The Bar B Q Festival 2023 is all about good food and good fun. When the second weekend in May arrives, barbecue mavens from around the globe come to Owensboro to fire up the grill and make some food history at one of the best-attended events in Kentucky.
Bar B Q Festival History and Facts
Barbecue has always been a big deal in Kentucky, but the first official International Bar B Q Festival didn't happen until 1979. The greatest grillers and heartiest appetites had a place to gather and celebrate this tasty hobby. The festival also was started as way for local nonprofits to raise some money and strengthen the community in the long run.
Since the beginning of the festivals, barbecuers have competed to win the Governor's Cup, which is given the top team. The quest for a cup is more than something to watch—it's also something to savor. Festival-goers are welcome to sample the entries, and amateurs can get into the fun by entering the Backyard Cook-Off.
Beyond the barbecue, the festival features a full schedule of live music. The other things to do include carnival rides, arts and crafts, and a classic car shows. The International Bar B Q Festival Kentucky also is a favorite of shoppers, who enjoy the Kentucky-made crafts.
Tickets to the Bar B Q Festival 2023
Ticketing is pretty simple with the International Bar B Q Festival Kentucky—you don't need any tickets to enter the festival. The teams who participate in the cook-off pay an entry fee before the festival starts. If you're planning to eat, of course, you'll need to bring some extra money for your food. Tickets are required for the carnival rides, and bundles are a smart way save some money and have more fun in the process.
Directions to the International Bar B Q Festival
Bar B Q Festival 2023 takes place throughout downtown Owensboro, in Northern Kentucky. If you're coming from the west, from places like Evansville, Indiana, or St. Louis, take Interstate 64 east until you reach I-164. Follow until exit 29A and follow the sign that says Evansville/Henderson. This road, which is U.S. 41, should be followed until you reach the Audubon Parkway, exit 77. Follow the U.S. 60 bypass into town.
From Louisville, head west on I-64 until you reach U.S. 231. Take this road until you reach U.S. 60 West, which will take you towards downtown Owensboro.
Interstate 65, from Nashville in the south and Bowling Green in the North, also leads to the International Bar B Q Festival Kentucky. From the interstate, catch the William Natcher Parkway. This will merge with the U.S. 60 Bypass (East), which also is U.S. 231 North. Follow until U.S. 60 and Owensboro.
Lodging near the Bar B Q Festival
Several Kentucky hotels are ready to welcome festival-goers. After a full day at the International Bar B Q Festival, it will be nice to have somewhere comfortable to get some rest.
The Holiday Inn Express at 3220 West Parrish Avenue has 70 comfortable guestrooms, with four handicapped rooms. Each room has a flat-screen TV, along with a microwave and miniature refrigerator. Guests have access to a complimentary breakfast to kick start their day, fresh-baked cookies, and the outdoor pool for having some fun in the sun.
The Sleep Inn, at 51 Bon Harbor Hills, also serves a hot breakfast in the morning boasts an indoor heated pool along with a fitness center. The 64 guestrooms have HDTVs and high-speed Internet access.