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Saturday May 8, 2021

10:00am – 9:00pm

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Introducing the 2021 Bar-B-Q Block Party

Join us on Saturday, May 8, 2021 for the first-ever Bar-B-Q Block Party in Downtown Owensboro! The Bar-B-Q Block Party was born from the idea that good old-fashioned Owensboro barbecue should still be enjoyed even in these trying times.

While the Bar-B-Q Block Party will be a scaled-down event, it will include some traditional Bar-B-Q Festival elements, such as the Backyard Cooking Competition presented by Kentucky Legend, in addition to barbecue from several of the local churches that traditionally participate in the festival.

Backyard Cook-Off

Presented by Kentucky Legend

The Backyard Cook-Off is an opportunity for backyard bar-b-q chefs to fire up their grills and smokers to compete among the best in the region.

More than 30 cooking teams compete for pride and prizes as they apply their home-grown skills to cook up some of the best beef, chicken and pork you’ll ever taste. Awards are presented in each category and an overall Backyard Cook Grand Champion is selected.

2021 Backyard Cookoff Information Package

Kentucky Legend logo

Local Churches

Experience classic Owensboro Bar-B-Q as local church cooking teams sell their secret-recipe bar-b-q that has become famous at their annual church picnics.

Churches participating include Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Lourdes, Precious Blood, and St. Mary Magdalene.

Bring your appetite

Seating will be available with picnic tables placed all along 2nd St. with social distancing in mind.

In addition to bar-b-q from the Governor’s Cup and Backyard Cook-Off competitions, you can enjoy a wide array of incredible food and drinks from restaurants throughout downtown Owensboro.


Kick off the Bar-B-Q Block Party at 8:00am by participating in the Bar-B-Q 5K. Join the YMCA for their annual fundraiser fun run. Work up a sweat, burn some calories, and build up an appetite for some delicious bar-b-q. Proceeds benefit the scholarship programs at the Owensboro Family Y.

Sign up for the YMCA Bar-B-Q 5K

Be Safe

For the health, safety, and enjoyment of everyone attending the Bar-B-Q Block Party…

  • Do not come to the event if you are feeling sick. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, and breathing difficulty.
  • Do not come to the event if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been around anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Please wear face masks unless you are actively eating or drinking.
  • Please maintain social distancing around others not from your household.
  • Please be respectful of others attending the event.

Looking Ahead

After cancelling the 2020 International Bar-B-Q Festival, the board of directors is pleased to present this year’s Bar-B-Q Block Party as a way to celebrate the traditional Bar-B-Q Festival weekend in a safe manner.

To keep everyone safe and healthy, the following attractions are NOT available this year.

  • World Mutton Eating Championships
  • Concession Vendors
  • Arts & Crafts Vendors
  • Carnival Rides
  • Live Music
  • Beer Garden

With hope and everyone’s cooperation in ending this pandemic, we look forward to hosting our traditional event next year.

Contact Us

Please contact us if you have questions about this year’s Bar-B-Q Block Party.

VENDOR NOTICE: Due to ongoing safety protocols, no vendors will be participating in the 2021 Bar-B-Q Block Party. This includes all novelty, food, merchandise, arts & crafts, or non-profit organizations booths or vendors.

International Bar-B-Q Festival

P.O. Box 434
Owensboro, KY 42302