Cuba's murals bring us many international travelers and an opportunity to extend a personal greeting.
Viva Cuba works hard to maintain our presence on the Internet and with social media.
*We have a website, a blog, and both a Facebook and Twitter page. These contacts allow us to tell Cuba’s story and maintain an ongoing presence with both international and US followers, as well as with local townspeople who like to know what is happening in Cuba.
*And people can comment on our blog or Facebook page and make it a two-way conversation.
Travel to talk about the murals
However, with that said, it’s nice to get out and to talk to folks face-to-face too. Sometimes we travel to do that.
*Recently, we wrote of the informational table we had in Chesterfield for attendees to a AAA travel industry meeting.
*We also traveled to Saint Genevieve, Missouri to make a presentation at the Main Street Conference about Cuba’s murals and their impact.
*Just this week I visited the Who’s New & You luncheon group in Rolla to tell about the murals and encourage them to visit. It’s always fun to see what others are doing and visit about Cuba attractions and events that people might be interested in.
Bus and travel groups
*We also get bus groups, where we step aboard and talk to them about the murals’ stories. Sometimes we lunch with the group or ride out to the World’s Largest Rocking Chair with them.
*Last summer, we also toured some travel writers along Route 66 in Cuba.
*The narrated trolley tours during Cuba Fest is another opportunity to interact with visitors and locals about the murals and the history of Cuba.
*This spring, a culinary group from St. Louis toured McGinnis Wood Products to see how wine barrels were make.
*During the 2010 Spyderfest, we gave the spyder riders a night time tour of the murals that ended with a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial. With so many of the riders being veterans, they appreciated that part of the evening. An even larger group of spyder riders are returning to Cuba this year from April 27-May 1.
It is always gratifying to have others appreciate our town and answer their questions. We always encourage them to return for Cuba Fest, the Lions Club Car Show, or the Fair.
The trolley tours during Cuba Fest let us relate Cuba's history to visitors and locals. This year Cuba Fest is October 15-16.
The fourth graders
*One of our favorite personal contacts is in May when we get to board the yellow school bus and give Cuba’s fourth graders a narrated tour of the murals as part of their Missouri History studies.
*The students have a curriculum that they study about each of the murals, so they are well prepared for the tours.
*We enjoy their questions and like looking at their Missouri History projects, many which have a local angle.
*We have also given students walking tours of the murals because we feel it is important that students know Cuba’s history.
Cuba kids learn their local history through hands-on projects, tours, and using the mural curriculum.
Encounters with tourists
And, of course, we always like to visit with tourists who we see in town, ask if they have a mural brochures, and ask where they are from.
*Just today, there was a group of Australian motorcyclists at the restored Phillips 66 station. They were looking at the murals, and I gave them mural brochure, which they could keep as souvenirs of their time in Cuba. I also looked over the brochures and pointed out where the murals were and talked about other local attractions with them.
*There was also a couple from Denmark in front of Wallis House taking photos too. They already had brochures, but I mentioned that we were glad that they stopped in Cuba.
So while Viva Cuba likes its Internet presence, it can’t take the place of a the laughter that we hear when we tell the story of Wilbur Vaughn’s encounter with Bette Davis and her male companion. A comment on the website is not the same as when we see a bus full of fourth graders waving their hands in the air to answer a question. And it doesn’t let us see the tears when we talk about the Gold Star boys mural that pictures the faces of Cuba’s young men who did not return from WW II.
For some things, you just have to get up-front-and-personal. Come visit. You’ll see.
These Canadians spent some time touring the murals and ate at Frisco's.
The culinary group from the St. Louis area toured McGinnis Wood Products barrel making facility. We also told them about local attractions and encouraged them to return for some of our events.
During last year's Spyderfest, spyder riders got a nighttime tour of the murals and a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial. The 2011 Spyderfest is April 27-May 1.
Read “5 Tips to get more out of your visit to Cuba, Missouri…”