- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Thousands are expected to descend upon downtown Jeffersonville this weekend for Abbey Road on the River - the five day Beatlemania in Southern Indiana - and local businesses are gearing up to welcome visitors to the largest festival the city has ever hosted.

Chuck Mattingly, owner at Horner Novelty on Spring Street, sells Beatles costumes every year for Halloween, but it’s nothing compared to what’s flying off the shelves this week, he said. The costumery and novelty store is stocked with swingin’ swag inspired by the Fab Four - jackets, psychedelic shades, shaggy wigs and much more.

But the longtime business owner knows the crowds will be a great boon for the whole community.

This is the first time there’s ever been anything this big in Jeffersonville,” he said. “And I’m thrilled to death this is going to bring some people downtown. There are a lot of good restaurants, a lot of good stores. So hopefully they’ll take that information back with them.”

In addition to their popular frozen yogurt bar and selection of hot food options, Pearl Street Treats will be selling fresh fruit and vegetable cups, a healthy option owner Lynn Rhodea wants to bring to festival guests.

“In a lot of our products, we try to emphasize health,” she said.

Rhodea opened the shop three years ago, a month before the Big Four Bridge opened. Since opening, the bridge has been an access point bringing new people into Jeffersonville - maps on the shop walls show visitors from all over.

At Pearl Street Taphouse, bar manager Vickie Tate has concocted three special drinks commemorate the occasion - all inspired by Beatles tunes. Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane and Yellow Submarine all pack a delicious punch - and at $6 a drink, completely worth it.

They’ll also be selling beer for $5-6, including drafts from Quaffon Brewery, based in Nashville, Indiana. On the menu will be pizza, beer cheese, artichoke dip, burgers and wings.

The taphouse also has covered outdoor seating just paces away from the outdoor stages. She’s looking forward to new visitors the fest promises to bring.

“I’m hoping it will definitely bring a lot more people in,” owner Teri Taylor said.

And Rhodea said she’s looking forward to many more new faces this weekend.

“I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised at how charming our quant little historic downtown area is,” she said. “I’m happy to show it off.”

For some newer businesses in the area, the also festival signifies the kickoff to their first summer in downtown Jeffersonville - and they hope to start out with a bang.

Down the street at Parlor, bar manager and beer garden director Windy Wonder is ready to serve up a full menu and special drinks.

“We’re going to do some swingin’ 60s cocktails to kind of mesh with the Beatles theme and we have $4 14-ounce Falls City English Pale Ale - for all the Beatles lovers,” she said. “We can’t wait to see everybody.”

Sales manager Becky Fulkerson bought more than a dozen Beatles costumes Wednesday from Horner’s for staff at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, the host hotel that is home for the next five days to more than 250 bands.

“It’s been quite interesting,” she said. Some of the bands started checking Wednesday but most are expected Thursday.

“They like to sit around and sing and relive the Beatles era,” she said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

As the first year the festival has been in Jeffersonville after a 14-year run across the river, Fulkerson said she expects it to bring

She said with expanding amenities in Southern Indiana, she hopes to see more opportunities to host big events like this in the future.

“Everything has always been on the Louisville side (but) we have such a nice waterfront here,” she said. “It’s going to open up a whole opportunity I feel with us. It’s going to be a good thing for our city.”

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Source: News and Tribune, https://bit.ly/2r0U6E6

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Information from: News and Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind., https://www.newsandtribune.com


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