By Corinne Minard
Thanks to its many summer events, Laura Oswald, director of marketing for the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau, says Paducah is ideal for those looking for a quick weekend getaway.
“One of our favorite summer events is our Riverfront Concert Series on our riverfront,” she says. “We are right here on the Ohio River where the Ohio and Mississippi come together. There’s a really beautiful setting on our riverfront for concerts.”
Held June 6, June 22, July 4, July 20, Aug. 1 and Aug. 17, each evening features performances from two musical acts. Each concert is free and attendees are invited to bring their own chairs and dinner.
While the concert series has proven to be popular, it’s not the only event this summer.
“This year we are going to have a Shakespeare in the Park event at Bob Noble Park,” says Oswald. The Market House Theater, which is entering its 56th season and is considered to be one of the top community theaters in the country, will be performing Shakespeare’s As You Like It, a charming romantic comedy, July 12-14.
“This will be a way to kind of celebrate theater and get outdoors and kind of switch up that venue and experience from what they do year round,” adds Oswald.
Other events this summer include the Independence Day Celebration (which incorporates the Riverfront Concert Series), Paducah 48 Hour Film Project and Paducah Dragon Boat Festival.
In between events, visitors can still find plenty to do in Paducah. Oswald recommends starting with the city’s Wall-to-Wall Murals. More than 50 murals are painted on Paducah’s floodwall, illustrating the city’s history and creativity.
“That can be a jumping off point to going throughout the town and experiencing other attractions. There’s a Civil War Museum, the Hotel Metropolitan [and] the Coke Plant, which is a kind of new landmark that’s in restoration,” she says. “Just a couple of blocks up you have the National Quilt Museum, which is an international fiber art museum.”
Another way to explore the city is through its food scene. Sara Bradley, the runner up of the latest season of Top Chef, owns The Freight House, Paducah’s first farm-to-table restaurant.
“That’s certainly a must experience and kind of a gateway to get people who are into food and foodie culinary experiences to see what Western Kentucky cuisine is all about,” says Oswald.
Other standouts include JP’s Bar and Grill, a restaurant with a New Orleans vibe located on Market House Square, and Paducah Beer Werks, Paducah’s award-winning brewery.