The small town of Benton, KY, known as Kentucky Lake's Downtown, lies in the far western part of the Bluegrass state in Marshall County. Benton’s geographical location is the center of the county in a nest of hills just south and west of Clarks River. The quaint town was founded in 1842 by John Bearden and Francis H. Clayton, but named for Senator Thomas Benton of Missouri. Benton was then incorporated in 1845. The approximate population of Benton as of 2010 was 4,349.
Benton’s government consists of a Mayor and six council members. Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 5:00 P.M. at Benton City Hall. Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings.
Tater Day has been a Benton tradition since 1842, when local potato seedlings were distributed to boost local agriculture. It developed into a festive Trade Day and celebration on the first Monday in April, and is today regarded as the oldest continuously celebrated day of its kind in the nation. The current events of Tater Day begin Saturday with a carnival, a demolition derby, and a flea market. Throughout the weekend hosts a beauty pageant, gospel singing, pancake breakfast, and lots, lots more. It has been recorded that over 100,000 people pass through Benton in the three day event. The parade is on Monday, with over 100 entries each year. Anyone from the Shriner’s clowns to the John Deere Tractor Club strolls down Main Street as parade participants. All local businesses and banks close for the big event on Monday. The town is transformed into a haven for traders, dealers, and shoppers. Tater Day can even be searched on the internet!
Benton’s other “big day” is Big Singing Day. It is held the fourth Sunday in May at the Marshall County Courthouse.
The benefits of living in a small town, such as Benton, are the closeness of neighbors, the friendly strangers, and the relaxation lifestyle.
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