Metro-East News

Happy birthday, Marissa! It’s time to celebrate — with a lot of cake.

The winning cake, at Shaw True Value Hardware.
The winning cake, at Shaw True Value Hardware.

The village of Marissa turns 150 this year, and they are throwing not just one, but a bunch of parties to celebrate.

And what’s a party without a cake, or 32 cakes to be exact, located at residences and businesses throughout town.

The Marissa 150th Decorative Cake Contest was modeled after the St. Louis250 event. Pam Thuenemann-Baker and Liz Shaw-Halloran are the two-person committee that organized the contest.

Shaw-Halloran said it sprang from her family’s visits to some of the cakes of the St. Louis250 event a few years ago.

They were unsure of the response they would get and were surprised when entries just kept coming in.

“I never thought it would take off the way it did,” she said. “It’s unbelievable, the response.”

About the only rule was that the cake needed to be at least three feet tall.

“We left it open, so people could be creative,” Shaw-Halloran said. “We have everything from simple to extravagant.”

People obviously had fun designing and constructing the cakes out of wood, metal, rubber, plastic, cardboard, fabric and even library books.

Most are outside on display, although a few need to be protected from the weather.

At Fancyworks Quilt and Crafts, owner Barb Lake quilted parts of her cake and used a 150th T-shirt for a topper.

She said sometimes when it is windy, the cake rolls down the street.

“I’ve looked out a few times and had to chase it down,” she said.

At the Marissa Public Library, a round tower of books is the cake with paper flower decorations and old paper book check-out cards cut into pennant shapes and strung around the cake.

At Reiss Ford, different size tires form the cake base, and gold-painted spark plugs serve as candles.

In front of Shaw True Value Hardware, the cake has strips of paint samples rolled up to make chains, and paint rollers dipped in various colors of paint.

The historical society cake features pictures of the town’s military men and women. Other cakes have historic pictures of the village.

The cakes are drawing a lot of attention.

“It’s fun to see people out driving around, looking at them,” Shaw-Halloran said.

The committee lined up a panel of impartial judges from Red Bud, and they picked prize winners on Saturday.

And the winners are:

▪  1st place: Shaw True Value Hardware

▪  2nd place: Marissa Public Library

▪  3rd place: Village Bank

Other 150th anniversary events on tap include the Coal Festival in June, Fourth of July fireworks, an All School Reunion in September, an Old Fashioned Picnic in the Park in October, the Toast of Marissa in November and a December raffle and closing of the 150th year event.

For more information, call Shaw-Halloran at Shaw Pharmacy, 618 295-2241 or Thuenemann-Baker at (618) 977-7479. Lists of where the cakes are located are available at the pharmacy and city hall. Maps will be available next week at the All Town Yard Sale.