What to Do? Paducah Fun, Chapter 1 - July
By Ro Morse
PADUCAH, KY - For the next 337 days, we'll be sharing places to go and things to enjoy in our interesting town. This is my hometown and when I hear someone say there's nothing to do, I just don't get it. We're making a list of options and attractions and hope this helps when you're wondering what to do. If there's something or some place you want others in our community to know about, email me firstname.lastname@example.org
and we'll try to include it during this 365-day adventure . . .
# 28 How good are you at Trivia? Stop by the STAR Tuesday nights and challenge your memory. Get a team together and play for free.
Not this STAR, but the original Twinkling Star at 3100 Broadway, across from the historic Coca Cola Bottling Co. building. It's now the STAR of Paducah. They host a Trivia night each Tuesday starting at 7 pm. There's no entry fee and you can enjoy dinner and a wide variety of drinks while you're there. You can also watch your favorite team play on their big screen tv or watch the news, or any children's show right at your table. There's live music every weekend and for the pleasant weather days they have a beautiful outdoor garden with umbrellaed tables, fire pits burning in the evenings-a relaxing and inviting setting. We've had class reunions there and they've been a blast. For more information, email: email@example.com or call 270-408-7827. They open each day at 11 am.
# 27 Brush up on your dance steps or learn a whole new style at Paducah Dance Academy.
The first Monday of each month is the time to sign up and get a plan to work on those dance steps. If you're a beginner and just hungry to dance or if you're quite the dancer and want to gain confidence on the floor, sign up for lessons at Paducah Dance Academy, 6650 Old Cairo Rd. Dancing starts at 6 pm. It's great exercise and just plain fun. Start with the basic steps in Level I beginning at 6 and advance to Level II which follows at 7. We've all gone to wedding receptions and class reunions where we've wished we felt more confident on the dance floor - well plan ahead so you can thoroughly enjoy dancing the night away. If you're not sure you're ready for learning in a group, ask about private lessons and make up your own group of friends and/or family. Do you have to have a partner? Call 270-443-9431 and ask Jack or Daniele how it all works or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next time you hear a song that makes you want to dance, you won't hesitate - just dance dance dance!
# 26 Try your luck at disc golf on a woodsy course with lots of shade and peaceful surroundings.
Tucked into the back north side of Stuart Nelson Park is an eighteen-hole Disc Golf Course running parallel to a section of the Greenway Trail. That's right, a maze of raised buckets that catch frisbee-type discs. It's similar to a golf course. Disc golf is played like ball golf, using flying discs. One stroke is counted each time the disc is thrown and when a penalty is incurred. The winner is the golfer with the lowest score. There's even a disc golf club that meets on Tuesdays at 5 pm. Just show up. It doesn't matter if you are new to the sport or are an expert player, you'll be welcomed to the group.
The course is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. It's hours coincide with those of Stuart Nelson Park. If the weather is inclement, it may be closed. There's a parking lot adjacent to the course at hole one. Bring your own discs. For more information about Paducah's Disc Golf Course http://www.dgcoursereview.com/course.php?id=951&mode=lnk On the home page, click on Hole Info and you can print out a score card for your next disc golf game.
# 25 Pinterest and wine - two popular favorites to enjoy in one location . . . this afternoon from 2-4 at Glisson Vineyards and Winery on Market House Square.
The popularity of pinterest with the addition of wine sampling is appealing to a lot of folks. This afternoon from 2-4, there's a Pinterest Party in the Glisson's shop at 124 Market House Square. The party will be organized by Stacy Allgood and her company Better than Ever. In addition, they have a new chef-Chef Andrew. There's a lot going on in this popular downtown spot. You'll be able to make Pinterest-inspired projects like Scrabble Tile drink coasters or glass etchings. The cost for the two hour learning/party is $15.
