The International Bar-B-Q Fest got a makeover last year with BBQ and Barrels and Visit Owensboro is ready to bring back the second iteration of one of Owensboro’s longstanding traditions.
From May 10-11, Destination Manager Dave Kirk said festival attendees can expect more BBQ vendors, 5 church cooking teams, extra art vendors, a larger bourbon experience and the addition of some new things to the fun.
The KY Champions Motorcar Invitational and a concert both will be held at the Owensboro Convention Center throughout the weekend. Entertainment will be announced in February.
“The improved concept that we launched last year to refocus on great barbecue and adding a new bourbon element proved to be a tremendous success with most of the vendors selling out of food each day,” said Sharon Nesmith, former International Bar-B-Q Festival Chair. “The outstanding volume of sales last year was amazing, and we are excited to be adding more barbecue vendors, a new church team, Immaculate Parrish, and more bourbon options this year.”
Kirk said they are growing the ticketed Bourbon Experience again this year to having samples from more than 35 distillers and growing the footprint inside the Convention Center.
“Owensboro deserves a bourbon expo, and this element of BBQ and Barrels is exactly what is being brought to the table. We look forward to announcing our expanded lineup of distilleries in the near future,” Kirk said.
BBQ and Barrels will kick off on Friday, May 10 at 12:00 PM with BBQ from the church cooking teams and food vendors, including the return of the Pork Producers, carnival rides, and live music. The event will continue on Saturday, May 11 with the addition of the BBQ 5K, Backyard BBQ Cookoff, and the bourbon tasting events inside the Owensboro Convention Center.
Tickets will go on sale for the bourbon element of the event on February 29. VIP options will be available with the opportunity to try some special offerings from distilleries and food pairings. Bourbon classes and a multi-course dinner and cocktail paring with Green River Distilling Company will also be offered on Friday.