Saturday night was magical. I spent it at the Washington Opera House savoring every musical note from Tony Burlingame and the McCartney Project. Beatles purists put your fingers in your ears for a second: My favorite songs have always been from McCartney’s “Wings” era.
“Silly Love Songs,” “Live and Let Die” and “Band on the Run” were just a taste of the music performed, including a high-powered encore of “Hey Jude.” If you ask if I had a good time at the concert, I unequivocally say “Love Me Do!” Did you get the “Star Wars” reference? A Beatles/Yoda mashup ... take that, Steinbeck!
Duke Ford brought the performance to the theatre a year after the group’s first visit to Maysville. His Big Rock Productions presented the show. The cool thing about Duke is that his contributions to the area are always creative and interesting. Like showman Clyde Barbour before him, whether it be an ATV park or Zip Lining or Laser Tag or Live Musical Performances, Duke always brings fun and surprise to his projects.
Pop quiz: What do these groups and events have in common? The Maysville Players. The Maysville-Mason County Arts Commission. Arts Explosion. Oktoberfest. The Simon Kenton Festival. Pickin’ and Grinnin’. The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center. Pig Out. Not to mention the countless fairs, festivals, parades and events that populate our calendar.
Answer: That list is just the tip of the iceberg when naming happenings in Maysville. Which is impressive, since I left the 800-pound gorilla out of the room. That’s right, Big Blue Nation, I mean sports. Basketball. Baseball. Softball. Soccer. Bowling. Golf. Track. Biking. Swimming. Fishing.
Cultural and sporting events not your cup of tea? Try one of our many clubs: Rotary, Lions, Shriners, Masons, Elks, Moose, Younger Women’s, Young Professionals and more.
We have religious institutions that cater to most, if not all faiths. So you see? Fortunately for us, Duke is not alone in providing entertainment, culture, sports, social events and worship to the area. The preceding list is just a sample of entertainments and diversions hardworking people bring to our town every day.
Break out the dead horse, ‘cause I’m gonna give it a whack or two. For years, the mantra “nothing ever happens in Maysville” has floated through our city like the 1937 Flood.
Did you know John Phillip Sousa once performed his famous marches on Market Street? National theatre troupes performed at the Washington Opera House. Hollywood stars stood on the Russell Theatre stage to promote their latest film. Yet when Clyde Barbour brought chart-topping artists to Maysville in the 1980s, he had to hand out free tickets before the show in order to fill the seats.
After the show Saturday night someone remarked that even if John and George rose from the grave and the Fab Four themselves performed in Maysville, you’d still be hard pressed to get people to come see them.
Embarrassing? You bet it is. Both major and local events are brought to town at great expense in money, city hours and volunteer hours. For those efforts to be repaid in poor attendance reflects poorly on us as community hosts.
Am I scolding? Absolutely not. It’s your choice to not patronize local events. I just would just like to mention that if shows are held and no one comes to see them, eventually the performances will stop. Then there really will be “nothing to do in Maysville.”