‘Exchange of Ideas’: Vicksburg Officials Visit Paducah | New


A delegation from Vicksburg, Mississippi – a southern river town – visited downtown Paducah this week, as it heard about local projects and programs from officials, on a trip to learn from another community.

The Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Paducah, hosted guests from Vicksburg (about a seven-hour drive), as part of a benchmarking tour. Visitors, including Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr., arrived on Tuesday and left Thursday morning.

During the visit, the Vicksburg group gathered at the Commerce Center and heard presentations from various officials, including city engineer Rick Murphy and Paducah Main Street manager Katie Axt. They went to see Sprocket and the Coke Plant. Later, Murphy and others guided the Vicksburg group around the downtown waterfront area, sharing information about the Flood Wall and more. The trip included several stops, such as a visit to the National Quilt Museum and dinner at Doe’s Eat Place, which began in Mississippi.

“We’ve talked a lot about the riverside development, and just the whole riverside actually, and a lot of Main Street,” Sandra Wilson, chamber chairperson and city commissioner, told The Sun.

“They were interested in seeing our farmers market and hearing about it, and then we added some additional things that we wanted them to see as well, with the new airport terminal and Sprocket. They have a Coke Museum (in Vicksburg), so I wanted them to see the inside of our Coke Factory. That was the original intention and then we went to Sprocket while we were there.

Wilson described a benchmarking trip as looking at a community that may have things you want to emulate, and it’s an “exchange of ideas.”

“We really want to go to Vicksburg and see some of the things they do, and they have a lot more riverboats than we do, so we want to know – you know, how maybe we could get some more of them,” she said. “So, yeah, I think there were a lot of ideas that we wanted to share with them.”

She said Vicksburg business owner Kendra Reed had reached out some time ago, wishing to bring people to Paducah for a visit.

“They had a consultant do a study on their riverside and in the consultant’s report he suggested they come to Paducah and look at our riverside,” Wilson said, noting that this is where it all started.

Flaggs, who spoke to The Sun after the delegation left for Mississippi, also expressed interest in Paducah officials visiting the community. He said he invited them to come to Vicksburg.

“It would help us – it could help them, because then we could share two cities together in the same room,” he added. “We know their city, but they don’t know our city, and if they come to see our city, it could be much more useful for both cities, I think.”

He said the trip was very educational and informative.

“I came away with a lot of knowledge about some things that can help improve the city of Vicksburg, and most importantly, how they do their tourism and their economic development, and they have great hospitality,” Flaggs said, noting that he was impressed with the presentations. , residents and economic development.

A similarity between Vicksburg and Paducah is having a flood wall. In particular, they both have Dafford murals to decorate the flood wall panels.

“Of course the murals are something that we have and we want to be able to extend them, and we have them on one side of the flood wall, but I think it’s time for us to move on. other side of the flood wall, so when our riverboats arrive they will be warmly welcomed in the city of Vicksburg, ”Flaggs said.

Overall, he said they will have a meeting to assess Paducah’s visit and that everyone he spoke to who was on the trip was “very excited and in awe” of what they saw. .

“The chamber of commerce could not have been more hospitable. … I was so impressed with the knowledge and passion that everyone who presented gave us, ”Flaggs said.

Follow Kelly Farrell on Twitter, @ KellyAFarrell11

Follow Kelly Farrell on Twitter, @ KellyAFarrell11

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