Cleanup is more like a citywide festival

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Cape Girardeau isn't a big Mardi Gras party town. Its St. Patrick's Day parade is non-existent. The idea of a First Night celebration to bring in the new year has been talked about, but it's still something other cities do. Riverfest quietly sank into the Mississippi River a while back.

So what kind of celebration does Cape Girardeau have that's popular and unusual and gets lots of participation?

Well, there's the state's oldest fair, the SEMO District Fair, which brings thousands of exhibitors and visitors to Arena Park every September. As big as the fair is, though, it's for a lot more folks than just the residents of Cape Girardeau.

The big event for our fair city is a weeklong celebration that concluded at the end of last week.

It's the Spring Cleanup Week, when residents exchange things they don't want anymore for things they can't live without.

The intent of Spring Cleanup Week -- which is a wonderful city service -- is for a lot of junk and trash to be hauled off to a landfill. But the old saw that one man's trash is another man's treasure was never more true than during Spring Cleanup Week.

In the end, the city does get cleaned up. And hundreds of people have a lot of fun in the process.

And just think: We get to do it all over again next year.

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