The shop specializes in semi-dry and dry wines while still serving quality sweet wines. Glisson’s new tasting room is an intimate atmosphere where guests may enjoy a glass of wine made from locally-grown grapes. Summer hours are Thursday-Saturday, noon-9 pm. For more information, call 270-495-WINE (9463) or online: http://glissonvineyards.com
#23 Take your lawn chair or quilt and enjoy a free "Movie in the Park" at Noble Park - Cars 2 Tonight
As soon as the sun goes down this evening, The Paducah Parks Services Department will hold "Movies in the Park" at the amphitheater in Noble Park. The movie, “Cars 2” is rated G and lasts about 106 minutes. The movie starts at dusk - around 8:30 pm. The movie is free. Concessions will be available for purchase. For comfort, you may want to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and insect repellant.
#22 Watch some of the nation's finest water skiers compete at Twin Oaks Lakes today.
If you like water skiing, it doesn't get any better than this - right here in Paducah. It's three rounds of slalom, tricks, and jumping competition in the 2012 Southern Water-Ski Regionals Tournament this week at Twin Oaks Lakes, 2345 Oaks Road. Today the competition is from 8 am - 5 pm. The American Water Ski Association is one of nine sport discipline organizations of USA Water Ski. Winners of the Southern Regional will compete at the Water Ski National Championships (August 14-18) at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, Florida. Check them out: http://www.usawaterski.org/
Twin Oaks Lake is a world class site located just off I-24 at Exit 11. The owners of this site are Joe and Cathy Burkhead. It is the home of the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts club, named from their former ski haven on Kentucky Lake. As the name might suggest, it is a twin-lake horseshoe shaped site that has hosted the State Championships as well as the Southern Regionals Waterski Tournament on several occasions. Twin Oaks Lake was designed and built by Joe specifically for three event waterskiing, and it shows.
#21 Cooking classes with Karla and David are informative and entertaining.
For an educational and entertaining evening, try cooking classes at Artisan Kitchen, 1704 Broadway. Tonight at 7 pm, Karla and David will be cooking in their kitchen and it will be a fun time to learn new and interesting ways to prepare Thai recipes. They make you want to go home and cook up a storm. Sample foods cooked right in front of you and ask questions as you go. This is a great way to spend an evening. For $30 a person, it's an enjoyable and delicious leaning experience. If the class isn't full, sometimes you can get in even if you call late. Call 270-538-0250 to reserve your spot or find out more about what's cooking in their artisan kitchen.
#20 Paducah's Kingsway Skateland is 40-years-old this year and still hosting skaters of all ages.
During the summer months, Kingsway Skateland, our only inside roller skating rink, 3430 Wayne Sullivan Dr. has special skating times for children, churches and other groups. Lots of birthdays are celebrated at the rink along with regular open skating on weekends. Here's the link to those options: http://www.kingswayskateland.com/Schedule.htm or call 270-443-1646.
Roller skating may not be quite as popular as it was when I was growing up simply because there are so many more choices of other things to do. My nephew recently took his son to a birthday skate party at Kingsway and while watching his then six-year-old having a great time skating with friends, it looked like so much fun that he decided to join him. After all, other parents were out there with their kids. He got his skates on, and headed for the rink, gaining confidence on the carpeted section as he approached the floor. Knowing it had been years since being on skates himself and thinking it might take a few rounds to get back into the swing of things, he was cautious - but not careful enough. He immediately tripped, taking down his son and causing a pile up. He had only minor bruises but his pride is still recovering. Nevertheless, they had a blast! It's great exercise and skaters do have a fun time. You might want to check out roller skating for something to do in our town, but a little warm up time is advised if it's been a while since you've put on your skates.
#19 There are some beautiful places in Paducah that are off the beaten path and make great little get-a-ways for walking, picnicing, reading, relaxing.
A reader reminded me about the beautiful park across from CSI and the Courtyard by Marriott on Technology Drive. Technology Circle Park is well maintained with a lake, sidewalks, gazebo, picnic tables and lots of shade from the trees that surround the entire park. I hesitated to share because it's almost like a secret place to go that is not well known to the public. When I've been there, only a few people were there enjoying the serene view and peaceful surroundings. Even though it's close to I-24, there are few traffic sounds. I experienced a gently breeze even on a hot July afternoon. Mornings are also extra nice. Check it out for a pleasant thing to do.
