Casimir Pulaski Birthday Celebration Wrap-Up

Happy Birthday Casimir!

On Monday, March 4th, 2019 Pulaski County Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center celebrated the 274th birthday of Casimir Pulaski, Revolutionary War hero and namesake of Pulaski County, Missouri. The City of Waynesville issued a proclamation decreeing the day as Casimir Pulaski Day.


Waynesville City Councilman Clarence Liberty presents Pulaski County Tourism Bureau Executive Director Beth Wiles the City of Waynesville’s proclamation decreeing Monday, March 4th, 2019 Casimir Pulaski Day in Waynesville, Missouri.

PCTB began incorporating a re-imagined depiction of Casimir Pulaski into their social media channels January 4, 2019. Casimir 2.0 brings a face to PCTB’s digital marketing efforts and brings Pulaski into the minds of residents and to those visiting our county.

American Revolutionary War Hero Casimir Pulaski (left) and reimagined Casimir 2.0 (right)

American Revolutionary War Hero Casimir Pulaski (left) and reimagined Casimir 2.0 (right)

To honor Pulaski further the organization began a new annual tradition of hosting an open house on the first Monday in March to celebrate Pulaski’s birthday. The annual open house also gives Pulaski County residents a festive opportunity to get to know PCTB, engage with tourism-related business owners, learn how tourism drives Pulaski County’s economy, and, perhaps, even discover area attractions they may have been unaware of before.


Scavenger Hunt clues were placed throughout the Visitors Center- including the Pulaski County room!


Check out these videos of our partners and community leaders who stopped by during the celebration!

In addition to birthday cake, punch, and coffee, party-goers who participated in the scavenger hunt were rewarded with an extra ticket for a chance to win one of multiple door prizes. The scavenger hunt aided attendees in learning:

• Pulaski County Tourism Bureau is a nonprofit organization that is funded by a 3% lodging tax. This funding is used for the sole purpose of marketing Pulaski County as a tourist destination.

• PCTB markets Pulaski County through media and film, targeted banner ads, print and online publications, radio, billboards, social media, tradeshows, marketplace events, and speaking engagements. The Bureau also produces and distributes an annual Visitors Guide, and brochures such as the popular Historic Driving Tours and Waynesville Walking Tour.

• PCTB markets the county as a tourist destination to history & culture travelers, military graduation families, Route 66 enthusiasts, leisure travelers, specialty groups (Big BAM, National Speleological Society, etc.), motor coach companies (including church and bank groups), and reunion groups- including military, family, and alumni associations.

• Tourism in Pulaski County impacts a diverse array of local businesses including restaurants and nightlife, indoor and outdoor recreation, shopping and personal services, RV parks and campgrounds, hotels, motels, cabins, vacation homes, bed & breakfasts, and transportation providers. Tourists, travelers, and visitors spend over $75 million in Pulaski County annually. Tourism also indirectly impacts revenue in the county by employing over 2,600 residents who spend over $55 million in payroll.

The event also incorporated an online silent auction to benefit Saint Robert’s future Neon Park. The Neon Park will be located within George M. Reed Roadside Park, which is one of only two remaining roadside parks on Route 66 in Missouri. The Neon Park will feature restored classic neon signs- iconic pieces of vintage Americana, that have been rescued from the Mother Road and lovingly brought back to life. The Neon Park will be a game-changer for Pulaski County by enticing Route 66 travelers to eat, stay, and play after the signs are lit each evening. The Neon Park is spearheaded by Pulaski County Route 66 Preservation. Auction items are available for bid through Noon March 18th, 2019 and can be viewed here: For corporate and business sponsorship opportunities contact Beth Wiles at

Route 66 Neon Park (1)

Door prizes were generously furnished by Cellar 66 Restaurant & Wine Bar, City of Waynesville and Cookiez By Nourish & Nurse, LLC. Door prize winners were Twyla Cordry, Ronda Cortesini, Ezra Murray, & Laura Schoephorster!

The entire staff at Pulaski County Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center thanks the community for celebrating Casimir Pulaski with us and we look forward to seeing you again March 2nd, 2020 for Casimir’s 275th birthday party!

Further reading:
History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts- Casimir Pulaski
Introducing Casimir 2.0
Route 66 Neon Park Proposed in Saint Robert, Missouri


Introducing Casimir 2.0

American Revolutionary War Hero Casimir Pulaski (left) and reimagined Casimir 2.0 (right)

American Revolutionary War Hero Casimir Pulaski (left) and reimagined Casimir 2.0 (right)

You probably have noticed a new “personality” on Pulaski County USA Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center Facebook and social media channels this year. “Casimir 2.0” made his debut January 4, 2019. As illustrated by the above side-by-side images you can see that Casimir 2.0 is modeled after Pulaski County, Missouri’s namesake Kazimierz Michał Władysław Wiktor Pułaski, more commonly known as Casimir Pulaski.

