A family driving through our region stops and asks "Is there anything to do here?" This is a common question from visitors at the office of Kentucky's Western Waterland, off I-24, Exit 31 in Grand Rivers. Director Sandy Davis says KWW has been introducing tourists since 1969, operating over 25 public brochure racks in the 15-county region and publishing 95,000 maps and facilities guides annually. She speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about KWW and the upcoming Arts & Crafts Festival on Labor Day Weekend in Grand Rivers, the largest and longest-running in the region.
"We have a lot of small counties and none of them individually have a lot to offer as a major destination. However, you put everything we've got together and we are a major destination for tourists."
With state assistance and member contributions, Kentucky's Western Waterlands promotes tourism in the 15 westernmost counties - from the Jefferson Davis Memorial in Todd County to Columbus Belmont State Park along the Mississippi River and everything in between from events at the lakes to cultural affairs in Paducah and Murray.
When visitors stop by their office behind Miss Scarlett's Restaurant just outside of Grand Rivers, they are often "overwhelmed" with the many things going on in the area. The KWW office is open Mondays through Saturdays in the spring and summer seasons and Mondays through Fridays in the winter.
39th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival
The festival is at Little Lake Park behind Badgett Playhouse, but spreads across all of Grand Rivers. One of the longest-running and largest in the area, the festival features a large turnout of vendors selling hand-crafted artwork. Food vendors range from Patti's to seafood, kabobs and more. Limited parking available, look for the signs. The festival runs August 30 through September 1, from 9 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday and 9 to 3 on Monday. Entrance fee is a $1 donation to KWW. The event is KWW's largest fundraiser of the year and much of their annual operating cost comes from proceeds.