While the COVID 19 pandemic was a struggle financially for several communities the same was not true in Sikeston due to the contributions of the Sikeston Parks and Recreation Department. As a result, the Parks and Recreation Department was awarded the Lambert Family Tourism and Hospitality Award of Excellence on Friday during a luncheon at Lambert’s Cafe. This award is presented every year to any business or individual that has made a great contribution to the tourism and hospitality industry in the Sikeston area by members of the Sikeston Convention and Visitors Bureau. During the last calendar year, the city of Sikeston was the host for many baseball tournaments while maintaining a safe environment for everyone to enjoy. The many tournaments provided the area with a necessary economic boost for the local community because the hotels were filled and retail businesses and restaurants were able to benefit too. Officials say this is their first go-round with tournaments and it happened to occur during a time when the community really needed it. They say it did take time, but none of it could have been possible without the dedicated service time of all the staff that spent several weekends ensuring the quality of the fields and the complex. For the past several years, the Sikeston Parks and Recreation Department has made many improvements to the baseball and softball fields that contributed to the success of all the tournaments. Some of the various improvements include, installing new lights, fencing and backstops. Baseball teams came to the Sikeston area from Chicago; Springfield, Illinois; Evansville, Indiana; Nashville and west Tennessee; North Arkansas and many other locations. For every single tournament that took place in Sikeston and average of of 1,500 to 2,000 players, coaches and fans came to the city.