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Paducah Christmas Event Canceled For 2019

The Port of Paducah Propeller Club has canceled this year’s River Industry Christmas Event, but it expects it to return in 2020.

In a letter to members dated October 29, board of directors chairman Andrew Gates and president Caleb King said, “This decision was made based on thorough consideration of this year’s circumstances.”

The event had been scheduled for December 5.

Two reasons cited for the cancellation were a cost increase at the normal venue that the club did not want to pass along to its membership, and a conflict with two other events: the Seamen’s Church Institute’s River Bell Awards luncheon in Paducah and the International Workboat Show in New Orleans, La.

The club leadership said the club has retained its deposit for the 2020 Christmas event at the Paducah-McCracken County Convention Center in expectation of next year’s celebration.

The Port of Paducah Propeller Club took over the event, traditionally an open house and Christmas party, in 2017 from the former Paducah Waterways Industries, Gates said. It is typically held the same evening as the River Bell Awards luncheon, but this year the awards luncheon date also happened to be during the same time period as the show.

At the same time, he said, costs to host the event at the convention center have risen, and a limited number of spaces exist in Paducah that can comfortably hold the crowd, which has numbered between 800 and 1,000 people in recent years.

The club was also conscious of extended high-water conditions and tariffs this year that have put a strain on many companies and unwilling to pass along increased costs to attend.

“We don’t want to make that a burden to the companies to be a part of,” Gates said.

He said he expects the club to resume hosting the event next year.

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