CVB to distribute brochure explaining mural panels

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The colorful mural that decorates downtown Cape Girardeau's floodwall draws appreciative looks from tourists and residents alike. But it also leaves people puzzled.

Just who are those people pictured in the mural? What events are depicted here?

Local tourism officials plan to answer those questions in a black-and-white brochure that will be made available at several brochure stands along the floodwall starting later this week.

Chuck Martin, who directs the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau, said he expects to print several thousand brochures depicting the 24 panels and explaining the history pictured in each scene.

"This is a stop-gap," Martin said Monday.

Future plans include installing plaques and a reading rail so visitors will understand a little about the historical events and people pictured in the mural. The work will be done as part of improvements to Water Street. But that project has yet to start. It could be this summer before the work is completed, Martin said.

Meanwhile, the mural -- completed late last year -- draws sightseers who regularly stop by the CVB office on Broadway to inquire about the colorful scenes.

"It is amazing," said Martin, "how many people walk into our office and say, 'Do you have anything on the mural?'"

The black-and-white brochures will be available from three covered brochure stands. One will be near the north end of the mural, one in the middle and one at the south end, Martin said.

The CVB is working with the River Heritage Mural Association, which oversaw creation of the mural, to provide the brochures.

Tim Blattner said the black-and-white brochures should weather rainstorms better than color brochures. "We are concerned about water damage. We don't feel we can invest a lot of money in outside brochures," he said.

The CVB, however, will have a limited number of color brochures available at its office. The CVB plans to develop a more permanent, professional color brochure in the future, tourism officials said.

335-6611, extension 123

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