Cakeway to the West: Have you found the 26 cakes in the metro-east?

News-DemocratApril 5, 2014 

Cakeway to the West has a strong presence in the metro-east.

The promotion features two-tier, 4-feet-tall fiberglass cakes, painted by local artists with themes in relation to the places where they are standing.

They are sponsored by STL250, an organization helping celebrate the 250th anniversary of St. Louis.

Of the 250 planned cakes, so far, 26 are in the metro-east. That figures since our area is, after all, the gateway to St. Louis, which promotes itself as the Gateway to the West.

The organization advertises the cakes as a combination public art exhibit, scavenger hunt and history lesson.

An app for smart phones is available to let people visit the cakes, take pictures and post them and earn points to win prizes.

The metro-east cakes are in an area that stretches from Pere Marquette State Park north of Grafton down to the Monroe County Courthouse in Waterloo on the south.

There is one at the Clinton County Courthouse in Carlyle on the east and a cake at the Cahokia Courthouse in Cahokia on the west.

In Belleville, cakes are at the St. Clair County Historical Society Victorian House and Museum at 701 E. Washington St. and the Emma Kunz House at 602 Fulton St. There also are cakes at Eckert's Country Store, the Skyview Drive-In Theater and the Scott Field Heritage Air Park at the Belleville Gate.

Will Shannon, local historical society historian, said the St. Louis organization contacted them and offered the cakes.

"We jumped at the chance," he said. "It's a neat thing and it's great to be included."

The cake at the Kunz House is painted blue and has white silhouettes on it of women from the time period, he said.

"You have to get out of your car and walk around to see them all," he said. "I also have noticed people driving by, slowing down to look at the cake outside the museum. Some are stopping to take pictures."

The cake at the Skyview is decorated with painted Chevrolet Corvettes while the cake at Eckert's has fruits, vegetables and flowers.

The Scott cake has a transportation theme. On the top tier are the expected airplanes but for some reason the bottom tier has trains and the base features river transportation.

Cakes scattered around the area include ones in Alton, Edwardsville and Granite City. The World's Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville has one as does the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

The Confluence Tower and the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site in Hartford have cakes as well as the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center, the Kathryn Dunham Museum and the Malcom W. Martin Memorial Park in East St. Louis.

For more information about this promotion and a list of cake sites and other St. Louis 250 events, you can visit the website, www.stl250.org.

Have a column idea? Call Wally at 618-239-2506 or 800-642-3878; or email: wspiers@bnd.com

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