© 2024 KRCU Public Radio
90.9 Cape Girardeau | 88.9-HD Ste. Genevieve | 88.7 Poplar Bluff
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local business leaders, politicians, experts and scientists.All are fair game on KRCU's Going Public.Join us for interviews and features that matter to you on KRCU's Going Public.

Cape Girardeau Gears Up For The Great Race

Cape Girardeau’s streets may look like they are stuck in a time warp on June 25. At least one-hundred vintage cars will wind through the streets as participants in The Great Race make an overnight stop in Cape Girardeau.

The Great Race stretches from St. Paul, Minnesota to Mobile, Alabama. But this won’t be like any regular antique car show. Over the period of about 90 minutes, one car per minute will arrive at the finish line in downtown Cape Girardeau.

Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Chuck Martin said The Great Race should appeal to everybody, not just people who are into old cars.

“It really is part of being part of an experience,” Martin said. “Not only is there anything like this happening in our area this summer, there probably won’t be anything like this happening in our area for many years to come.” 

For the purpose of The Great Race, vintage cars are classified as those manufactured before 1969. Most of the cars this year were made before World War II.

Each car’s driver and navigator must follow a very specific set of instructions. The route takes many smaller, country roads and veers clear of the Interstate. Teams are penalized for arriving too early and too late, according to CVB public relations director Stacy Donagne Lane.

“It’s not like a car race that you would assume they’re just trying to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible,” Lane said. “It’s really all about putting a vintage car through its paces.”

Martin encourages people to come downtown in the evening of June 25 at about 4:45 p.m. when cars begin arriving in one minute intervals. The vintage cars will park along Main Street between Broadway and William Streets.

“People will be able to literally walk up to the cars, see what exactly they look like, talk with the driver and navigator and so forth,” Martin said. “It really is going to be a great hands on experience.”

Lane is encouraging businesses to host pit stop parties along The Great Race route on North Kingshighway and down Broadway because she wants the city to win the race’s hospitality award.

“We thought that if we encouraged businesses to get together and throw these great pit stop parties to really welcome the racers to town, that would improve our chances,” Lane said. The CVB is encouraging businesses in the downtown commercial district near the finish line to hold welcome parties.

“It’s just a great opportunity to come down,” Martin. “I think it’s very much going to be a party atmosphere.” 

Sponsors will have booths and exhibits. Those sponsors include NAPA Tire and Auto Parts, EVTV Motor Verks, Rhodes 101, the Capaha Antique Car Club, KFVS12 and Mid-America Hotels.