Merchants & Music Fest expands to two days; Dylan Scott & Idol winner star

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The Merchants & Music Festival in Fort Thomas’s Tower Park is back for 2022, and it’s expanded to two days. The free event features food, beer, art and more from local vendors, kids’ activities and, of course, live music. In fact, it’s now the largest music festival in Northern Kentucky with 13 bands playing on two stages.

The event kicks off on Friday, Sept. 23 at 5 p.m. in the “Ampersand Gallery Bar and Art Hall,” known as the Mess Hall to the locals. Enjoy food from vendors and food trucks, a wide variety of arts, crafts and other wares from local vendors, as well as a complete lineup of live music inside the venue.

On Saturday, catch the Kids Zone activities from 2 to 7 p.m. with bouncy houses from Maxwell Jump, face painting, glitter hair, balloon animals and a circus show with juggling, magic and more from the Cincinnati Circus Company.

Music runs all day Saturday, starting in the Ampersand Gallery and moving to the park’s Amphitheater. Country Music Television award winner and multiplatinum artist Dylan Scott headlines Saturday’s show. Opening for Scott is American Idol winner and Louisa, Kentucky native Noah Thompson.

American Idol winner and native Kentuckian Noah Thompson will perform Saturday on The Amphitheater stage. Photo provided | Noah Thompson

Here’s the music line up

Friday — Ampersand Gallery, Bar and Art Hall

  • 5 p.m. — Michael Moeller
  • 6 p.m. — Jimmy Clepper
  • 7 p.m. — Working Class Villain
  • 9 p.m. — Mad Constanza

Saturday — Ampersand Gallery, Bar and Art Hall

  • Noon — Gary Bertsch
  • 1 p.m. — Preston Charles
  • 2 p.m. — Another Colour
  • 3 p.m. — Southbank Quartet
  • 4 p.m. — ISM String Quartet

Saturday —The Amphitheater

  • 5 p.m. — Josh McIntosh & Company
  • 6:15 p.m. — Johnny Fink and The Intrusion
  • 7:30 p.m. — Noah Thompson
  • 9 p.m. — Dylan Scott
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Access for all to enjoy

In addition to highlighting local merchants and artists, the Merchant & Music Festival organizers are committed to ensuring everyone has a good time at the event.

Parking is available near and within Tower Park, and there is a walkable option in the lot behind Hiland Theater at 18 North Fort Thomas Ave. In addition, thanks to a partnership with Newport-based Executive Transportation Services, there will be free shuttle service on a continuous loop from three locations from 5 to 11 p.m. both days. Locations are:

  • South Hill Professional Center, 525 Alexandria Pike, Southgate
  • KLH Building, 1538 Alexandria Pike, Fort Thomas
  • Fort Thomas Plaza, 90 Alexandria Pike, Fort Thomas

Handicap parking is available near the Armory and the Mess Hall. A golf cart shuttle will be available to take people down from the Armory to the main event location.

Some people may need a break from the bustle and noise. A sensory room is also provided and can be accessed by going to the first aid station set up in the Armory.

Support and more from sponsors

Organizers noted special thanks to sponsors West Sixth Brewing, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Midway Cafe, Executive Transportation, Northern Kentucky Open Box Outlet and the city of Fort Thomas Renaissance Board.

Newport’s West Sixth Brewing has developed a special Fort Thomas light beer for the occasion that will be available in stores around town after the event.

The Northern Kentucky Open Box Outlet is located in Newport and sells overstock and discount furniture. The company has provided the festival with outdoor seating a tables.

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For more, see the Merchants & Music website.

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