I thought readers would like to read a visitor's perspective about our communities of Sikeston and Miner. The following was sent to the Sikeston Convention and Visitors Bureau by John C. Fisher of Kennett:
I recently had the opportunity to spend some time in Sikeston thanks to Pansy Glenn, executive director of the Sikeston/Miner Convention and Visitors Bureau.
I met Pansy at the Heartland Writers Guild's conference this past June. This organization, of which I am treasurer, hosts a two-day conference every other year at the Coach House Inn. Pansy dropped by hoping to find a writer to do an article about some of the events associated with the annual rodeo.
I introduced Pansy to Danita Allen Wood, editor-in-chief of Missouri Life magazine, who was one of this year's speakers. Danita was eager to run such an article particularly when Pansy shared with her that a family is "kidnapped" each year. Danita asked me to write the piece which will run next year shortly before the rodeo.
I returned to Sikeston in August with my wife and two friends to attend the rodeo which we found to be a fun, exciting and well-run event that very much deserves its reputation as one of the top rodeos in the country. Prior to the rodeo we were treated to a fantastic meal at the Cattle Barron's.
On the following Saturday I was again in Sikeston, this time to witness the focus of my Missouri Life article, the annual "kidnapping." We sat in the median of Interstate 55 in a police cruiser carefully watching until a likely "victim" was spotted who was then quickly chased down. Once the "victims" realized they were not in trouble, the excited family from Mississippi felt overwhelmed by the hospitality offered and expressed that, "This is the best thing that has ever happened to us."
Following their "arrest," they were presented with a generous gift basket courtesy of area businesses then treated to lunch at Lambert's. After lunch, the family was taken downtown to enjoy the festivities of the Cowboy Up Festival. They were introduced to the crowd, handcuffed and chained, photos were taken and they were greeted by citizens in the downtown park. After playing a few games and riding the ponies, they did some shopping and were taken to their hotel to rest before being escorted to dinner and the rodeo that evening.
Having experienced these activities convinced me that Sikeston and Miner are doing a lot of things right when it come to promoting tourism in the area. One thing that aids in that task is the people. There are obviously a lot of community-minded folks who do a large amount of hard work to make events such as the rodeo possible. The friendliness and openness of the community to visitors is readily evident.
The members of the "kidnapped" family have been turned into ambassadors for the community. Upon returning home, they will have many positive things to say about the Sikeston/Miner area and Missouri .
Sikeston and Miner have much to offer visitors. It has been a great place for Heartland Writers Guild to hold its conference. We always get excellent comments from our attendees about how much they enjoyed their visit to the area. Pansy and the Sikeston/Miner Convention and Visitors Bureau are a great asset in the effort to let people know about the features of the community.
A visitor's perspective in summary: visit Sikeston and Miner, you will meet some nice people and find interesting and fun things to do and see.