Casimir Pulaski was a Polish nobleman, soldier, freedom fighter, and is sometimes referred to as “the father of the American Cavalry.” Pulaski fought the Russians in his native Poland from 1770 until 1772. When that uprising failed, he was driven into exile.

Upon the recommendation of Benjamin Franklin, Pulaski immigrated to North America to fight against the British with the Americans for freedom. In his very first engagement with the British, at the Battle of Brandywine, Pulaski saved the life of George Washington. He became a general in the Continental Army and reformed the American cavalry.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

Pulaski was mortally wounded while leading a daring and heroic charge against British forces at the Battle of Savannah and is buried at Monterey Square there.

Numerous cities, towns, parks, roadways, bridges, schools, and even a Masonic Lodge in Chicago are named after Pulaski in recognition of his devotion to the cause of freedom. Monuments and statues in Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Wisconsin Ohio, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, Michigan and Washington D.C. pay tribute to him. In addition to Pulaski County, Missouri he is also namesake to Pulaski County in Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia.

In 2009, 230 years after his death, Congress and President Obama proclaimed Pulaski an honorary United States citizen.

On November 11th, 2018 high school students in Wodzisław Śląski, celebrated Poland’s 100th anniversary of independence. Student Krysia Noga, who had connected with various Pulaski namesakes in the United States, including Pulaski County, Missouri gave a media presentation and short lecture about Casimir Pulaski from both the American and Polish points of view. Her decision to share Pulaski’s legacy with a new generation partially inspired our decision to bring him “back to life” and back into the minds of Pulaski County, Missouri’s residents and to those visiting our county through Casimir 2.0. We feel that if Pulaski were alive today, with the somberness of the United States war for independence more than 240 years in the past, that he would be a champion for his namesakes and would greet visitors with a smile and a wave.

Welcome to Pulaski County USA!

Welcome to Pulaski County USA!

We hope that Casimir 2.0 brightens your day when he pops into your social media feed and that you think of the man who was willing to die for both his native country and his adopted homeland.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau and Visitors Center will throw a birthday celebration for Casimir Pulaski Monday, March 4th, 2019 between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Executive Director Beth Wiles extends a cordial invitation to all Pulaski County officials, organizations, residents, and tourists to honor Pulaski at the Visitors Center (137 St. Robert Blvd, Saint Robert, MO.) by enjoying birthday cake, beverages, and socializing. Stay tuned for more event details!

Happy Birthday Casimir!

“I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.” -Casimir Pulaski


Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport Announces Commercial Jet Service

On Tuesday, January 8, the City of Waynesville and the City of St. Robert joined with Contour Airlines at the Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport (WSRA) on Fort Leonard Wood (FLW) to announce the new commercial jet service that will begin on February 12, 2019.

Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport announced commercial jet service with Contour Airlines January 8, 2019.

Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport announced commercial jet service with Contour Airlines January 8, 2019.

The airport plays a large part in the region’s tourism industry. With over 150,000 visitors coming to the Fort Leonard Wood Region every year to attend military graduations, safe, fast, affordable flights into and out of the region are essential.

“The Contour jet service will allow local community members and those visiting the region to do so comfortably, quickly, and safely. We’ve seen the demand for this type of service grow over the years and we are excited about the positive impact it will have on our regional economy,” said St. Robert mayor George Lauritson.

This new daily jet service between Fort Leonard Wood and St. Louis will accommodate up to 30 passengers on each flight with a flight time of less than 30 minutes. Introductory fares will start at $29 each way for tickets purchased before January 22, 2019 and regular fares will range from $39 to $99 each way. Currently, tickets can be purchased through Contour’s website or by calling Contour at: 888-332-6686.

The new service doubles the daily capacity of the current local air service and as a result the cities, along with cooperation from their FLW partners, will soon be making temporary modifications to the existing commercial terminal to accommodate the increase.

“As cities, we are proud today to be moving forward in our plan to make our airport more accessible and user-friendly. We welcome jet service to our regional airport and are working for even more improvements in the future,” said Waynesville mayor Luge Hardman.

Securing jet service at the WSRA has been an important regional strategy in strengthening the future of FLW and the four-county region around the installation. The new jet service is an important quality of life improvement for the region and enhances FLW’s mission by making it easier and more efficient for official military travel to and from the installation itself.

