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Quilt Week ends on high note; 2015 planning underway

BY KATHLEEN FOXkfox@paducahsun.com

As heavy rains entered the region Sunday, quilting enthusiasts and visitors in town for Quilt Week headed home after several days of enjoying everything Quilt City USA had to offer.

Sunday brought a labor-intensive clean-up and move-out process after the 30th annual American Quilter's Society Quilt Week came to an end Saturday. Bonnie Browning, AQS executive show director, said the clean-up process went smoothly and was nearly complete by mid-morning.

She said this year's event symbolized the reason behind the change in name last year going from the Quilt Show to AQS Quilt Week.

"It's more than just the show, it's the events in the community, picnics in the park, movies, performances and of course the beautiful quilts," she said.

The 2014 Quilt Week will be close to breaking attendance record thanks in part to the added benefit of mild, sunny temperatures. Browning said visitors especially from the north enjoyed the higher temperatures and clear days. Participants in last year's show experienced some rain and chilly temperatures.

Browning said attendance numbers won't be complete until later this week, but the show averages about 30,000 people annually from across the region, nation and world. She said Wednesday brought the heaviest crowds with long admission lines throughout the day with those eager to view the prize-winning quilts. The event brings in about $20 million per year into the local economy during its four-day span.

Orion Burns, general manager of Quilt in a Day in Paducah, credited the perfect weather for an increase in foot traffic and the number of visitors enjoying the show and the entire downtown area.

He said the Quilt in a Day booth stayed busy filling fabric orders through much of the show and expects sales to stay around the same amount as the last year. Burns said the buzz among vendors was the show was one of the most successful and well-attended.

"It's such a great thing every year and we hope that AQS continues it in Paducah for another 30 years," he said.

Browning said planning has already begun for the 2015 show with next year's teachers, exhibits and some vendors already selected. This year marks the final time the Paducah Dome Pavilion will serve as the home to sales vendors and displays; next year the show will move to the newly renovated section of the Julian M. Carroll Convention Center.

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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