Insider’s guide to the International Bar-B-Q Festival

May 9, 2019 | 3:39 am

Updated May 9, 2019 | 12:15 pm

Graphic by Owensboro Times | Photo by AP Imagery

With so many activities going on over the 48-hour span of the International Bar-B-Q Festival, Owensboro Times thought it might be helpful to have a guide of dates, times and places where things are occurring.

Arts & Crafts

The International Bar-B-Q Festival provides a tremendous opportunity to find unique, hand-made arts & crafts as gifts for friends and family – or yourself.

Talented crafters offer a wide range of items, including jewelry, decorative items, clothing, bows, candles, purses and other leather goods, wood carvings, paintings and numerous other works of art.  Many artist and crafters are completing items during the Festival, providing an entertaining demonstration of their talents.

Friday, May 10 from 5 – 10 p.m. and Saturday, May 11 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Veterans Boulevard and North and South Streets from Veterans to 2nd Street

5K Run/Walk

Produced by the Owensboro Family YMCA, there is no better way to work up an appetite or work off a meal than to participate in the annual International Bar-B-Q Festival 5K Run/Walk.  Join the fun and exercise! Proceeds benefit the scholarship programs at the Owensboro Family YMCA. Have fun, be healthy and help others while enjoying BBQ Festival weekend.

Saturday, May 11 at 8:00 a.m.

McConnell Plaza at 100 St. Elizabeth Street

Benchpress and Deadlift Competition

Saturday, May 11

Owensboro Convention Center, 501 West Second Street, First floor

Weigh In Sign Up:   8 – 9 a.m.

Lifting Begins: 9:30 am


  • Best Raw Bench*
  • Best Equipped Bench*
  • Best Dead Lift*
  • Plus Special Awards

     *determined by formula

Registration: Sign up and weigh in on the day of the event.

First Baptist Church Picnic Pavillion

Hosted by First Baptist Church of Owensboro, the Family Pavilion is a festival tradition. This year they will be providing a rest area to enjoy your food, visit with friends and family and to just relax.

Pie Eating Contest

Participants show their skills to consume gooey, sweet concoctions. These participants definitely demonstrate why this is a “Festival of Food and Fun!”  There are cash prizes for the first three winners.

Saturday, May 11 at 12 noon

Smothers Park Overlook Stage

Registration: The Pie Eating Contest is open to anyone 12 years old and under. There is no registration fee.

Mutton Glutton Sandwich Eating Competition

Sponsored by Kentucky Legend

Saturday, May 11 at 4:00 p.m.

Festival Plaza Stage

Joey Chestnut is returning to defend his record! A Guinness Book World Record was set with the first national competitive mutton sandwich-eating contest held in Owensboro, Ky. in May 2017.  Joey Chestnut was the winner again in 2018. Prize-winning competitors will join us again on stage to see who can set the record in this category and if Joey Chestnut’s 2018 record can be broken.

*Dates, times and activities provided by the International Bar-B-Q Festival Committee

Special thanks to Ole South Bar-B-Q for sponsoring this content.

May 9, 2019 | 3:39 am

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