By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Tourist and locals will come together Thursday to take part in the fourth annual Rockabilly on the Route that will feature performances by renowned double bass player, Lee Rocker, of the Stray Cats and the Starlite Wranglers from Japan, as well as a host of new and returning events that will span across Tucumcari.
“I hate to start off with sad news, but due to sudden changing circumstances, the burn-out contest has been canceled,” said Ungie Davila, Rockabilly on the Route co-founder.
Davila said its unfortunate that the burn-out contest had to be canceled but Rockabilly faithful should not be discouraged. Davila said she and co-founder, Simon Cantlon, have been working to bring the people an amazing festival since the end of last year’s Rockabilly on the Route.
Last year Rockabilly on the Route drew in more than 4,000 people to Tucumcari, Davila said she hopes to beat that number with this year’s attendance.
Davila said even though this is the fourth year for the event there will always be a whirlwind of new challenges every year.
“There are always going to be challenges, that’s just the nature of the beast,” Davila said.
Cantlon said last year they wanted to make sure there was a mixture of ticketed and free events at the convention center and at various local venues for the people to enjoy. He said there was a lot of positive feedback about the events and performances held at area businesses.
Davila said several events would once again be held throughout the community at local businesses in order to expose visitors to the beauty and culture of Tucumcari.
“Simon and I want people to experience the atmosphere and culture of Tucumcari as well as embrace the lore and spirit of Route 66,” Davila said.
Davila said the new events include a mommy and me pin up contest, animal pin-up contest, and the first-ever Mr. Rockabilly Contest, along with a beard and mustache contest. She said the goal is to provide events for all ages to enjoy. Organizers say the goal is to create an event that people of all ages can enjoy.
Davila said there will also be events held at the VFW Post 2528, which is a private club, meaning that people must send in an RSVP to obtain a wristband that will allow them entrance prior to the event.
She said admission to that event would be free to active-duty military personnel and veterans. This will include members of the Heels for Combat Boots, a non-profit organization that raises money for various veterans’ charities.
Davila said as the festival continues to grow, so does the need to house events, which is why the Quay County Fair Barn will be the site of a swap meat and flea market. She said there would still be retail and food vendors at the Tucumcari Convention Center. Davila said people should remember that general parking is going to be at the fairgrounds behind the convention center.
She said the parking lot at the convention center is going to be reserved for the for The Voodoo Creeps Car Club’s car and bike show. People can preregister online for the car and bike show and save $5, Davila added.
Davila said while she is excited about the addition of the new events, the returning events will be sure to please all of the people attending this year’s event. She said there will be 23 bands from around the country and the world performing day and night, for the four days of the event. There will also be the Miss ROR Pinup Pageant that was won last year by Tucumcari native Tessa Throckmorton.
Davila said the Gilded Cage Burlesk and Variete show has even expanded their program for this year’s event. She said the drive-in movie at Roadrunner Lodge will be returning as well and there will be a cruise on Route 66, as well as a parade. Last year, the parade set a record as the longest parade in Tucumcari history, stretching six miles long, Davila added.
Davila said more information can be found online at their website www.rockabillyontheroute.com. She said local also have a chance to get festival passes at discount (cash only) if they are purchased early at the Tee Pee Curios, Tucumcari Ranch Supply and Chamber of Commerce.
“We hope to see a lot of familiar faces and meet some new people as we celebrate the spirit of Route 66 and Rockabilly this weekend in Tucumcari,” Davila said.
The following is a schedule of times and events for the fourth annual Rockabilly on the Route Thursday-Sunday in Tucumcari.
Welcome to Tucumcari, ticket pick-up and registration: Noon- 4 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center
Rockin’ Bowl/ROR Kick-off Party: 7 p.m. -10 p.m., Mountain View Bowling, $5 or Festival Pass with live music from She Returns from War with Jordan Igoe band, Mr. Bonetangles and Jem C Rossland and the Hypertonics.
