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Be A Tourist in Your Hometown: August Birk

It’s National Travel & Tourism Week, and a handful of locals who love Cape Girardeau were kind enough to tell us their favorite parts of our River City!  First up is Mr. August Birk; if you don’t know him, you’ve probably seen one of his wood carvings around town (his carving of Louis Lorimier at Cape Rock Park is pictured above, it is currently undergoing repairs).  I sat down with Mr. Birk last week and we had a nice visit about how he is a tourist in his hometown.  

“I’m older and retired, and a widower, so I have a lot more time on my hands,” Birk says.  “I go to all of the shows at Southeast.  I buy season tickets and I go to a lot of things that I normally wouldn’t go to, but I haven’t gone to anything yet that I’m sorry I went to!  They have some fabulous shows that come in.  The students that they have now are good and there for a purpose, trying to proceed with a passion of theirs.  The shows that they’re putting on are excellent.”  

Birk doesn’t restrict his support of Southeast Missouri State to the River Campus.  “I go to all the SEMO games.  When its basketball season you go early and see the women play then the men play after.  I went to the first baseball game last night, they play on the weekends. Today the women have a softball game.”  

An artist himself, Birk doesn’t miss an art exhibit.  “The gallery at the River Campus has had some wonderful art shows.  I go to the local art shows, we have a bunch of them on Main Street.  I hadn’t spent the time looking at the art on the floodwall, so I went down there the last week or so.  I parked my car and read all about the panels and learned more and found out a whole lot more about it; I never took the time to do it before.”

From the outstanding shows at the River Campus to Southeast athletics and the local art scene, August Birk goes the extra mile (he walks one every day!) to enjoy Cape Girardeau.

Many thanks to Mr. Birk for visiting with me!  What is your favorite way to be a tourist in your hometown?

National Travel & Tourism Week runs May 2-10, 2015, and highlights the impact travel and tourism has as one of America’s largest industries. Learn more here.  

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