Downtown Cape Girardeau is a vibrant community

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Old Town Cape is alive and well. Our downtown area seems to be busy with many events every week. The good news is that citizens and visitors are responding by increasingly attending these events. I give credit to Old Town Cape, Marla Mills, the board of directors, the merchants and the residents in our Old Town Cape area.

I attended a dinner meeting last Friday, at the invitation of Joel Rhodes, hosted by the Missouri State Council on the Humanities. The occasion was their quarterly state board meeting. About half of the 30 or so that were in attendance had never been to Cape Girardeau. They were impressed with our city and also the level of activity in the downtown area. Following the social hour and dinner, several walked to the Glenn House for a tour and program while others opted to walk Main Street and visit the many art-related venues along Main.

Friday was also the evening for Tunes at Twilight on the Common Pleas Courthouse lawn. There was a huge crowd at that event with their lawn chairs, picnic baskets, blankets, wine and beverage containers having an enjoyable and entertaining evening in downtown Cape Girardeau.

Several people were walking lower Broadway to get an early peek at the first stages of the new streetscape now under construction on Broadway between Water and Pacific streets. As I looked down past Water Street I saw many people milling around the floodwall getting a good look at the mighty Mississippi River.

There was a crowd on Water Street strolling, learning and enjoying the murals on the flood wall depicting the history of Cape Girardeau. These murals are a tremendous asset to our city. Then I turned up Main Street and found many more people walking, talking, shopping and generally just enjoying the evening in our downtown area.

The following day we shopped the new downtown market on Spanish Street. The entire area was buzzing with people shopping, eating, enjoying a coffee and visiting with friends and acquaintances. This is a great new venue for Old Town Cape and instantly traffics the area early on a Saturday morning. While shopping the market I have noticed several benefit runs and walks that either originate or wind their way through the downtown area.

Downtown Cape Girardeau is alive and well. The Broadway streetscape has created new interest in commercial development along the Broadway corridor. More events are occurring in the area and have been very well attended. The Isle of Capri opens in late fall. There are an increasing number of citizens moving their residences into the area, several who have been renovating historical homes.

Old Town Cape has found a new level of momentum that I would suggest will continue to grow in the years ahead. I encourage all our citizens to participate in the events, shop the stores and maybe even consider investing in vibrant downtown Cape Girardeau.

Harry E. Rediger is the mayor of Cape Girardeau.

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