In what amounted to a real horserace, Paducah's National Quilt Museum beat out Churchill Downs & Kentucky Derby Museum in a ranking of USA Today's 10 best tourist attractions in the commonwealth.
The quilt museum finished fourth, behind National Corvette Museum, Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm and Louisville Mega Cavern, and Churchill Downs finished fifth.
Rounding out the contest winners were, in sixth through 10th place, Kentucky Horse Park, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Mammoth Cave National Park, Newport Aquarium and Creation Museum.
"I really appreciate everyone voting and making this happen," said Frank Bennett, National Quilt Museum CEO. "It's a huge win for Paducah and the museum."
A panel of travel writers made the initial nominations of 20 Kentucky attractions, then the public voted online for four weeks for the contenders they liked.
"The media coverage will ultimately introduce a whole lot of people to the museum, which will cause folks to drive here and see everything that Paducah has to offer," Bennett said, adding that the public in the region will understand that the museum must be a significant attraction for it to have come in fourth.
"We're super excited about the ranking," said Laura Oswald, director of marketing for the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau. "It adds a level of stature to be among these prestigious attractions all across the state."
She added, "Quilting is certainly a key part of the culture in Kentucky."
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