Chelsea’s New Route 66 Mural Brings In Tourists, Vandals

Wednesday, May 11th 2016, 10:46 pm
By: News On 6

A new tourist attraction on Route 66 in Rogers County is bringing in visitors from all over the world, but it’s also getting some unwanted attention from vandals.

Nine-year-old Parker Stanbro helped create his town's newest attraction. He and artist Kenneth Hollingshead painted the mural in a Route 66 underpass in Chelsea.

"I told him I wanted to be an artist and he asked if I wanted to help with the mural, so I said, 'yeah,'" Parker said.

A group called Project Chelsea wanted to revitalize the walkway to make it a tourist destination and put their town on the map. The mural commemorates Chelsea's history and its place on Route 66.

But the opposite wall is for visitors to leave their own mark. And only two weeks after its completion, it's already working.

The underpass has drawn visitors from South Korea, Ireland, Barcelona and many locals who remember what the underpass used to look like.

"She wanted to come since they've redone it, I came as a child and it was not this nice," said Chelsea residents Misty and Kilani Parker.

But disrespectful visitors make their way in, too.

Project Chelsea members say vandals are leaving behind dirty footprints, vulgar words, phrases and drawings.

"This is a pretty important wall because a lot of people are going to see this," Stanbro said.

Group members have to constantly monitor and paint over the obscenities. Luckily, the mural is coated in graffiti-proof paint.