Contour Airlines was founded in 1982. With the addition of the route between Fort Leonard Wood and St. Louis, they now provide service in seven states. Their Embraer regional jets will provide passengers with comfortable seating, a beverage and snack service, as well as a complimentary first checked bag, one carry-on item, and one small personal item for each passenger.

The Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport is located on Fort Leonard Wood and is one of two Army joint use airports in the country. The airport is open to the general public for normal commercial travel and also provides general aviation services. More information about the airport can be found on their website.

NSS-CDS Midwest 2018 Workshop Held in Pulaski County, Missouri

National Speleological Society-Cave Diving Section Midwest hosted a workshop October 20th, 2018 at Hampton Inn (103 St. Robert Plaza Drive) Saint Robert, Missouri. Saint Robert is just two miles away from the site of the 2015 National Speleological Society convention that was held in Waynesville.

The workshop was preceded Friday evening by a social at Paradise Pit Caribbean Restaurant & Lounge in Saint Robert.

Paradise Pit Caribbean Restaurant

NSS-CDS Midwest 2018 Workshop Social at Paradise Pit Caribbean Restaurant.

Thirty+ attendees from 5 different states began arriving in Pulaski County as early as Wednesday. The group heard presentations from 7 speakers, including:

Forrest Wilson, Bill Harrison, Zachary Klukkert, and Kyle Moschell were speakers at NSS-CDS Midwest Workshop 2018.

Forrest Wilson, Bill Harrison, Zachary Klukkert, and Kyle Moschell were speakers at NSS-CDS Midwest Workshop 2018.

Forrest Wilson (National Cave Rescue Commission Diving Officer) spoke about sump diving rescue and the Thailand cave rescue. Bill Harrison (winner Abe Davis Safe Cave Diving Award 2006) presented his 2018 Underwater Speleology article “Cave Diving and Yoga.” Zachary Klukkert, a NSS-CDS and PSAI-certified cave diver spoke about the benefits and challenges of conducting paleontological research in underwater caves. Kyle Moschell focused on Karst Underwater Research’s operations and diving. Chris Jewell recounted first-hand experiences of the 2018 Tham Luang Thailand cave rescue. Jonathan Beard, who has assisted in mapping over 550 caves and authored “Caring for Your Karst”, spoke on his Missouri Speleological Survey article ““Vadose Speleogenesis in the Pierson/Reeds Spring Formation Sequence in the Springfield Plateau and Eureka Springs Escarpment of Southwest Missouri.” Konstantin Chartkov of Ozark Cave Diving Alliance was also a speaker.


Speakers at NSS-CDS Midwest Workshop 2018 included Chris Jewell (via Skype), Jonathan Beard, and Konstantin (KC) Chartkov.

NSS-CDS Midwest 2018 Workshop attendees at Hampton Inn, Saint Robert Missouri

NSS-CDS Midwest 2018 Workshop attendees at Hampton Inn, Saint Robert, Missouri.

Saturday’s post-workshop activities included a gathering hosted by Odyssey Scuba and Roubidoux Grotto at an undisclosed location in Pulaski County. Attendees explored a dry cave and feasted on Sweetwater BBQ, sampled local craft brews from Piney River Brewing Company, and nibbled on homemade cookies created by local bakery Cookiez By Nourish & Nurse. Conversations, tall tales, and jokes were told around an Ozarks camp fire.

via Andrew Bachhuber 1

Post-workshop dry cave trip. Via Andrew Bachhuber.

Conference attendees participated in pre and post-conference dives at Roubidoux Spring (Waynesville, MO), Boiling Spring Cave (Dixon, MO), Boiling Springs Cave (Licking, MO) and Cannonball Cave (Lake Wappapello, MO).

Other conference activities included a gear swap, door prizes, and a raffle.

via Andrew Bachhuber 2

Post-conference dry cave trip. Via Andrew Bachhuber.

Workshop sponsors included Subgravity, Dive Rite, Highline Ropes, North Florida Springs Alliance, Scubaforce, Bigblue Dive Lights, Shearwater Research, Aquatech Scuba & Travel Center, Cave Country Dive Shop, Dayo Scuba, Odyssey Scuba, Amigos Dive Center, Inner Mountain Outfitters, On Rope 1, Lake City Dive Center, and Ozark Dive Shop.

via Andrew Bachhuber 3

Post-workshop dry cave trip. Via Andrew Bachhuber.

The workshop was organized by Joshua Shouse. Shouse, based in Kentucky, was assisted locally by Karen Hood, Marketing Relations Manager for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau. Shouse remarked that attendees appreciated the nearness to Roubidoux Spring & Odyssey Scuba, area hospitality, and conference room facilities.