#18 Follow The Irvin Cobb Golf Championships that feature professionals and amateurs in a premier golf tournament at Paducah's Paxton Park this weekend.
The Pepsi SuperValu Irvin Cobb Golf Championships this weekend is a 36-hole event that you can walk and follow as golfers progress from green to green. The course heats up the third weekend in July each year. . . it's a Paducah tradition for professional and amateur golfers. This event is considered the top local golf tournament in the four state regional area.
George Davies, born in the British Isles not so many miles from the cradle of the game of golf itself, was the architect who laid out the original design of Paxton Park and supervised its building way back in 1939 and 1940. The course has had several significant renovations since that time but much of the original design is still intact. For more info, visit on line: www.paxtonpark.com or call: 270-444-9514
#14 Form your own Cornhole team and play on Tuesday nights.
With the increasing popularity of the sport of "Cornhole", a Cornhole League has been formed as a place for those interested in tossing bean bags for sport to compete. It's part of what goes on in Paducah on Tuesday evenings. The league is limited to 30 teams that meet Tuesday nights at 7 at 3004 Clark St. For ten weeks the teams compete and trophies are awarded for all the winners. It's seriously fun. Points accumulate from week to week throughout the series of games. There are two players per team. At the end of the series, $1,000 is awarded to the number one team and $450 to the team that comes in second. The cost to sign up for the season is $30 a person or $60 per team. If you'd like to be part of the Cornhole League, call 270-519-2254.
There are also Cornhole Tournaments each Monday night at the Eagles on Cairo Road (according to a reader). Thanks for info.
#13 Meet new people who are in their 40's and 50's.
If you’re in your forties or fifties (or if your want to be around people that age), there’s a group that gets together at different restaurants the first and third Monday of each month just to meet and hang out. They meet at 5:30 pm and you don't have to make a reservation-just show up. This evening they’re meeting at Whaler’s Catch, 123 North 2nd St. It's not a single's group, though many are single, some fun couples also come. It's not really a networking group, though many contacts are made. There's no "meeting" or "agenda", just a group of people who come together for social interaction. They drink, eat, laugh, discuss what’s going on, and plan events. The group is diverse and you will meet people from a wide array of backgrounds and interests. Married, single, older, younger, it really doesn't matter, you'll find a welcoming group to socialize with and who knows...you may meet a companion, or you just might meet your future new best friend. It’s a comfortable and fun way to meet people in our community. Here's their blogspot: http://4050group.blogspot.com/
# 12 Yeiser Art Center hosts changing exhibits and this year's Paducah Photo Exhibit is extraordinary.
Downtown Paudcah's historic Market House is home to the Yeiser Art Center. Facing Broadway, the Gallery hosts exhibits year-round. The 37th Annual Paducah Photo 2012 Juried Photography Exhibition and Regional Showcase remains on exhibit through August 4. For the exhibition, 110 photographs from 86 photographers representing nine countries including Australia, England, Israel, Italy, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States are on display at the Yeiser Art Center and Maiden Alley Cinema.
# 11 The Fred Paxton Fund Run for Charities is for all ages and benefits local charities.
In Paducah, there's a walk/run at least once a month. This particular one is organized by the Community Foundation of West Kentucky and benefits 17 different non-profit organizations. Whether you walk, wheel, run or go piggyback, you are making a difference in the community when you participate. Events include a 5K Run/Walk and a 1-mile Youth Run. Following the race, runners and their families are invited to cool off and swim at the Noble Park Pool until noon for free. This is the 11th year for the event and the purpose is to improve the quality of life in western Kentucky, both today and in the future. Because of Mr. Paxton's vision and his family's continued commitment, the Community Foundation will match donations raised by each organization up to $10,000, until $100,000 is given away.
