Hot fun in the summertime

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Although the mercury is rising and children are out of school, everyone knows the Memorial Day weekend really marks the beginning of summer.

That's when the pools open, summer sports get into full swing, live music is played outdoors and festivals get underway.

In Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area, there are more than enough activities going on during the summer months to keep young and old alike busy.

Of course, beating the heat is essential to enjoying the summer and there is no better place to do that than the pool.

This Saturday, the public pools in Jackson, Scott City and one in Cape Girardeau will open.

Cape Girardeau's Capaha Pool operates daily from 1 to 5 p.m. until June 7, when the hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This may be one of the last summers Capaha Pool will be open for business. According to Dan Muser, Cape Girardeau's director of parks and recreation, the 47-year-old pool has too many problems that cannot be fixed for much longer. Muser said some temporary repairs have recently been made to leaking pipes, but the problem has not bee fixed permanently.

"Every year there's always something else that pops up," Muser said. "It's just a matter of time. I've been really surprised every year when it starts up and we make it work."

Cape Girardeau's Central Pool, which was built in the 1970s, is in better shape and will open without its overhead dome on June 7 and will operate daily from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Scott City pool is open daily from 1 to 6 p.m. and the Jackson pool is open daily from 1 to 8 p.m.

Some fun on dry land can be found at the go-cart tracks at Big River Grandprix, located at 610 Commercial St. in Cape Girardeau.

Manager Clint Hoffman said things get pretty busy out on the tracks on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer months when Big River is open from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday and noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For those looking to have fun and learn something this summer, there are courses being offered that range from tennis to jewelry making.

The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri is offering summer art classes for children starting in July and ending in August. Classes offered include drawing, beginning pastel, beginning watercolor, jewlery making with metals, printmaking, architectural drawing, a papermaking class called "Paper-riffic," a jewlery making class entitiled "Bangles, Baubles and Beads," and Kindermusik classes.

Courses are taught by local artists, a Southeast Missouri State University professor and public school teachers and, depending on the course, are open to ages 1 through adult.

"I think we have a really good variety," said arts council director Becky Fulgham. "We try to offer classes the kids may not be exposed in their school year."

For more information or to sign up, contact the arts council at 334-9233.

Play ball

For youngsters who would rather play ball then paint, there are a number of sports camps and classes being offered this summer.

Notre Dame Regional High School has camps for basketball, cheerleading, soccer, baseball, softball, as well as drama and science. Some camps start as early as next Tuesday, while others do not begin until June 28. To register, contact Bonnie Westrich at 335-6772.

The Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department also offers numerous summer classes and leagues. The department can be contacted at 335-5421.

Southeast Missouri State University has athletic residential camps for basketball, gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, cheer and dance, as well as a band camp. For information on the athletic camps, call 651-2113 and for information on the band camp, call 651-2335.

Summer sports is not only for youths. Adult classes and leagues are offered by the Parks and Recreation Department, and there are numerous golf happenings at Cape Girardeau Jaycee Municipal Golf Course.

Lessons are offered at the municipal course from June 15 to 24 and July 20 to 29.

For those confident enough in their stroke, the municipal course will also hold a four-person scramble golf tournament June 19; the Auffenberg Chrysler Men's Individual tournament July 24 and 25; and the Second Annual Cape Elks Jr. Individual Tournament Aug. 14. For information on all of these activities, contact the Cape Girardeau Jaycee Municipal Golf Course at 334-2031.

Ears for music

Music and festivities are going on all summer long, not just on the Fourth of July. There are several festivals taking place in small towns within driving distance of Cape Girardeau.

The first week of June alone offers back-to-back opportunities to get outside and have fun.

On June 4 and 5 is the Fourth Annual Perry County Community Rodeo in Altenburg, Mo.; June 4 to 6 is County Days, a three-day festival in Farmington, Mo.; June 5 is the Crawfish and BBQ Festival at Alto Vineyards in Alto Pass, Ill; another Southern Illinois winery, VonJakob Vineyard in Pomona, is having its Bluesfest on June 5; finally, on June 6 is the Kimmswick, Mo., strawberry festival.

In the weeks following, the historic town of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., will hold an antique show and sale as well as the French Heritage Festival June 12 to 13. On July 7 and 8, Ste. Genevieve will mark Jour de Fete, which will feature food, vendors and entertainment.

East Prairie, Mo., will have its Main Street Party from June 25 to 29, while its annual sweet corn festival starts June 26 and continues until July 4.

In Cape Girardeau, the Fourth of July will be celebrated with live music and fireworks at Libertyfest.

Live music can will be a big part of the summer outside of Libertyfest, with the return of Tunes at Twilight at the Common Pleas Courthouse gazebo in Cape Girardeau. Musicians will be playing at the gazebo on Fridays until June 25. Tunes at Twilight will also run from Aug. 13 to Sept. 18.

Outdoor live music can also be enjoyed at River Ridge Winery in Commerce, Mo., on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m. River Ridge general manager Keller Ford said the music ranges from classic rock to blues, folk and jazz.

The Jackson Municipal Band's 2004 concert season starts at 8 p.m. June 3 at the band shell in the city park. The band has been a Jackson fixture since 1920 and has had eight conductors in its 84 year history. The current conductor, Nick Leist, has had the position since 1968.

The concerts take place from 8 to 9 p.m. every Thursday night throughout the summer.

To find out about more events in Cape Girardeau, a good resource is the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau Web site at

335-6611, extension 182

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