A BIG SMILE

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Recently, I had the opportunity to meet up with the most energetic and cheerful person I’ve come across in a great while. When you meet this person you know immediately why she is so happy. She has it made. She has everything she wants and needs right here in the 573, and she takes nothing for granted. She could be the poster child for this magazine. The 573 was created 10 years ago as a vehicle to illustrate all the great features the area has to offer and all the things people who live here might take for granted. She knows how great this area is and takes advantage of all it
has to offer. Meet our new smiley friend, Brenda Newbern, the new Executive Director of the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

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My name is Brenda Newbern and I am a Cape Girardeau native. For me, my love of walking in the outdoors is the best way to experience and enjoy all the great things that Cape has to offer. Through the years I have worked in manufacturing, business and sales. The past 13 years I worked as a sales manager for Mid-America Hotels. Currently, I am the Executive Director for the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau-my dream job. Working at the CVB makes it easy to do what I love. Giving people a reason to come stay and play in Cape is a dream come true!

Cape Girardeau has all the amenities of a large city without the traffic, hustle and bustle. Like all larger small towns Cape has its issues, yet they aren’t such that you don’t feel safe walking by yourself or going to the mall. People here, for the most part, still have that Southern hospitality. I like this small town atmosphere: the sounds of the night and the real beauty in the sunrises and sunsets. I like that I can get to know the people around me, and we can be part of each other’s world.

Cape Girardeau also has the Mississippi Riverfront. On a windy day it has breaks and white caps-not quite waves but so relaxing to listen to as you walk along the riverfront and gaze at the sun reflecting off the water. If you close one eye you think you‟re at the ocean. Ha. Ha.

And we are mid-way between St. Louis and Memphis. If you want some professional sports or other big city experiences, they are only a short drive away. I consider those my suburbs.

The historic Common Pleas Courthouse over there is where Louis Lorimier set the plot of land aside in 1805 for a ‘civic center and seat of justice.’ An ordinance was approved by the mayor and city council to raise money for the construction via city taxes on June 12, 1854. And the steps are a great way to get the heart rate up.

And here, the Buckner Ragsdale Building was built in 1916 and was one of the main places to shop in downtown Cape. Now it is a great place to try some new brews! And while there, enjoy some billiards, bands and games on the big screen TV’s.

In 1986, during redevelopment, the clock was put in and hey, what a photo opportunity! And who says there’s no Time Square in the ‘Heartland!
These railroad tracks, at one point, carried passengers to the depot in Cape through the flooded river prior to the wall being built. Now it is just fun to see the train come through while kids of all ages see if they can get the engineer to sound the whistle just for them!!

Downtown Cape has something for everyone; the farmers’ market, tunes at twilight, the Riverfront, new business opportunities, shopping and dining! We also have all kinds of sports for youth and adults, as well as theater, symphony and dance performances of all genres!’ Brenda continues, ‘What’s not to love in Cape Girardeau? And don’t forget to take a walk on the West side too!

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