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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Your Guide to the 2014 Merchants & Music Festival

Merchants & Music Festival headliner Dustin Lynch

One of our fine city's most anticipated events of the year, the Merchants & Music Festival, is back to rock Tower Park once again. This year's festival will take place on Saturday, September 27th from 2:00pm until 11:00pm. The complete list of merchants is at the end of this article. 

Whether you're an M&MF veteran or new in town, you won't want to miss this year's festival. For starters, the walkways will be lined with booths from local businesses. You can find everything from local artisans and businessed to great food. Speaking of food, you should probably bring your appetite along to the festival. The Merchants Café will be lined with booths featuring culinary fare from all your favorite restaurants and organizations, including the following vendors:
The Merchants Marketplace will be set up to highlight local shops, and a great place to do some shopping between music sets. The following stores will have booths at the Merchants Marketplace:
  • Fort Thomas Central
  • It's In the Details, LTD
  • Maxwell Jumps
  • Stella and Dot Jewelry
  • Vanity Salon 
Along with featuring local shops, the festival will spotlight local businesses in the Merchants Showcase. At the Merchants Showcase, you can find the following booths:
One of the many great things about M&MF is that it's fun for all ages. The Kids Zone will be bustling with activities for children, and also feature inflatables to help keep them entertained while you sneak off to grab some wine or beer from the Merchants Café (don't worry, we're a judge-free zone here at Fort Thomas Matters). The Kids Zone is sponsored by the Campbell County YMCA and Director, Dana Ensley.

The Y is also providing a FREE photo booth that will print commemorative photos on the spot to remember your day at Merchants and Music. They are a great community partner and will also highlight membership packages.

The event will also have a USO Tent to recognize all the service men and women from throughout the area.

Now, onto the music. There will be two stages again this year - the Main Stage (located at the amphitheater) and the Second Stage. Below you will find this year's lineup:
Second Stage
2:00pm: Kara Lynn - She is a singer/songwriter from the Northern Kentucky area, who is best known for her musical blend or country, pop, and rock influences.
3:15pm: Jetset Getset - This six-piece group of teenagers will be using their signature upbeat style to perform great country songs for the crowd. This group has garnered some international attention, and was also named "Who New to Watch" in 2013 by the Country Music Association.
5:30pm: The Kentucky Struts - This quartet of childhood friends is based out of Cold Spring, KY. They've made a name for themselves around the area for their Americana sound.
7:30pm, 9:00pm, and 10:45pm: Ashley Martin - Born and raised in Ohio, Martin is known for her signature edgy blend of country and rock.
Main Stage
4:30pm: Jamison Road - You may have seen this trio play at some of the area's most popular events. They've played everything from the Taste of Cincinnati to the Kentucky Speedway, and they have also traversed the United States to bring their music to the masses.
6:30pm: Trick Pony - This group made their mark in country music during the 2000's with a string of hits including "On a Night Like This," Pour Me," and "Just What I Do." The band is back again with new music that is sure to keep fans dancing throughout their entire set.
7:45pm: Frankie Ballard - Ballard rose to the top of the country charts with his 2013 breakout hit "Helluva Life." He'll be playing all your favorite songs from his latest album, Sunshine & Whiskey.
9:15pm: Dustin Lynch - This year's headliner took the country world by storm with his hit single "Cowboys and Angels." His new album, Where It's At, has been taking over the country charts since its release earlier this month. You can find out more about Lynch by reading his exclusive interview with Fort Thomas Matters.
Once the music concludes, the festivities aren't over. Make sure to stick around for the fireworks, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 pm.
What are you looking forward to the most at this year's festival? Let us know in the comments below or by visiting our Facebook page.

Here's the complete list of merchants for 2014 (*FTMFamily in bold):
Fort Thomas Coffee
Fort Thomas Central 
Tracy Davis State Farm
Huff Realty (FTM advertiser Rob Beimesche)
Campbell County YMCA
Omega Processing
Lovell's Hardwood Flooring
Anita's Mexican 
City BBQ
Fort Thomas Pizza
Southern Smoke BBQ (Olde Fort Pub)
Fort Thomas Living
Hosea Project Movers
Newport Kroger Marketplace
Jeff Wyler Fort Thomas
St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas
St. Elizabeth Physicians
The Bank of Kentucky
Dickey's Glass
SimpTech Solutions
The Barrington, Villaspring, Highlandspring
Your Town Realtor
Citizens Bank of Campbell County
Alexandria Pike Animal Hospital
Gutter Magician
Victory Community Bank
West Sixth Brewery
Baker-Bird Winery
Stonebrook Winery
Rose Hill Farm Winery
Lover's Leap
Texas Joe's
Southside Deli
Smoker EZ BBQ
Tom & Chee
BMC Services Group
Marty's Waffles
Snappy Tomato
The Movement Church
After Prom
Northern Kentucky Hates Heroin
Puffins European Street Food
Kona Ice Truck
Cub Scout Pack 70/Boy Scout Troop 437
Woodfill Boosters
Mercy Mia's
Chick Fil-A
Mr. Softee
Pit To Plate
The Flying Pig at Arnie's on the Levee
Dresser Up Vintage Boutique
Plexus Slim
Joe Dalby State Farm
CrossFit Soto
Dark Star Hot Sauce
Schone Kitchen Design
Children's Art Academy
INKAA/Art House
It's In the Details
Earthjoy Tree Climbing
Dave Walkenhorst Agency
Kaleidoscope Dance
Monera Jewelry
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Jamberry Nails
Just Jewelry
Stella and Dot Jewelry
KY Gentlemans Cigars
Therapeutic Loving Foster Care--Home of the Innocents
KHC Gallery
State Farm Insurance
Shari's on the Avenue
E-Jay's Salon
Three French Hens
Sibcy Cline
Ideal by Design
American Weathertech
Kevin Heekin
Vanity Salon
Bev Erschell Art
Wisdom Tree
Staff Management
Old Guest House Boutique
LIFT Grant
Maxwell Jumps
Money Mailer


  1. Didn't see City BBQ in your list off booths

  2. why can't they have just the local beers , why do they have to go to the heavy made beers, not everyone likes thoses , and heard so many complaints last year...

  3. City BBQ backed out due to some people resigning from their restaurant and they couldn't staff both locations

    Regarding the beer -- Try the American Wheat or the Amber Ale as they are "lighter" and close to Bud. We also have wine and margaritas at the festival.

  4. The beer this year was awful. We tried at least 3 all were terrible.
    Alot of people left in the evening and went to local bars that were close just to have decent beer. Whoever is encharge needs to at least
    offer regular beers - Bud, Miller or Coors.