ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque is booming this week with tourists from all around the globe in town for Balloon Fiesta. However, a spotlight is being used to bring attention to another big tourist attraction in Albuquerque – Route 66.

Exon Mobil’s ‘Keep Route 66 Kickin‘ campaign travels along Route 66, highlighting the mother road and the small businesses along the way. On Saturday, it stopped in Albuquerque.

“The goal of the campaign is really a bigger idea of what we think Route 66 represents,” said ExxonMobil North America Consumer Marketing and Growth Manager Bryce Huschka, “An icon of getting out of your routine, exploring. Route 66 has always meant that. We think it’s an alternative to our lives where we’re just over-programmed, over-worked, over-scheduled.”

Along with raising awareness of Route 66 and small businesses on the road, Huscka said they are collecting signatures to help get Route 66 recognized as a National Historic Trail. For Duke City’s stop, the campaign teamed up with Clowndog Hot Dog Parlor.

“I am so grateful, 1000% grateful,” said Rich Bartel, owner of Clowndog Hot Dog Parlor. At each stop, the campaign attempts to break a world record. At Clowndog, that meant bringing in the second-best competitive eater in the world and trying to break a corndog eating record. Bartel and his team fried up 150 corndogs for the occasion. Bartel said he’s grateful for the spotlight on his business, which opened during the pandemic, and for the spotlight on the iconic piece of Albuquerque and the country.

“We love Route 66 here. All the neon we have up; it’s big part of our culture here,” said Bartel.

The competitive eater had to eat more than 8 corndogs in three minutes to set a new record. He did just that, eating eleven corndogs in three minutes. The campaign’s next stop is in Litchfield, Illinois. There, it will attempt to set the world record of most dogs at an outdoor movie screening.