Route 66 is ready to rock, or maybe it’s about to become a red-dirt road.
Thousands of people are expected to help make Yukon the Red Dirt capital of Oklahoma, at least for one night on Thursday as the second annual Rock the Route gets underway.
The event, which is hosted by the city of Yukon, will close down Route 66, also known as Yukon’s Main Street, beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday.
It’s all part of a festival that will feature the well-known Red Dirt group the Randy Rogers Band, along with special guest Reckless Kelly and Patron Aint’s.
The Randy Rogers Band has scored several No. 1 hits. Their last four studio albums debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes country album charts. They also have earned three nominations for ACM Top Vocal Group of the Year.
Meanwhile, Reckless Kelly’s most recent album, “Sunset Motel,” was a 2017 Grammy nominee for Best Recording Package.
Jenna Roberson, a spokesperson for the City of Yukon, said they are excited about the event.
Last year’s concert drew more than 8,000 people. She said they are hoping for more than 10,000 fans for this year’s free concert.
“This is an event for the whole family. For many, this is their child’s first concert,” she said.
It is a family friendly event with plenty of activities for everyone.
Roberson said she is aware that the event is competing against the OSU-Tulsa football game, but said there will be several businesses open with viewing options available.
This year’s event also will feature at least 10 food trucks.
The concerts begin at 6 p.m. between Third and Sixth Streets, she said.
There also will be a variety of craft booths as well as plenty for children to do.
There will be VIP tickets available that allow for closer access to the stage, reserved parking and a VIP tent. The cost is $100, Roberson said.
General parking is suggested at Dickinson Park, which is a First Street and Elm.
Shuttles will be available from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., Roberson said.
Reserved parking is available in the city hall parking lot between Fifth and Sixth streets, she said.
Beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday, Main Street will be blocked off between Third and Sixth Streets. There will be detour signs up.
Roberson said this is the second year of the festival. Last year’s event won several awards for the promotion of tourism.
She said the idea came from the need to use some hotel/motel tax funds. The city is required to use the money as a way to promote tourism in Yukon.
“A concert sounded like a good idea. It seemed like a concert and Main Street would go hand-in-hand,” she said.
They also chose to host the concert on the Thursday before Labor Day because it was a good way to kick-off a long holiday weekend. Several school districts are closed on Friday, including Yukon.
“This is something different. It has a block-party atmosphere,” she said.
Family friendly activities available at Rock the Route
There will be plenty of activities for the entire family at Thursday’s Rock the Route.
The event, which will begin at 4 p.m., will be held in downtown Yukon on Route 66.
Among the activities planned for the event, which begin at 6 p.m., are things that are free, and a few things that will require paid admission.
The Oklahoma City Thunder is bringing their OG&E Thunderbolt exhibit: The exhibit features interactive stations where fans can measure up to Thunder players, play trivia games, take photos in a custom fan booth and more.
Bubble toys: For younger children, the Yukon Parks and Recreation Department will be on hand with bubble toys.
Photo booth: A special photo booth will be available for you to make memories in. The photos will include the Rock the Route logo. The photo booth will be open from 5 to 10 p.m.
Pay to play
Mechanical bull: What would a red dirt event be without a mechanical bull to test your rodeo skills? See how long you can hang on as the bull turns and twists. Try it for fun, or have a competition with your friends to see who can hold on the longest!
Inflatable slide: For another exhilarating experience, slide down the tall inflatable slide. This activity is fun for the whole family.
Rock Climbing Wall: For adventurous festival-goers, try the inflatable rock climbing wall. See if you can make all the way to the top.
Glitter artist, face painters: Also, for a small fee, face painters and glitter tattoo artists will be on hand to turn you or your kids’ faces into masterpieces.
The concert and family friendly activities will take over Main Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets.
Food trucks will be parked nearby to satisfy appetites, and several Main Street businesses will stay open later than usual.
Rock the Route schedule
7 a.m.: Main Street closes from Third Street to Sixth Street. Please use alternate routes.
4 p.m.: Beer and food vendors open
4:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Craft vendor’s booths are open
6 to 9 p.m.: Shuttles run from Dickenson Park
5 to 10 p.m.: Family Activities open, T-Shirt Sales
6 p.m.: Performances begin. Musicians include Patron Aint’s, Reckless Kelly and the Randy Rogers Band
The second annual Rock the Route is being sponsored by YNB, Butte Land Investments, the Yukon Review, 99.7 Hank FM and the Kerr Foundation.