# 10 Hotel Metropolitan celebrates its 103rd anniversary today with a fish fry and entertainment
The Hotel Metropolitan, 724 Oscar Cross Ave. in Upper Town, is an historic landmark in Paducah. The volunteer staff celebrates African American history year round with occasional fish fries, music, soul foods and history on the walls - everywhere you look. Today the fish fry will start at 11 am with plates for $8 or sandwiches for $5. To make the visit even more of an experience, there will be entertainment throughout the day.
# 9 Maiden Alley Cinema hosts a poetry experience accompanied by music.
Tonight, River Renaissance presents "Dimmed Lanterns Looking for Light" that starts at 7 pm and features Samuel Hawkins II, Griggori Tyler Taylor and Chris Williams. It's for all ages. If you're interested, tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. Call for 270-442-7723 for tickets in advance.
Tucked in an alley right in the center of historic downtown Paducah is a state-of-the-art theatre that also serves as an art gallery, extension of the River Discovery Center and tonight it's the place to go to hear and experience moving poetry. Plus their popcorn is yummy! Later this fall there will be a film festival centered in the theatre and we'll revisit then.
# 8 Zumba fitness and fun craze sweeps the nation and Paducah is no exception.
If you are interested in Zumba, but wondering which local class you should take, come to the Sports Plex tomorrow evening from 6:30-8 pm and experience it in a big way. Area Zumba instructors want to show the community what “Zumba Love” means, by combining their Thursday night classes in one place. Everyone participating will be “Dancing for Amy”, a local instructor who is facing some major health issues.
Guest DJ Aztec Soul of Murray will keep the party rocking, and more than 20 instructors will each present their own flavor of Zumba. Admission is a $5 donation at the door. Contact Ayrie Crump 270-559-1957 for more info.
#7 Summer Day Camps and Vacation Bible Schools are offered all around town.
The Paducah Parks Services Department is organizing a new camp this summer for kids 5 to 12-years-old. Two sessions of the ART Explosion Camp are being offered. The camp will be Monday through Friday, 10 am until 2 pm, at the Paducah Recreation Center located at 1527 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. The first session starts July 16 with the second session beginning July 23. The registration fee is $65 per week per child. Lunch is provided through the Federal Food Program.
At ART Explosion Camp, kids will experience a fun-filled week of art activities focused on all areas of fine arts and crafts including puppets, painting, drama, and music. Each day the children will learn something new through the exuberant projects and activities planned and taught by local artist Lady Van Tiger. All supplies are included. Pre-registration is required by calling the Parks Services office at 270-444-8508 or by registering online at www.paducahky.gov/parks.
Paducah Tilghman Football Head Coach Randy Wyatt's Speed and Agility camp is July 19-21 at PTHS McRight Field. This camp is for all athletes (male and female). For more information regarding the camp you can contact Randy at email@example.com.
Summer Camp at the Challenger Learning Center registration has begun for Space Quest 2012. You can learn how to SCUBA, launch rockets, build a Mars colony, fly to the Moon or even solve a space related crime. Camps are offered for students rising into Kindergarten through 8th grade. Register ASAP: http://www.clcpaducah.org/camps.htm
The River Discovery Center hosts summer day camp for K-5th graders. Camp activities include art projects, environmental programs, speakers, hands-on science experiments, time in the navigation simulator and fun with live animals. Call 270-575-9958 or email EJ firstname.lastname@example.org fill quickly.
Check your local churches for their Vacation Bible School schedules......great day experiences for children of all ages. . .
#6 Cool off in Paducah’s public swimming pool or spray park
Beat record heat by swimming at the City’s public pool in Noble Park. The pool is open from noon until 6 pm Tuesday – Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults (16+) and $3 for children (2-15).
The Robert Coleman Park spray park, Husbands St. and Walter Jetton Blvd., is open daily 10 am until 8 pm. Admission is free. Call Paducah Parks Services for more info 270-444-8508 or www.paducahky.gov.
Even though it looks inviting, swimming at the foot of Broadway is discouraged. It’s just too dangerous with the current and slippery rocks.
