michael Cerletti, secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department, which is sponsoring a float in this year’s parade.

The department said the cars are individually sponsored by car clubs, local communities and some governmental agencies, including the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

Tucumcari joins several New Mexico communities, such as Santa Rosa, Moriarty, Gallup and Grants, that will be graced with the caravan’s presence as it snakes its way to Pasadena, said Kathy Duffy of Expo New Mexico, the organization organizing the caravan on behalf of NMTD.

“The Classic Car Caravan is also to help promote the fact that the 80th anniversary celebration of Route 66 is in Albuquerque next year at Expo New Mexico,” Duffy said. “We want to personally invite all California car clubs to join us at what promises to be a huge celebration.”

In the interim, New Mexico will be celebrating with its float cruising down Colorado Blvd. in the Tournament of Roses Parade which is annually viewed by millions in person and on TV.

Caravan itinerary:

Tues., Wed: Depart Tucumcari, arrive at Route 66 Casino for send-off party; overnight in Acoma, N.M.
Thurs: Depart Acoma, overnight in Laughlin, Nev.
Fri: Depart Laughlin, arrive in Pomona, Calif., at 1 p.m., help decorate New Mexico’s float and attend a New Mexico volunteer gathering hosted by Acoma Business Enterprises.
Sat.: Featured guests at a car show and “Taste the Tradition” party at the Wally Parks National Hot Rod Association Motor Sports Museum in Pomona.
Jan. 1: Classic car cruise down Colorado Blvd. the afternoon prior to the Rose Parade.