Cape Girardeau wins 2013 Great Race Best Overnight Stop City Award | Community Spirit
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau, Mo., won the 2013 Best Overnight City Award on the 2013 "Hemmings Motor News" Great Race presented by Hagerty for its overwhelming spirit and hospitality, race officials have announced.
Cape Girardeau hosted a stop on Main Street on Tuesday, June 25, and more than 5,000 spectators attended. It was the first time in the 30-year history of the Great Race that the event had been to Cape Girardeau.
“All of the overnight stops were fantastic,” said race director Jeff Stumb. “But Cape Girardeau was one of those stops that will be talked about for years to come by the participants.”
“The hospitality shown to the racers by the huge crowd downtown was tremendous, but the most comments I got were how impressed everyone was with the spectators lining Broadway Street for miles all the way to Main Street.”
Danny Essner, Chairman of the Cape Girardeau Great Race Committee said, “The committee’s goal was to not only win the 2013 Overnight City Award, but to do it better than it had ever been done before. I could not have been prouder of the way our entire community pulled together to make our Welcome Party a huge success.”
Local businesses contributed to the huge welcome Cape Girardeau gave Great Racer’s by hosting PitStop Parties along the racer’s route into town and Welcome Parties in the downtown commercial district around the finish line.
Kyleigh Baliva of Pastimes Antiques, winner of the Welcome Party award, said “The Great Race literally stopped in front of our store, so hosting a Welcome Party was a positive experience for the business, our customers and our dealers. Some of the dealers even brought in specific race related items to help us spread the cheer. We are proud of Cape Girardeau for coming together as a community to welcome the Great Racers.”
Mississippi Mutts captured the PitStop Party award, and Sherry Jennings said that “Our Pit Stop Party was an opportunity to get the community excited for the event. It benefits us to participate in this kind of stuff because it brings in new people and keeps our customers excited.”
Almost 200 cars participated in a local car show as well along the riverfront, capping off the experience.
The overnight stops in Davenport, Iowa; Hannibal, Mo.; Germantown, Tenn.; Covington, La.; and Mobile, Ala.; were also among the racers’ favorites. “And we will never forget the start in St. Paul where literally tens of thousands of people cheered the racers on as they began their trek,” Stumb said.
The Great Race started in St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday, June 22, with 99 automobiles – everything from a 1913 Premier to a 1969 Camaro – and ended 2,100 miles and nine days later in Mobile, Ala. The route followed the Mississippi River for most of the way, and contestants crossed it 12 times in all.
Barry and Irene Jason of Keller, Texas, won $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse for winning the race in their 1935 Ford Coupe.
The 2014 Great Race route and dates have been announced, and it will start June 21 in Maine and end June 29 in Florida.
Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.