The International Bar-B-Q Festival was created in 1979 to celebrate the long-standing reputation and claim-to-fame for “Good Ole Daviess County Bar-B-Q” and to provide a forum for local charitable organizations to raise funds to support their causes. The competition is fierce and the flavors rich as local cooking teams produce the best that their secret recipes have to offer in an effort to win the Governor’s Cup, the prize awarded to the best overall Bar-B-Q cooking team.
Festival goers can experience the true meaning of Bar-B-Q at the Mutton Glutton BBQ Fest VIP Party on Friday and Saturday where they can sample mutton, pork, chicken and burgoo prepared by the cooking teams fresh from the pits. Even backyard cooks get lean and mean during The Backyard Cook-Off competition for best grill master, preparing delectable treats to share with festival attendees.
The International Bar-B-Q Festival serves up non-stop entertainment that is sure to please all ages with performances featuring a variety of music and dancing that highlight local, regional and national talent. Our Festival Plaza will offer seating and eating areas, adult and regular beverages, and free entertainment on both Friday and Saturday. Other entertainment can be enjoyed throughout the Festival. Our Owensboro Convention Center is bringing in a special guest on Saturday night – Rodney Atkins!
Face painting, pie-eating contests and our four stages provide fun for the entire family. Do you like to participate? Dive right into the Festival experience as a spectator or participant in the keg toss competition. You can work up an appetite, test your speed and endurance or stretch your legs by competing in the annual 5K Run/Walk.
Festival attendees can sample burgoo and bar-b-q sandwiches from the cooking teams up until the main event on Saturday afternoon when the mutton, pork, chicken and burgoo is ready for sale by the pound and gallon. This is a long standing tradition and is worth standing in line to purchase bar-b-q from your favorite team.
If there is any spare time, try browsing and shopping festival style. Spend hours browsing booths filled with handmade arts and crafts and a selection of festival souvenirs. Visit the Owensboro Downtown shops and restaurants and check out the local specialties. Check our Schedule of Events in April and May to see new events added and updates to our entertainment schedule.