The Tri-C organization’s Route 66 Cuba Fest is an annual fun-filled event the 3rd weekend of October. In 2015, October 17th & 18th brings businesses, organizations, and individuals together to provide a family weekend of music, food, crafts, dancing, and activities. The Viva Cuba community beautification organization’s mural tours, cemetery tours, and chili cook-off will feature Cuba’s history, present, and future of maintaining its historical murals.
The Viva Cuba Chili Cook-Off on Saturday from 11:00-1:00 features past Grand Champions for the Best of the Best Chili. Get your tickets from your favorite cookers or show up at the Cook-Off to taste some Championship Chili.
The Viva Cuba Trolley Tours bring a vintage-style trolley from St. Louis to provide Narrated Mural Tours on Saturday and Cemetery Tours on Sunday. These are popular tours and fill up quickly. They are free, but you must pick up a ticket from our ticket agents to reserve you space on the trolley. Trolley tickets and loading for the trolley are in front of the Catholic Church on N. Smith Street. Donations for tours are accepted to help maintain the murals.
UPDATE: ALL TROLLEY TOUR MURAL DONATIONS ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY AND THE PROCEEDS OF ALL VIVA CUBA MERCHANDISE SALES WILL BE MATCHED BY AN ANONYMOUS DONOR TO FUND THE OSAGE LEGACY PROJECT. THE FUNDS WILL BE USED TO BUILD A SCULPTURE OF AN OSAGE FAMILY TRAVELING WEST ON THE GROUNDS OF THE CUBA, MO VISITOR CENTER.
On Sunday, during the Cemetery Tours, it’s all aboard for a trolley tour to Kinder Cemetery on the west edge of Cuba. Characters in historical dress will board the trolley to tell their stories. Stories are both humorous and bittersweet. During the trolley ride, the character Jake will narrate items of interest. Jake was a Native American Osage who stayed behind when the Osage moved to Oklahoma. He lived on the prairie, and when others wanted to visit him, they would say, “Let’s go up to Jake’s Prairie,” thus the name of that area today.
Other characters include:
Lawrence H. Lewis, born in New York and came to Crawford County in 1871. He was a civic leader, politician, and businessman man. He ran a sawmill and opened a blacksmith and wagon making shop. We will let him tell you about the Lewis Opera House in Cuba in 1882.
Henry Cap Souders, one of the most prominent citizens of Crawford County, was born in Indiana in 1832 and came to the county with his parents in 1839. As a judge, captain in the Civil War, and father of 15 children, he has some stories for you.
George McSpadden was a photographer, and his photos promised “The New Aristro Finish that would not fade.” Did they?
Leo Freisenhan was a stone mason who is known for his work designing and building the Wagon Wheel Motel in the 1930s. But some of his and wife Anna’s family distinctions led to their inclusion in the Ripley’s Believe it or Not in 1950.
Mary Brandenburger, a 40+ year teacher, started in a one-room country school. She saw many changes and has many insights into the times. Don’t miss her dramatization.
As usual, this year’s Route 66 Cuba Fest will offer something for everyone, beginning with the early morning starts for this year’s bicycle and foot races. Then it’s a day of apple butter making the old-fashioned way and two days of food, frolic, and fun.
Visit Route 66 Cuba Fest on Facebook for updates and details.