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National Speleological Society-Cave Diving Section Midwest 2019 workshop is tentatively scheduled for October at Saint Robert, Missouri. Workshop dates will be announced January 2019.


Pulaski County Tourism Bureau Mourns the Loss of Leon Saxton Jr.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau Board of Directors and staff express our deepest condolences to Leon Saxton Jr.’s family, friends, and loved ones. Leon has been a part of our tourism family for over a decade. At the time of his passing he served on our board as a restaurant representative. Leon was an avid supporter and champion of Pulaski County, Missouri. He was a forward-thinker, a patriot, a family-man, and he evoked the spirit of entrepreneurship. His commitment to Pulaski County Tourism Bureau and to Pulaski County sets the bar high and cements his legacy to Fort Leonard Wood region’s economic growth and prosperity. Rest in peace Leon.

Leon Saxton Jr

Leon Saxton Jr. 1947-2018. Photo via Facebook. 

Service information and details will be announced via

US FLAG with Rose

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau releases expanded Route 66 Driving Tour brochure.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau releases expanded Route 66 Driving Tour brochure.

Saint Robert, MO- March 28, 2018

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau Executive Director Beth Wiles is delighted to announce her team has expanded the Route 66 Driving Tour brochure. The free guide, first offered in 2001, now includes 66+ points of interest, 10 detour worthy side trips, and 7 roadie inspired tips to enhance your Route 66 experience in Pulaski County, Missouri.

The brochure takes inspiration from Jack D. Rittenhouse’s 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66 and is adapted from Route 66 in Pulaski County, Missouri (a local history) by noted Route 66 historian and author, Terry Primas. The updated version includes 20+ vintage Route 66 postcards, almost triple the prior amount. The images were provided by John F. Bradbury, Jr. Collection and noted Route 66 author and aficionado Joe Sonderman. The expansion project was managed by Tourism Bureau content creator Laura Huffman. Huffman is also a local historian and life-long Route 66 enthusiast. She remarked that the guide was produced “by a Route 66 fan for Route 66 fans. It’s a keepsake.”

For the first time in the seventeen-year history of the booklet, it now includes detailed directions to Pulaski County’s abandoned “ghost section”, a short two-lane 1930’s alignment at the former Morgan Heights community. The brochure also details Waynesville’s significance to Route 66 as the “Birthplace of the Byway.”

For the first time in the seventeen-year history of the Route 66 Driving Tour brochure, it now includes detailed directions to Pulaski County’s abandoned “ghost section”, a short two-lane 1930’s alignment at the former Morgan Heights community. Image courtesy of Joe Sonderman/

For the first time in the seventeen-year history of the Route 66 Driving Tour brochure, it now includes detailed directions to Pulaski County’s abandoned “ghost section”, a short two-lane 1930’s alignment at the former Morgan Heights community. Image courtesy of Joe Sonderman.

The turn-by-turn directions guide visitors, travelers, tourists, and roadies to Route 66 alignments that date to the 1920’s, 1930’s, & 1940’s. Pulaski County’s boundaries include 33 miles of drivable Mother Road.

Wiles says, “the Bureau’s expanded Route 66 Driving Tour brochure is being released just as Route 66 fans begin hitting the legendary road to tour, explore, and discover.” She noted that the complimentary guide also includes driving tours of historic Fort Leonard Wood and of the former Frisco Railroad line through Dixon, Crocker, and Richland. She also noted that the beefed-up pamphlet is an example of Pulaski County’s tourism dollars at work. “The brochure is designed to engage Route 66 travelers with our Route 66 communities, namely, Devils Elbow, Saint Robert, Waynesville, Laquey, and Gascozark.”

The updated guide has been submitted to the Route 66 Association of Missouri’s magazine, Show Me Route 66, for inclusion in an upcoming issue.

The free turn-by-turn guide can be preordered by contacting Pulaski County Tourism Bureau at 573-336-6355 or via email at It will also be distributed to Pulaski County businesses that cater to travelers along the route. Pulaski County residents can pick up a copy at the Visitors Center at 137 St. Robert Boulevard, Saint Robert.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau is the destination marketing agency for Pulaski County, Missouri. The bureau, funded by the hotel/motel guest tax, promotes tourism throughout the county and markets their destination to fuel the local business climate and broaden the local tax base. The Bureau has actively promoted Route 66 to the traveling public for nearly twenty years.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center
Executive Director
Beth Wiles


17 April 2018

The expanded Route 66 Driving Tour brochures have arrived hot off the printer’s press!  The Tourism Bureau will begin shipping copies for those who pre-ordered Wednesday, 18 April 2018. If you are in the area feel free to stop by the Visitors Center in Saint Robert to claim yours!

