Several familiar places in Perry County will roll out their welcome mats this weekend as they participate in the annual Mississippi River Scenic Drive.
This is the 23rd year for the annual springtime event, and according to coordinator Estelee Wood, the drive brings thousands of people to southeast Missouri every year. The drive is set for April 26-27.
“It is an opportunity to draw attention to the great history in so many communities,” Wood said. “Weather permitting, we see between two and four thousand people participate on the tour.”
The Mississippi River Valley Scenic Drive will feature 14 rural communities in Perry, Cape and Bollinger Counties, with several communities offering more than one event. Each stop along the more than 200-mile route will include numerous attractions,food, music, scenic views, wine, historical landmarks and tourism.
“There’s a lot of things to chose from,” Wood said. “People start anywhere they want along the trail, and there is always something new to see or visit, even for those who’ve participated in the drive every year.”
Perry County towns of Altenburg, Brazeau, Farrar, Frohna, Old Appleton and Uniontown are all part of the Scenic Drive, and each offers something different for visitors.
“We are celebrating Hemman Winery’s 10th anniversary,” said Bonnie Hemman, of Hemman Wineries, BrazeWe will have an anniversary release on a new wine — Edelweiss — and we’ll be serving chicken and waffles. Brazeau will also have a flea market/rummage sale with crafts and hobby stands at the Brazeau Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“There will be a country store, historic buildings will be open for touring along with the usual country-style food and bake sale stands.”
Altenburg’s Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum will be open for visitors, and Nancy Hadler of Tower Rock Winery is looking forward entertaining the masses the drive brings to her lakeside winery.
“We’ll present live music 2-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday,” Hadler said. “Saturday we welcome RUSTIC, a new duo of music veterans Roger Probst and Avery Behrle playing acoustic classic rock, and Sunday we host the Bill Bradley Band.”
Ellen Frye, of Eggers and Co. General Store, Farrah, said they will use the scenic tour to kick off their annual plant sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. They will also be offering a workshop on container gardening Saturday afternoon.
Old Appleton’s historic bridge will be the backdrop for visitors there to shop at Apple Creek Studio, with a plethora of art for sale, from hand-dyed wool yarn, to canvas oil painting and metal sculptures. Appleton Mercantile Co., which specializes in architectural salvage, will be open.
The Saxon Memorial will also have a plant sale and other activities.
Uniontown’s Country Charm Emporium, specializing in antiques, is also participating.
For more information about the drive and to access the brochure, and map that lists each stop, visit the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau online, or call (573) 275-7487.