The 2014 Route 66 Cuba Fest Chili Cook-Off is revin’ its engines for take off. Plan to cruise in for a pit stop for some Hot Rod Chili as some of Cuba’s car enthusiasts vie for the title of Champion Chili Cooker. Who will run off with the title this year and receive the silver ladle? Be there to participate and vote for your favorite in the home stretch.
On Sunday, October 19 form 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, Viva Cuba once again stages its popular Cemetery Tour: Tales from the Past. A vintage-style trolley will pick up tourers outside the Catholic Church in the Recklein Commons area. The tours are free although donations are accepted.
Tourers will ride to the Kinder Cemetery, on the west edge of town, where costumed characters from Cuba’s past will board the trolley to tell of what it was like “back in the day” and provide details from their own lives in a heartfelt and sometimes humorous way. This year historical figure Will Delano conducts the trolley tour and relates details from his life and points out a few of Cuba’s historical homes on the way to Kinder. Delano took part in the California Gold Rush and did a bit of wandering before reaching Cuba, so his experiences are wide-ranging.
Save this Date!
In 2014, the official Route 66 Cuba Fest is Saturday and Sunday October 18-19. This year there is a bonus with pre-Cuba Fest activities of a Cruise-in and bonfire planned at the historic landmark Wagon Wheel Motel on Friday, October 17. And Saturday night the Route 66 Road Crew band will be rocking Belmont Winery, with the Tri-C Club running the gate. As details are ironed out, there will be more announcements to look forward to.
In 2014, Bob’s Gasoline Alley will be open to display an amazing private collection of nostalgic memorabilia. The updated hours at Bob’s Gasoline Alley during Cuba Fest will be Saturday noon-4:00 pm and Sunday noon-3:00 pm. The fee is $3.00.
Cuba Fest under various names, etc. has been in existence since Marie Marr started it in 1961 as the Cuba Art Show. It helps keep us town-strong as it is part of our small town culture.
Three reasons that you should support this yearly community event and help us stay town-strong.
March 22, 2014, (9:00 am Rain or Shine) creates race fever as the community prepares for a yearly event that brings out hundreds for the four-mile race that shuts down both lanes of Route 66 and raises 1000s for the fitness of Cuba kids. Last year, the 6th annual Route 66 Race to the Rocker brought in over $20,000 for Cuba’s kids. Close to 1000 racers pounded the Route 66 pavement .
The race begins in Cuba, MO’s historic mural district in front of 3rd Generation Salon and ends at the site of the World’s Largest Rocking Chair at the Fanning Route 66 Outpost General Store. The race is unique for its Route 66 route and its finish line. The goal for every participant of whatever age is to make that last bend of the race and see the massive rocker on the horizon.
Hayes Shoe Store has a rush for new tennis shoes. The walkers and runners hit the street in preparation for the race. All ages take part. The oldest runner was eighty and the youngest only one. Yes, you can use a stroller if you stay toward the back when the race starts.
The organizing group JOG,inc. and Race Director Brad Austin begin planning the next year’s race as soon as the current one is over. Committees form to take care of the myriad of details involved in the Friday night Expo and Spaghetti Dinner. The Saturday race must be well-organized and coordinated with Big River Running. Registration has to flow smoothly.
The race also garners attention for the town. Rural Missouri Magazine featured the Rocker on its cover and profiled the town on the inside cover of its March issue. Jim McCarty’s photo of the rocker is enough to make other racees green with envy.
AAA’s March/April Midwest Traveler Magazine also covered the race and our town in its article “Show Me the Mother Road” by Deborah Reinhardt.
In her article Reinhardt has this to say about Cuba:
A short drive west from Stanton brings you to Cuba, an interesting town with an impressive collection of outdoor murals, some devoted to Route 66. If you’re in town on March 22, you’ll likely see runners participating in the annual Race to the Rocker. The world’s largest rocking chair–according to the Guinness Book of World Records–is in Cuba. You’ll also find the restored Wagon Wheel Motel, 901 E. Washington. Several restaurants, including Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q, are in town and well worth sampling.
As Viva Cuba members travel, we often notice that it really is a small world. One of our members recently noticed a Cuba connection during a visit to Riverside, California.
What do Cuba, Missouri and Riverside, California have in common? Both towns enjoyed visits from two famous women, Amelia Earhart and Bette Davis.
Earhart and Davis are depicted on large outdoor murals along the Route 66 corridor, commemorating their stopovers in Cuba, Missouri.
Earhart made an emergency landing in a field near Cuba, Missouri on September 4, 1928. Finding no damage to her plane, she continued her journey to Muskogee, Oklahoma.
The Mission Inn, a beautiful hotel in Riverside, California boasts two noteworthy pictures of the celebrities that can be seen at the Mission Inn Museum.
The first picture shows DeWitt Hutchings, son-in-law of the builder of the Mission Inn Frank Miller, visiting with Amelia Earhart and the Mission’s pet macaws, Joseph and Napoleon on February 3, 1936. She was honored in a ceremony held at the Mission Inn. The following year, in 1937, Earhart, along with her navigator vanished over the Pacific Ocean when they attempted the first flight around the world.
Just as Cuba does, the Mission Inn Museum provides a lesson plan for local students on the famed aviatrix. Their lesson plans are for third graders while Viva Cuba’s are for fourth graders to coincide with their spring Missouri History Month. View one of our resulting fourth grader mural tours here. You will see Cuba’s version of Amelia Earhart.
Both communities also have a connection to the famed Academy Award winning actress Bette Davis.
Actress Bette Davis, whose real name was Ruth Elizabeth Davis, was married on November 30, 1945, to William Grant Sherry in the St. Francis Chapel at the Mission Inn. View more about it on the museum’s website.
Three years later, in 1948, she visited Cuba, Missouri where she dined at the Southern Hotel. Read about it here. Her visit is depicted in a mural on the Cuba Free Press building along Route 66.
Yes, it’s a small world. If you haven’t visited Cuba, stop by sometime and visit. And bring your camera.
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