The Lower Town Arts & Music Festival Celebrates 10 years!

The Lower Town Arts & Music Festival has been an anchor event in Paducah for a long time now. In 2009 the festival was officially put in the hands of our local artists and it became the great weekend that you know today. It’s always been a project with a passion - put together by a dedicated and driven group of artistic individuals. This year’s festival is ten-acious (yes, another pun based on ten years) and going strong! For a very special weekend this May 17 and 18, the YAC’s Yak will be in Lower Town sipping sweet libations, and everyone's invited!

The Yeiser Art Center (YAC) is proud to have become the permanent "host" of Paducah's LTAMF. The premier, two-day festival is a celebration of the creative spirit in all of us, with opportunities to see, experience, and enjoy art, music, food, and children’s activities, as well as beer, and wine from the surrounding region.

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It draws from the cultural resources in a 350-mile radius of Paducah and boasts an annual attendance of nearly 17,000. 2019 will mark the first festival that new Executive Director of YAC, Lexie Millikan.

“LTAMF isn’t just about raising money for the programming at YAC,” she told me. “This festival stands for everything the Yeiser wants to accomplish and embodies the fun and tight-knit spirit that our art community offers. We strive to give you access to art you’ve never seen, a chance to enjoy the art that you already love, and two-days of togetherness with the people that we love!”

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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.

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A diverse menu of local food will be available for purchase. Everything from traditional festival food such as funnel cakes, to deliciously refreshing shaved ice, and down-home BBQ from Buzzard Brothers!

Families can also enjoy an expanded children's pavilion with ongoing free activities from organizations like McLib, MAKE Paducah, The National Quilt Museum and more! There will be chess on the street, Acro-yoga, Dance Karaoke, and musical performances by local artists and student groups. The Children’s pavilion takes up a whole street so there’s always tons of arts and crafts, and two face painters. As usual, we’ll have water, sunscreen, Kleenex, Band-Aids and seating in the shade!

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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. Dry Ground will also be brewing a special brew just for the festival, so be on the lookout for that. In addition to the two local breweries, LTAMF partners with a larger regional brewery, Schlafly. There’s always a great selection of good beer!

Speaking of laughs, Paducah Improv will be doing performances throughout the weekend, even offering late night shows until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.

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Here’s a list of who will be filling your ears with sweet melodies at the Festival this year:

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (Nashville), Yo’ Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band (Asheville), Hawktail (Nashville), Hogslop String Band (Nashville), Joan Shelly (Louisville), ONA (Huntington), Making Movies (Kansas City), The Aquaducks (Nashville), Caleb Caudel (Winston-Salem), Flatland Harmony Experiment (Indianapolis), Wet Eyed Liars (Bowling Green), Daniel Morrow (Paducah), Liam’s Fancy (Lexington), Boscoe and Whiteford (Carbondale), Grizzly Goat (Indiana), Mark Donham (Paducah), Ike Bros (Paducah), Tony Logue (Benton), Groovelane (Paducah), Patrick Carrico (Paducah), Luke Taylor (Paducah), Wayne Harper (Murray), Meet the Seavers (Nashville), The Gaslight Boys, Melanie Davis and Fate Mcaffee (Murray), Liv Charette (Nashville), Captain Freddy and the River Cats (Paducah), Paducah Symphony Children’s Choirs, McBig Band, The Love Jones Experience (Paducah), Steven Green (Murray), Paducah Bluegrass Collective, Allen Music School of Rock (Paducah)

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TOP EIGHT INSIDER TIPS

  1. Street parking available
  2. Fancy Toilets (with hand-washing stations & baby changing table - they even flush!)
  3. Children’s pavilion (shade, picnic tables, free sunscreen, and more!)
  4. Donations at the gate benefit the YAC (a special gift for those who donate $5 or more!)
  5. Pet-friendly (must follow Paducah Leash Laws and pick up after your pet.)
  6. Bring ID for beer tent (special beer tappings posted on the festival’s schedule.)
  7. After Party all-access pass pre-sale, two nights for $12 through the website (or $10 at the door each night)
  8. Special bike parking (front row parking for those pedaling in.)

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For more information about the festival go to lowertownamf.com.