Summer events pulling people downtown

Downtowns across the Local 6 area are doing everything they can to take advantage of the warm weather. They’re creating events they hope will make you want to visit and boost businesses.

In Paducah Thursday, there’s a Creative Collaborations series event. It’s where you can meet local artists and look at their work at nine different galleries across LowerTown and downtown.

The Paducah Parks Department is also starting its Riverfront Concert Series Thursday. Saturday, the Farmers’ Market is having a special celebration day, and in the in the afternoon, there’s a new festival: PaBrewcah.

They’re all events businesses like the Famer’s Daughter Soap Company hope will pull people inside.

Owner Ashley Graham says anything at the riverfront brings people in, because they’re the first store from the floodwall.

“We are the very first stop they come to, and we’re noticing that more and more lately,” Graham said.

She’s preparing for the summer events.

“I am excited. We’ve increased our store hours, hired new employees,” Graham said.

Paducah Downtown Developmental Specialist Melinda Winchester says they’re trying to draw people in this summer so they’ll come back the rest of the year.

“A lot of people don’t realize the restaurants we have and the stores that we have down here,” Winchester said.

She says they’ve always had summer tourism, but she believes we are starting to get more entities like the Paducah Symphony Orchestra coming up with summer festivals like PaBrewcah.

“I think we’re going to see that more. Downtown Paducah has such a great atmosphere for that. We’ve got the river as our backdrop. It’s just a great place to have those events,” Winchester said.

 Different groups, collaborating to put on events, which graham says can help target different demographics 

“We’ve got little kids, and we’ve got the adults. if we had these groups only focusing on themselves we’ve have an entire group of people out completely. And shops like myself and Simply B Boutique, we have stuff for a wide range of ages, not just one group.  So, we have to work together to make downtown profitable for everyone,” Winchester said.

Winchester said it’s hard to measure the economic impact summer events like ones at the riverfront, because most of them are free so there isn’t a running tally of how many people are coming. However, even if we can’t measure the success, Winchester says she feels the energy of more people wanting to take part and create community events.

Another new event coming to Paducah this summer is Pretty Super Smashin Summer Saturday. Downtown will have superheroes or princesses inside businesses and restaurants that are offering deals. Winchester said she’s had interest from people from out of town asking where they can book hotel rooms to bring their kids and enjoy this event. The event is  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 30.

Mayfield is hosting a cruise-in series this summer, with live music every third Saturday of each month until September. The Murray-Calloway County Fair, with carnival rides, is going on this week and ends Saturday. The city of Benton, Kentucky, is also hosting a car cruise-in every last Saturday of each month until September. 

You can read a list of events coming up in Paducah below this story.

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