ArcadiaCommunityRoute 66Tourism

Revving Up History: Route 66 Car Shows in Arcadia and Luther

Bison Blinds

Two neighboring Route 66 towns, Luther and Arcadia, are poised to host consecutive Saturday car shows in April. As the warm springtime breathes renewed life into the landscape, the iconic Mother Road beckons enthusiasts from far and wide to revel in the road and timeless charm of classic cars, the small town charm of Luther, and the nostalgic ingenuity of Arcadia’s Round Barn.

Luther’s car show is scheduled on Saturday, April 6, 2024, along Main Street, a quarter-mile south of Route 66. Food trucks and vendors are expected, along with a line-up of classic vehicles that will vie for prizes for Best of Show, People’s Choice, Best Paint, Top 20, Best Interior, and Best Motorcycle. Registration is between 8 am – 11 am, judging from 10 am – 11:30 am, and the awards ceremony will be at 1 pm. The vehicle entry fee is $20.

Arcadia’s car show is on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at the Round Barn. The show is part of the barn’s celebration of its restoration 32 years ago when it was saved from the ruin of neglect by the Historical and Preservation Society Arcadia. The barn, known worldwide as a must-stop for Route 66 travelers, was refreshed this spring with new paint and siding by Holman Construction. 

A fundraiser for the nonprofit Round Barn, the event will feature tours, a kids scavenger hunt, and live music from the fabulous Round Barn Ramblers from noon to 2 pm, at which time car show prizes will be announced. 

The Luther and Arcadia car shows are produced by Murch & Radford.

The Arcadia Round Barn was built in 1898 by William Odor and J.H. Keely. The town of Arcadia was founded in 1902 after the railroad was built to the south of the barn. A dirt road designated as State Highway 7 was built between the barn and the railroad tracks in 1914, and in 1926, the still-unpaved road became U.S. Highway 66. 

Luther was founded in 1898 on land that was part of the Kickapoo Reservation near the Deep Fork River. Founders platted the area with access to the railroad and later hosted part of the central route of the Ozark Trail, one of the precursors to Route 66. While the Turner Turnpike’s opening in the 1950s diverted visitors away from Route 66, Luther has persevered with vintage views, including Main Street’s Engels Store on the National Register of Historic Places, which now houses the Rustic Farm store. Other enduring attractions include Booker T Washington Park, which housed a premier Black high school before desegregation, and the Threatt Filling Station on the eastern border of Luther on Route 66.  

Visitors of the Luther Car Show will take note of a new project of the Luther Historical Society to build a Plaza and Veterans Memorial on Main Street.

Each town is located east of Oklahoma City along the historic stretch of Route 66. An ongoing widening project between the towns will bolster safety while maintaining much of the picturesque landscape. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation project is expected to be complete long before the Route 66 Centennial in 2026, where events like car shows, tours, festivals, and more are being planned to welcome visitors who come for a taste of nostalgic America. 

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