2017 International Bar-B-Q Festival Update
May 12th & 13th, 2017 | Downtown Owensboro
It’s time once again for the International Bar-B-Q Festival. This year, several considerations are being made to accommodate major construction projects going on downtown. Owensboro Parent spoke with festival organizers to offer this overview for families to enjoy this year’s festival:
One of the regular spots for the carnival is now a construction zone for the future International Bluegrass Center. Therefore, the children’s carnival area will now be on Second Street near the blue bridge.
The larger rides for older kids over will be moved down Second Street towards Triplett Street. There will be vendors and face painting in both areas to ensure easy access for different age groups.
First Baptist Family Pavilion
The First Baptist “Family Pavilion” will take a year off due to their construction project, but organizers say First Baptist plans to return in future years. “First Baptist Church has always presented an outstanding venue for children or all ages ensuring a safe and fun environment,” said Festival Chair, Sharon NeSmith.
Pie Eating Contest
The Pie Eating Contest is a long-standing tradition at the Bar-B-Q Fest and is always fun for children of all ages. This year, the event will be held at noon on Saturday at the Overlook Stage. There are several awards presented and you do not have to register to sign up for the sweet competition – just show up a few minutes before to enter.
Back Yard Cookoff
Who does not like BBQ samples of all kind, no matter your age? Stroll down the Back Yard Cook competitor’s area and sample their skills at making a roll of Kentucky Legend BBQ’d bologna taste fantastic, as well as samplings of barbecued sausage, ham, pork, chicken, and beef. Children can watch the cooks at work and start honing their skills to compete in future years for the “Grill Master” title.
Food & Crafts
BBQ and burgoo are the Festival highlights, but it’s hard to ignore the funnel cakes, lemonade shakeups, and popcorn as you peruse the vendor area that appeals to both children and adults. You may also find a unique item from the many vendors in the arts and crafts section. Since Mother’s Day is that same weekend, children may find that special gift for Sunday too.
World Mutton Eating Championship
The Mutton Glutton Sandwich Eating Contest, sponsored by Kentucky Legend, is bringing in celebrities seen on CNN and ESPN to set a new world record for the number of mutton sandwiches eaten. It is amazing to see the amounts consumed; however, for the kids, just watch and don’t try this at home. These competitors are actual professionals who train for these events to showcase a special talent they have developed.
Bar-B-Q Fest 5K
There is no better way to work up an appetite than to participate in the BBQ Fest 5K!
The BBQ Fest 5K Run/Walk has become one of the most popular 5K races in the area. All proceeds benefit the Financial Assistance programs at the Owensboro Family YMCA.
Many school groups participate, so check with your child’s school. Or run as a family. Have fun, be healthy, and help others while enjoying the BBQ Festival weekend! See the YMCA for registration details.
Sit a Spell
The Festival Plaza Stage area (McConnell Plaza on Veterans Blvd) is a great place to rest and enjoy the entertainment. There are adult beverages in this area; however, there are also soft drinks, water and plenty of room for families. Many activities will be in this area, including the Awards Ceremony for the Governor’s Trophy (cooking teams), Back Yard Grill Master, and eating contest, along with great music. “Our bands understand we are a family event and are required to respect the audiences,” NeSmith said.
The Mutton Glutton Corn Hole Classic will return this year and will be located in the Convention Center to allow for more entries and a larger audience. The Cornhole Classic awards trophies and cash prizes based on the number of entries and is fun to watch while cheering for your favorite team to win.
Bench Press and Dead Lift
The Bench Press and Dead Lift Competition, also held in the Convention Center, is a crowd pleaser for observers of all ages. Concessions are available in the Convention Center while you watch the events.