Horseshoe tournament brings boost to economy to southeast Missouri

The Knights of Columbus St. Isidore Council 5898 held their 41st state horseshoe tournament...
The Knights of Columbus St. Isidore Council 5898 held their 41st state horseshoe tournament bringing in thousands of visitors to the area.(KFVS)
Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 8:31 PM CDT
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LEOPOLD, Mo. - As thousands made their way to Leopold this weekend, they helped provide an economic boost to the area as well.

The Knights of Columbus St. Isidore Council 5898 held their 41st state horseshoe tournament bringing in thousands of visitors to the area.

People at the huge event gathered together for three days to have fun and play for a chance to bring home a trophy.

We talked with organizers about how this large event has a financial impact for the town and the surrounding area.

“Just for this weekend, we’ve got all the hotels that are rented out in Cape Girardeau,” Assistant Tournament Director Tyler Clubb said. “We’ve sent people up in Perryville and a lot of campgrounds around. With people staying, there, they also have to eat at the restaurants there, gas stations, convenience stores, a lot of the shops.”

Visitors came from various parts of the Heartland, from around the State of Missouri and the Midwest.

They lined up getting food and drinks at the event. They also spent their money at restaurants and businesses throughout southeast Missouri at times they weren’t at the tournament.

We talked with one visitor from Fort Madison, Iowa, who came down here to play in her first horseshoe tournament.

“I think it’s a pivotal experience for a community, especially getting the sponsors that are a part of it and getting their names out as well,” Shea Berlin said. “We’ve done Olive Garden, we’ve done Texas Roadhouse, getting gas in the small communities, it helps.”

Stephanie Richards came down from Hannibal, Mo, where she has been attending horseshoe tournaments for the last several years. She said it’s beneficial all around to have an event of this magnitude in a small community.

“I know for small town communities like this, we come from a small town community,” Richards said. “We understand that it’s hard right now, especially with everything that’s going on recently. It’s hard to keep up with things and when we have attractions like this, it brings a lot of people from everywhere around.”

Organizers say while this event is fun, it also helps local and regional charities and organizations.

“Knights of Columbus is a good organization,” Clubb said. “We help out several charities along the way and for people in the community that are either going through a difficult time or have had a loss. We help those families out in a time of need. So, it’s all for a good cause.”

“These people are just out here having fun but they’re supporting a great cause,” Knights of Columbus State Deputy Doug Kissinger said. “Our developmental center in St. Louis with Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is one of the leading centers for the diagnosis of autism early in youngsters and it’s making a difference everyday in those family’s lives.”

The St. Isidore Council was founded in 1966 and has been a major part of the Leopold community.