S’mores by the Fire: (Thursday-Friday) 8 p.m., Blue Swallow Motel.
Rumble on the Route I: 8 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center, with live music from The Henchmen and the Starlite Wranglers.
Red, White and Booze: 11 p.m.,- 2 a.m., VFW Post 2528, with music from Whiskey Diablo, Mr. Botangles, The Despots and The Pin-up girls of Heels for Combat Boots.
Swap meet and flea market: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Quay County Fairgrounds
Blue Suede Breakfast: 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Kix on 66
La Loca Lunch at Watson’s: noon – 2p.m., Tucumcari Ranch Supply with live music from Jem Crossland and The Hypertonics.
Tucumcari Today: Noon- 6 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center, registration, vendors market, classic car/bike park and show and beer garden.
Pool Shark Tournament: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., VFW Post 2528, with music from The Despots.
Swing Dance Classes by Brenda Dunagen: 6:30 -7 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center, $5 or Festival Pass
Happy Hour Hootenanny: 3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center with live music from Mr. Bonetangles, She Returns from War, Leah and Her J-Walkers, The Fabulous Minx and Jordan Igoe.
Cruise 66: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m., Route 66
Mommy and Me and Puppy Pin-up Contest: 6 p.m.- 6:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center.
Pop-up Drive-In Movie: 8 p.m. – 11 p.m., Roadrunner Lodge a classic movie screening (movie TBA) with FM radio transmission.
Rumble on the Route 2: 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center with live music The Shadow Men, Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats, Soiree Entertainment Dancers and Gilded Cage Burlesk and Variete show with Performer Showcase.
Midnight Madness I: 10:30 p.m. – 2 a.m., Tri Star bar with live music from Whiskey Diablo, Rockin Ryan and the Real Goners, The Hexxers
(Pinup contestant entry limited to the first 15 applicants who register Saturday morning at the information booth)
Wheels on 66 Parade: 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., start at K-Mart ends at Tucumcari Convention Center. Mid Point watch at the Motel Safari with like music from Jem Crossland and radio broadcast by KQAY/KTNM
Swap meet and flea market: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Quay County Fairgrounds
Wheel on 66 Classic Car and Vintage Bike Show: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center with live music tattoo contest, kid activities and live music.
Pinup hair and makeup class by La Loca Magazine: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Tucumcari Convention Center, $5 or Festival Pass.
Kids Tattoo Contest: 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Tucumcari Convention Center.
Beard and Mustache Competition: 11:30 a.m. – noon Tucumcari Convention Center.
Tattoo Contest: Noon – 12:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center.
Swing Dance Classes by Brenda Dunagen: 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m., and 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center, $5 or Festival Pass.
Mr. Rockabilly on the Route Contest: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center.
Hannah M. Dance Class for Kids: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center
Hannah M. Dance Class for Kids Performance: 3 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center.
Classic car and vintage bike show awards: 3:10 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center
Miss ROR Get the Rhythm Dinner : 3:10 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Del’s Restaurant
Swing Dance Classes by Brenda Dunagen: 6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center, $5 or Festival Pass
Happy Hour Huballoo: 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center with live music from The Despots, Mr. Bonetangles, The Centuries and Jordan Igoe Band.
Rumble on the Route III: 8 p.m. – 11:30 p.m., Tucumcari Convention Center with live music from A Man Called STU, Mad Max and the Wild Ones, Soiree Entertainment Dancers and Lance Lipinsky and The Lovers.
Midnight Madness : 10:30 p.m. – 2 a.m., Tri Star bar with live music from The Fabulous Minx, Tex Railer’s Doomtown, S.S. Web.
Live music: 9:30 a.m., Circa Cafe with live music from Jem Crossland
Rockin Gospel Brunch: 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Joe’s Back N the Day.
Tiki Pool Party: 10 a.m.,-? Tri Star bar.