BREAKING: Kentuck Festival moves forward with relocation to Tuscaloosa in 2024

Art Festival Kentuck
Yee Haw Letterpress at Kentuck” by acnatta is licensed under CC BY 2.0

After decades, the famed Kentuck Festival of the Arts plans to move in 2024, and a 52-year Northport tradition will likely become a new Tuscaloosa tradition. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

Background on Kentuck’s big move

In November 2023, Kentuck Festival posted a shocking social media announcement stating, “A 52-year Northport tradition appears to be coming to an end as the city’s premier event has begun the necessary process of searching for a new home.” This announcement came on the heels of attempted negotiations between Northport officials and Kentuck.

Kentuck’s post further stated that, although they “not happy about the idea of having to move the festival,” they were “forced into this position.”

After the announcement, the City of Northport issued a statement expressing its hope to keep the Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Northport.

Now, not even a month after the announcement, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been executed between Kentuck and the City of Tuscaloosa.

The City of Tuscaloosa + Kentuck’s MOU

On December 20, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and Executive Director of the Kentuck Art Center Amy Echols signed a MOU. The document expressed, “Kentuck’s intent to host the 2024 festival in Tuscaloosa, and the City’s intent to support the festival financially, and with City resources” (City of Tuscaloosa press release).

“In the last several days, we have worked with Kentuck to explore ways to retain the festival in our region.

This festival is a nationally recognized and time-honored event, and it was critical it stay in our community.”

Mayor Walt Maddox

The site for the festival has not yet been selected, but once it is, the two entities will determine an exact partnership agreement.

“The Kentuck Festival of the Arts is one of the greatest treasures this county has seen.

I’m proud that the City could provide an opportunity to keep Kentuck here. The Council and I look forward to working with them.”

City Council President Kip Tyner

Stay tuned for more updates on the 2024 Kentuck Festival of the Arts.

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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