- Neelys Landing man shot, killed by highway patrol trooper after traffic stop (05/01/16)43
- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)49
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- River Ridge Winery changes hands (05/02/16)
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)40
- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Statement: Man says cops’ good work drove him to grow his own marijuana (05/01/16)1
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- Hopper Road to close for months during construction of Veterans Drive (04/27/16)9
Busy weekend in Cape means big business
From Wiffle ball to politics to one big downtown party, Cape Girardeau is rocking this weekend -- and all that activity means big business for the Cape Girardeau-area economy.
The River City Music Festival welcomed a few thousand partiers downtown on Water and Main streets. With 60 bands performing at 10 venues, including two outdoor stages, the music -- from blues to acoustic to country -- was nonstop Friday and Saturday nights. Mary Ramsey, director of the City of Roses Music Heritage Association, the not-for-profit that coordinates the festival, estimated Friday night attendance at about 3,000 people, or about double what the event drew on the same day last year. Organizers ran out of wristbands Friday night.
"This is very much a success," Ramsey said.
Volunteer Samantha Simmons said the goal has been to transform the festival into a communitywide event.
"Downtown is a community that we're very proud of," she said. "The businesses down here have really embraced us."
Downtown and just about every corner of Cape Girardeau is bustling with business, the benefit of at least a dozen events this weekend. Besides the festival, downtown welcomed the launch of the Tour de Cape and part of Cape Girardeau Heritage Day activities at the Red House Interpretive Center. The River Campus alone brought in many hundreds more between an Eagle Scout fundraiser and "Once on This Island," the musical from Southeast Missouri State University's Department of Theatre and Dance. Elsewhere, teams competed in the Wiffle Ball World Series at Sherwood Yards.
Today, U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's old-fashioned picnic will be at the Arena Building and the Show Me Center is expecting 4,000 to turn out for the Make a Difference Tour, featuring Christian music stars Michael W. Smith, Third Day and TobyMac.
"That many folks in the area for that many things, you're going to see bumps in hotel rooms, restaurants and entertainment," said John Mehner, chief executive officer and president of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce. He said this weekend should boost sales all over town.
The Tour de Cape was apparently doing just that Saturday. More than 320 people took part in the annual ride.
"A lot of people from out of town came in [Friday] and stayed overnight at the different hotels, and after the ride a lot of them walked on down to music festival and ate at the restaurants," said Joel Allison, one of the event's organizers.
Phil Brinson, owner of Buckner Brewing Co., one of the venue's for the music festival, said business was strong.
"And we had folks in all day long that finished the Tour de Cape, a lot of folks from out of town," Brinson said.
Broadway and Main Street, Cape Girardeau, MO
Independence Street and Main Street, Cape Girardeau, MO
518 S. Fountain St., Cape Girardeau, MO