#5 Traffic free riding/walking during Bikes on Broadway
Thanks to energetic Bike World owners, Martha and Hutch, the City of Paducah Parks Dept. closes Broadway a few times each year to allow families to ride up and down Broadway free of motorized traffic.
On a few designated Sunday afternoons from 1 until 4, all ages are invited to bring their bicycles, skates, skateboards, scooters, tricycles, strollers, running shoes, or walking shoes for a fun day of strolling and riding along Broadway.
Vehicular traffic is not permitted on Broadway between 4th and 17th Streets allowing for a safe riding environment for people-powered vehicles. BikeWorld volunteers set up at 17th Street to provide mechanical help and other assistance. The dates for this year are today, July 8, September 9, and October 14. More info about this event can be found on the City's website: www.paducahky.gov
#4 Saturday nights bring entertainment “Live on Broadway”.
During summer months, Broadway starts closing to vehicular traffic from Water Street to 5th Street at 6 pm. Bands and other entertainers set up and downtown performances are everywhere you look from 7 – 10 pm.
“Live on Broadway” festivities evolved from what was originally known as “Downtown After Dinner”. Whatever you call it, it’s fun and it’s free. There’s something for all ages to do. Artists on street corners, shopping, live music, kids activities and a variety of performances are going on before, during and after dinner in surrounding one-of-a-kind restaurants.
To keep up with the most current entertainment featured during “Live on Broadway”, link here: http://www.paducahalliance.org/events/live-on-broadway.
# 3 Greenway Trail offers cooler, quieter get-a-way.
Paducah waited for decades to have its own Greenway Trail and with half of it complete, it is a perfect place to escape road traffic and still be right in town. Enter at Noble Park, Stuart Nelson Park or County Park Road entrances.
The solidly packed fine rocky path is mostly under a shaded canopy that instantly reduces the summer heat to bearable temperatures. The existing section of completed trail is about 1 ¾ miles long with benches along the way for resting or reading. Ride, bike, walk or run the path and feel like you’ve escaped the hot steamy streets today. Take plenty of water because you may stay a lot longer than you originally planned.
# 2 Take advantage of open-air markets.
Fresh fruits, veggies, flowers and baked goods abound in this river town, especially this time of year. Yes, the grocery stores keep us amply supplied year round but there's more, right outside in the open air. The Downtown Farmers Market on Paducah's riverfront, Schmidt Farms on Old Cairo Road, Bennett's Market on New Holt Road, and the newest addition, Midtown Market on Broadway welcome shoppers who appreciate local homegrown produce and freshly baked breads and desserts, plants and canned goods. You can also find little fruit and vegetable stands along side the roads. Fresh peaches are fabulous now.
Trucks back in and unload their freshest picks for the day and stay until their harvest is gone - or it gets too doggone hot to stay.
Cut open an icy cold watermelon and enjoy right on the spot or walk across the street and have a picnic at Keiler Park if you're at the Midtown Market or Schultz Park if you're shopping at the Downtown Farmers Market.
If you aren't growing your own garden, these open air markets provide all the freshness without hours of work watering and weeding.
# 1 Drag the gut
What? If you're from this area, you know. Cruise down Broadway, driving right through the floodwall opening. The scenic Ohio River awaits - along with spectators watching fishermen or boaters putting their boats in (or taking out), jet skiers, kids feeding birds and skipping rocks, motorcyclists hanging out, senior citizens relaxing, towboats pushing barges, gorgeous sunrises, couples talking, people of all ages reading or just watching other people . . . you get the picture.
Did you know that in McMinnville, Oregon they hold a Dragging the Gut festival? It's true.
When you drag the gut, you simply drive down Broadway, along the riverfront and back up to Kentucky Ave. It's nothing magical but if you've been doing it for most of your short or long life, you understand that it's part of living in Paducah. After all, this is a river town and there's something unspoken about
needing to see what's happening on the river side of the floodwall.
When special events use the Wilson stage, the riverfront closes to thru traffic, but the KY Ave. side almost always stays open for boaters. Tonight there will be entertainment followed by the traditional July 4th fireworks, so you won't be able to drag the gut until after 11.