Quilt Festival a fabric of the community


SOUTH SHORE, Ky, — The South Shore Quilt Festival brings creative colors and immaculate music to the near-by river community.

This past weekend, an estimated 10,000 or more passed through this long-standing, free admission, event for South Shore, KY. Activities for visitors of all ages could be found, from inflatable bounce houses, craft vendors, food trucks, a quilt show, and live music. There was something for everybody to enjoy.

Rotary Park has hosted the event for eight years, and the city has been taking steps to make it more accessible to the older inhabitants of the area.

“It’s gotten bigger and better. They’re doing all kinds of stuff all the time in the city to approve new things. We’ve got our new walking track, we got blacktop through the park and things like that now. The city has really made some improvements with trying to fix this place up,” Dave Piatt, director of Greenup Senior Center and chairperson of the quilt display, said.

Friday set the scene: a fine day with fair weather and good spirits to begin the weekend.

11 a.m. marked the start of the quilt viewing, where visitors could see the handiwork of the local artists that spent countless man-hours on their projects. The artistry at hand represents an aging, Appalachian tradition of quiltmaking that still stands proudly.

“Some of these quilts they’ve been working on for two or three years. 100’s of man-hours go into these,” Piatt said.

Quilting is something that has vast significance to many members of this area, as countless individuals here have either owned, or witnessed past generations of intricate quilts, oftentime made for a birth or other such event.

Many have fond memories of barns along rural routes in Ohio and Kentucky with complex patterns painted right into their structures.

The Quilt Festival showcases the craftsmanship shown in over 30 displays over the weeked.

”[Quilt Festival] is something that just naturally occurred because a lot of these women used to quilt,” syas Piatt. “Our population just kind of thought this would be a good thing. It took off really well.”

Later into the evening, live music was played from local artist Darrell Armstrong. Festival visitors were then greeted with an auction and a final act of music performed by Bobby Blanton and Matt Justice.

Despite the threat of rain, Saturday morning hosted plentiful activities for children. An appearance of the Book mobile made for an instant hit. Various other games and crafts were held late into the afternoon.

The quilts remained proudly on display in the City Administrators Building for the duration of the festival hours for members to view as they pleased.

A live performance from the Rock Bottom Band set the tone for the evening of music to ensue. Fans tapped their feet and bobbed their heads throughout the acts. Shortly after, local band, Creek Don’t Rise, took the stage to perform a mixture of cover songs and original music. River Jam was the closing act of the evening, also gaining a positive crowd reaction.

Creek Don’t Rise is set to perform at this month’s Final Friday, located at Three Bridges music venue in historic Boneyfiddle in Portsmouth.

Sunday’s schedule consisted of a car show at 1 p.m. Over 40 vehicles were on display for the public to enjoy. Children and adults alike passed through rows of vintage steel with smiles and fascination gracing their faces. Young kids arms reached out towards the vehicles only to be swatted away by chaperoning parents.

“Look, but don’t touch,” said a parent, to their child.

The evening music entertainment came from bands Crossover and Broken. The acts made for a pleasant closing of the event.

“This is the 22nd year we’ve been able to have the festival, and it’s grown in a lot of ways. The city has the new blacktop and parking, and every year is a better situation than the year before,” Piatt explained. “It’s a chance for socializing and visiting, seeing old faces and old friends.”

Visitors of the free event spoke their praises of the live music, as well as love for the annual car show.

Attendee Tim Carter tells more, “I’ve been coming since I was little, probably 23 years. It’s a good way for the community to get together.”

As the Quilt Festival comes to a close this year, it delivered a unique experience to the citizens of South Shore and those that chose to attend. The Quilt Festival ran from September 23-25 at South Shore’s Rotary Park.

The Quilt Festival was made possible by the Kentucky Heritage Council and the City of South Shore.

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