It wouldn’t be summer without an old-fashioned trip along the Mother Road and the Route 66 Association of New Mexico aims to please with its first-ever New Mexico Route 66 Motor Tour July 23-25, 2010.

Up to 150 vehicles – auto, motorcycle, travel trailer or bicycle, classic to contemporary – will traverse the state from Tucumcari to Gallup. The tour is not a race; participants are free to stop whenever and wherever the mood strikes. Each community along the way will join in the festivities, be it a car show, sidewalk sale or barbecue cook-off, like the one planned between Moriarty and Edgewood.

“Our intent is to promote tourism by showcasing New Mexico’s segment of the Mother Road and the communities it passes through,” said Vickie Ashcraft, president of the Association. “This is a great way to see the scenery and meet the friendly people of our Route 66 communities. And you know it is something you’ve always wanted to do.”

The tour begins in Tucumcari July 23 with registration, then heads west on June 24, following the old Route 66 alignment. In Albuquerque, tour participants can take part in the annual Neon Cruise to Nob Hill where a section of Central will be closed off for “Route 66 Days and Nights.” There will be car shows, live music, vendors and entertainment. July 25, the tour again heads west to Gallup, where it concludes with Indian Dancers, prizes and awards.

“For more than 50 years, travelers got their first real look at New Mexico while traveling Route 66,” said Michael Cerletti, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department. “Even while New Mexicans look to the future, they keep their history alive and kicking with remembrances of Route 66, such as this year’s ‘Route 66 Motor Tour.’ The long weekend will have a little something for everyone - family entertainment at its down-home finest.”

The New Mexico Route 66 Association is dedicated to education, the preservation and promotion of historic Route 66 in New Mexico.