Marine Industries day at BBQ on the river

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Reporter: Mychaela Bruner
Photographer: Justin Jones

PADUCAH, Ky—It is the 19th BBQ On The River festival and as the weekend starts wrapping up, today was a special day for many.  Today was dedicated to the marine industries which brought hundreds of people to the riverfront.

Many do not think bag pipers and waterways are a duo, but it is a tradition dating back years ago.  The bagpipes are a 3,000-year-old instrument, a tradition set in stone.

Playing the bag pipes brought Stanley Main here today, for a celebration he said he looks forward to every year - Marine Industries day.

"The pipes impart a blessing on the ships and sailors when they depart and it's always a sign of good luck as the ship is leaving to hear the pipes," said Main.

President of Waterways Industry of Paducah Robert Stone said he is happy the community takes the time to recognize how people who work the rivers impact the area.

"The waterways industry is so important to Paducah area. There's so many people involved with employment either directly or indirectly and this is a way to celebrate the industry," said Stone.

A celebration that can turn heads for miles.

"The pipes are so loud you can here them from far, far away. So it's a very emotional thing for the seamen or the river boat men," said Main.

It is a sound that resonates with Main.

"It's a very emotional thing for me. It's religious. I don't know how to explain it. I don't worship the pipes, it's just they call to you," said Main.

President Stone said waterway transportation is the most economical way to ship commercial freight.  He also said using waterway transportation is better for the environment.

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