Eclipse Brings More Business to Paducah

Eclipse Brings More Business to Paducah

Paducah is no stranger to festivals, but this time it was the only festival of its kind for a lifetime.

Paducah celebrated its second solar eclipse in seven years with the “X Marks the Spot” street festival along Broadway near the Ohio River.

The festival hosted a variety of food and craft vendors. Vendor Janet Rew, owner of J Michele, sold hand-crafted soaps, among other things.. Rew said this was not the first time she had had a booth at a festival. She said that she had set up at other festivals before, such as the Fort Massac Encampment and the Neptune Festival in Virginia.

The city closed Broadway to traffic, and some businesses closed for the eclipse. Just as many stayed open to take advantage of the potential business these people brought. Some were on Broadway, such as Hoopers Outdoor Center

Other shops were just off Broadway, such as Messy Cat Creations, a local art and jewelry shop owned and operated by Andrea Atnip and Kathy Musser. They offer a wide variety of items such as pins, earrings, and even books. All of the products available for purchase are made by one of the owners. 

Musser said they were much busier than usual today.

“We weren’t sure what to expect because we only opened Aug. 1,” Musser said. “So this is our first big festival and it’s been busier than we normally are, but we don’t know in conjunction with other festivals, whether this is more or less.”

They try to make themed products for upcoming holidays and events in Paducah such as Quilt Week.

“We made some handmade books that have the eclipse on it and we made handmade jewelry, hand-painted earrings, and pins that were eclipse related,” Musser said.

Among the other vendors present, some internationally made products could be found. The most prominent were those made in Uganda and being sold by the nonprofit, Beyond Uganda. All the profits that are made go directly back into the various programs Beyond Uganda has that support impoverished women and children in Uganda.  

“The majority of our products are made by women in our RUTH project. RUTH is restore, uplift, thrive, and hope. We have women in Uganda and we teach them different skills, such as weaving and they make the products, we sell it over here and it 100% goes back towards the RUTH program and Beyond Uganda.” Nicole Tosh, the Sponsorship Coordinator of the Not Forgotten Program said.

Beyond Uganda tries to have a booth at whatever festival may be going on, such as the art festival or BBQ on the River.

Regardless of the occasion all of Paducah’s festivals allow local businesses a chance to grow. “I think it’s great for tourism because there’s so many people that have traveled for the eclipse, it’s going to help local businesses,” Tosh said.

For others though, it is a chance for tourists to admire the city itself. “It not only brings people in for the town and revenue, but it lets people see Paducah who wouldn’t normally see Paducah,” Musser said.



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