Hot off the printer's press! Order yours today!

Hot off the printer’s press! Order yours today!


Pulaski County, MO set to host the 2018 River Bassin’ National Championship

Presented by Jackson Kayak
$75,000 in cash/prizes at stake

River Bassin Logos

Dec 6, 2017 – Kayak fishing in wild waters continues to grow in popularity, thanks to the abundance of eager bass, awe inspiring scenery, solitude, and the childlike anticipation anglers feel while exploring these waters. The River Bassin’ Tournament Trail not only allows fisherman of all skill levels a chance to fish these wild places, but do so competitively. The 2018 grand finale will be held in the beautiful Ozarks, at Ruby’s Landing in Waynesville, MO, on September 22nd, 2018, and is an open tournament for all to enter.

Despite nearly $75,000 in cash/prizes on the line, the tournament has a laid back festival feel to it. Spectators and anglers attending the event will experience great food, music, have a chance to demo kayaks, play yard games and win numerous random prizes; some may get the chance to spin the River Bassin’ Prize Wheel, where participants can win big or even lose a fishing lure of their own! There will be two Jackson Kayak door prize giveaways, with proceeds benefiting local non-profits. Anglers can choose to enter several divisions besides the mandatory Individual Division ($50) – Team (2 anglers) + $30 per person, a new Super Team division (5 anglers) + $20 per person, Youth $30, Top Lady Angler $50, College Kayak Anglers $30, and a new Fly Fishing division + $20.

Aside from the championship, anglers can get involved during the entire 2018 season by fishing in three tournament categories: 1) River Bassin’ Club Series tournaments (approx 30 events) that are held throughout the country by various kayak fishing clubs, 2) River Bassin’ Online Regionals (5), which are season-long events (Feb 1 – Sep 16) where anglers compete against those in their own regions, and 3) The final National Championship tournament in the Ozarks. Anglers vying for the coveted River Basser of the Year (RBOY) or River Bassin’ Team of the Year (RBTOY) titles, and prizes, will be earning points as they fish these tournaments throughout the year. Club Series events are worth 100 points to the winning angler/team, while the Online Regionals carry a 200 point total for a victory. An angler’s top Club Series score will be combined with their top Online Regional score heading into the championship, which is worth 300 points for the win. The angler and team with the highest combined point total after the championship will be the 2018 RBOY & RBTOY Champions, and will take home over $15,000 and $8,000 in cash/prizes, respectively.

“I got into kayak fishing to be able to catch fish in less pressured wild places, such as rivers or creeks, that my boat couldn’t get to. Large reservoirs and lakes already have plenty of competitive series, so I wanted to
give kayak anglers a chance to have fun competing in the locations where the kayak really excels!”

– Drew Gregory, River Bassin’ Founder & President

The Friday before tournament day, there will be a non-mandatory “meet n greet” and rules Q&A, lead by tournament founder and host of the Hooked on Wild Waters TV show, Drew Gregory. This is the perfect chance for anglers to socialize, ask questions, get some last minute advice or just hang out and talk kayak fishing with Gregory and other pros in attendance.

Pulaski County was chosen due to its river-rich resources, the abundance of healthy bass populations living in these scenic waters, and being geographically centralized with easy interstate access. For these reasons, anglers will flock from all regions of the country to attend.

River Bassin’ is an eco-friendly catch, measure, photo, release tournament, in which anglers kayak in rivers within a specified radius targeting black bass; they then measure and photograph their fish via smart phone, release them, and upload the photo to the live leaderboard, where fans can follow along with their favorite anglers in real time. The top three bass (inches) will be the winner.

For more information or to register, visit or call 706-540-4280.

Top sponsors include Under Armour, GoPro, Jackson Kayak, Orion Coolers, Z-MAN Lures, Bending Branches Paddles Smith Optics, 13 Fishing, YakAttack, Thule, Power-Pole, Kokatat, Raymarine, Tennessee Trailers, Boonedox, Plano, Buck Knives, Anchor Wizard, Lucid Fishing, Tackle Warehouse, Suspenz, Mountain Khakis, Ice Mule, Nocqua, Seal Line, Goal Zero, YakLights, Kanu-Lock, Line Cutterz, Hi-Seas, The Rod Glove, Cablz, Gamakatsu hooks, RAM Mounts, SPRO Lures, Gator Guards, official media sponsor Kayak Angler Magazine, local non-profit Ozarks Smallmouth Alliance, & retail sponsors Ozark Mountain Trading Company, the Alpine Shop & many more.

2018_River Bassin_Championship_Waynesville MO_10

Pulaski County, MO set to host 2018 River Bassin’ National Championship