Locals walking among the cars at Chillin’ on Beale in Kingman, AZ. MCR/Bob Buckholz/File Photo
Photo and story by Bob Buckholz
KINGMAN — Chillin’ on Beale Street will be celebrating military veterans, first responders and law enforcement officers on May 18.
The City of Kingman and Chillin’ on Beale organizers will have portions of Beale Street closed to traffic. The closure will allow people the opportunity to look at the cars and also discover businesses in the downtown area.
May’s sponsors are the City of Kingman, Garlic Clove and Diana’s Wine Cellar Door. Cars will line up at 1 p.m. and the festivities will go until later in the evening.
Ken Conaway and Gene Kirkham are co-organizers for Chillin’ on Beale Street. Conaway said this month’s theme means a lot to them.
“Gene and I are both veterans and came out of the Vietnam era,” said Conaway.
“It helps if we all get together and realize that what we did was important. It’s time for the veterans to get some recognition and it makes me feel good to know that people here Arizona recognize us.”
Antique military enthusiasts will construct a Vietnam-era encampment with cookstoves next the Garlic Clove. Veterans will have an opportunity to have their photo taken in front of it.
“This event is a salute to military and hometown heroes,” said Conaway.
“It gives us a great time and produces comradery. When you get Navy guys together, it gives an opportunity to share with others. The laughter and tears flow freely.”
There’s a possibility of the city’s 1922 fire truck, making an appearance. The vehicle has been in storage for a long time and this is the first time it has made a public appearance in years.
The event is not just about displaying cars. There’s an entire schedule of events and activities. Plaques will be awarded to the police, fire and sheriff’s departments to say thank you for their service.
The event’s sponsors will hand out trophies to the top three cars with the best depiction of the military theme. There will also be a free raffle with about eight prizes scheduled to be given out to the winners.
Conaway said Chillin’ on Beale Street is another positive event for Kingman. He said firemen and police officers in California and Las Vegas have contacted him for more information.
“It’s another way to bring tourism to Kingman,” said Conaway.
Chillin on Beale Street occurs every third Saturday of the month in the spring, summer and part of the autumn months.
For more information, contact Gene Kirkham at 714-488-1843 or Ken Conaway at 928-897-3219.
(By Bob Buckholz)