Traffic tribulations on tap for weekend in Cape

Friday, September 7, 2001

Today marks the start of Cape Girardeau's busiest tourist weekend of the year, with four major events that will attract people as diverse as Harley riders, teen-age volleyball players, antique-tractor collectors and football fans.

And while the prospect has business owners almost salivating, most Cape Girardeau residents should brace themselves for real traffic jams, something virtually unheard of here.

Lt. Carl Kinnison of the Cape Girardeau Police Department said the best bet is to be informed.

"First of all, be aware that there are a lot of things happening, and there will be a lot of people out," he said. "Be patient. Realize that it may take a little longer, but this is a positive thing for the community."

The events:

  • The Harley Owners Group state rally kicks off today and climaxes with a 7 p.m. Saturday parade down William Street, Kingshighway and Broadway. The Osage Community Centre is HOG headquarters.

    The SEMO Specialties & Sports Classic volleyball tournament serves up action beginning at 5 p.m. today.

    Southeast Missouri State University plays its first home football game of the season against Southern Illinois University at Houck Stadium at 6 p.m. Saturday.

    The SEMO District Fair begins at 9 a.m. Saturday with an antique-tractor pull.

    The real challenge promises to be after 6 p.m. Saturday, when all four events are going on at once and Main Street from Broadway to Independence, Water Street from Broadway to Independence and Themis Street from Water to Spanish streets are all closed, plus any intersections blocked by the motorcycle parade.

    Fair parking also promises to be more difficult this year with the East Rodney Street entrance to Arena Park closed for bridge work over Cape LaCroix Creek. Fair director Pete Poe is urging folks to come out anyway and simply use the Hawthorne Road entrance off Hopper Road.

    Signs are being erected to alert fairgoers of an alternate route to and from the west side of the Arena Park, said Poe. Other entrances to the fair remain the same -- off Kingshighway and off Broadview at Spartech Drive.

    Poe, who is also the manager of Drury Lodge and Pear Tree Inn, said Cape Girardeau motels were booked on the April weekend state HOG officials announced the city was the site of its annual rally.

    Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau director Terri Clark-Bauer said there are rooms available in Sikeston and Perryville, Mo., both about 30 miles from Cape Girardeau.

    Managing editor Heidi Hall contributed to this report.

    rowen@semissourian.com

    335-6611, extension 133

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