There’s a big red yak that lives on Broadway in Downtown Paducah. He’s become an icon for tourists and locals alike. The yak turning 10 years old, just like the Lower Town Arts & Music Festival. And, just like the festival, he loves everything art.
He’s the mascot of the Yeiser Art Center, colloquially known as “YAC,” hence the appropriate pun. Usually, he’s just sitting on the sidewalk, quietly welcoming everyone, but for a very special weekend in May, for the first time, the YAC’s Yak will be in Lower Town. And everyone is invited to come P-ART-Y WITH THE YAC, it’s more fun than it sounds!
The Yeiser Art Center (YAC) is proud to bring you Paducah's loved Lower Town Arts and Music Festival (LTAMF). Now a fundraiser for YAC, the premier two-day festival is a celebration of the creative spirit in all of us. The event will take place May 18 & 19 near 7th Street and Madison Street.
Donations at the door and sponsorships of the festival help support the year-long programming of the Yeiser, whose mission is to create access to visual arts. This unique event - now in its 10th year - draws exclusively from the cultural resources in a 350 mile radius of Paducah. With nearly 17,000 in attendance, the festival is touted as a Top Ten Spring Festivals by the Kentucky State Tourism Bureau.
Over 70 booths featuring visiting artist and local nonprofits will line seven blocks of Paducah's oldest residential neighborhood. The artist booths feature every imaginable type of art and creative items - paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, and more! The artists and the musical acts are carefully juried to ensure the quality of every aspect of the weekend.
The festival will showcase live music on three outdoor stages, the Main Stage located at Madison and 7th Street, the Harrison Stage located at Harrison and 6th Street, and the stage in the Children’s Pavilion located at Madison and 5th Street.
Here’s a list of who will be filling your ears with sweet melodies: Big Maracas, (Lexington), Captain Freddy & The Rivercats (Paducah), Collin Hancock (Bowling Green), Cruel Waves (Murray), Daniel Neihoff (Paducah), Daniel Morrow (Paducah) The Darrell Scott Band (Nashville, TN), Darrin Hacquard (Lexington), Dawg Yawp (Cincinnati, Ohio), Fabled Canelands (Lexington), Fairseas (Paducah), The Howlin' Brothers (Nashville, Tennessee), Leight July (Paducah), Leonard the Band (Paducah), Lew Jetton & 61 South (Paducah), Liz Cooper & The Stampede (Nashville, Tennessee), McBig Band (Paducah), Nora Jane Struthers (Nashville, Tennessee), Okapi (Asheville, North Carolina), Ona (Huntington, West Virginia), Poly (Nashville, Tennessee), PSO Youth & Children's Choruses (Paducah), Quiet Hollers (Louisville), Rip Lee Pryor (Carbondale, Illinois), Samuel "Snacks" Hawkins (Paducah), The Savage Radley (Murray), Solid Rock’It Jug Band (Paducah, KY), Ted Borodofsky's Southern Jazz (Paducah), Western Movies (Lexington), The Wheelhouse Rousters (Paducah), and Wombo (Louisville).
A diverse menu of local food will be available for purchase. Everything from traditional festival food like funnel cakes to deliciously refreshing shaved ice to down home BBQ!
Families can also enjoy an expanded children's pavilion with ongoing free activities and entertainment, like life-size chess, yoga on the street, and youth jazz performances. New this year will be a collaborative public art project made especially by participants of the Children’s Pavilion!
On 7th Street near Harrison Street, there is a great draw for the 21+ crowd. The Beer and Wine tent always hosts our two local breweries, Dry Ground and Paducah Beer Werks. In addition to the two local breweries, LTAMF is excited to partner with Rhinegeist to bring patrons of age quality brews.
Festival guests will also be treated to a special tap: “YAC Mild.” This English Mild style beer is a nutty, toasty and malty yet light drinking mild ale, perfect for sunset laughs at the neighboring laugh tent or afternoon snacks near the main stage.
Speaking of laughs, Paducah Improv will be doing performances throughout the weekend, even offering late night shows until 11pm on Friday and Saturday.
Where else can you listen to great music, eat yummy, local food, purchase high quality art, encounter local actors in costume, watch artist demos, bump into poets performing the spoken word, see comedy performed from balconies, and wander into surrounding artist studios?
"This festival encapsulates the spirit of what the Yeiser is all about...creating access to art, presenting different kinds of art, and celebrating the creative spirit in all of us! And to top it off, we couldn't be more excited about the festival becoming a vital fundraiser for YAC programming," says Stacey Reason, “it’s a win-win!”
TOP EIGHT INSIDER TIPS
For more information about the festival go to lowertownamf.com.