Pork, mutton and bar-b-q galore at the International Bar-B-Q Festival

Pork, Mutton, and Bar-B-Q, oh my. The International Bar-B-Q Festival is Friday, May 10 through Saturday, May 12 in downtown Owensboro, KY.

This festival is about food, but they say you’ll want to stay for the fun. There will be live music, carnival rides, art vendors, and – of course – FOOD!

Here’s the lineup of events happening at the International Bar-B-Q Festival.

Music Lineup at the Festival Plaza Entertainment Area


  • 5:30 pm      Marty Brown
  • 7 pm           Josh Merritt
  • 9 pm           Insulated


  • 4:30 pm     DJ Music
  • 5:30 pm     Governors Cup Awards
  • 6:30 pm      Elliott Sublett
  • 8:30 pm      Blackford Creek

Governor’s Cup Cooking Team Competition

Four teams will compete for the Governor’s Cup this year at the International Bar-B-Q Festival. Each team is required to cook a minimum of 600 pounds of Mutton, 300 Chickens and 60 gallons of Burgoo on the pits they will build Friday evening. Then cooking begins on Saturday!

There will be place awards in each category and a Grand Champion award given to the team with the most points from all categories.

Festival attendees can purchase mutton and pork sandwiches from the teams at 3 pm on Saturday. You can even purchase your favorites by the gallon or pound.

The Burgoo is calling your name, answer it. We will see you soon!

Posted by International Bar-B-Q Festival on Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mutton Glutton Sandwich Eating Competition

The competition is high this year the Mutton Glutton Sandwich Eating Competiton. Joey Chestnut will be back this year to defend his record of eating 81 mutton sandwiches in 10 minutes. That’s about 20 pounds of mutton and buns!

Organizers say there will be some strong contenders to challenge Chestnut’s World Record.

The competition will be at the Festival Plaza Stage on Saturday starting at 4 p.m.

Posted by International Bar-B-Q Festival on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Kids’ Pie Eating Contest


It’s the kids’ turn to show off their eating skills! The first to finish one whole pie wins.  There will be cash prizes for the top three winners.

The Pie Eating Contest is for anyone 12 years old and under.  Entry into the competition is first come, first serve.

Where: Smothers Park Overlook Stage

When: Saturday | 12 pm

CLICK HERE for more information.

Keg Toss

$10 per person

Think you can toss a keg? Sounds easier said than done, but why not give it a shot at the annual Keg Toss!

Registration begins at 1:30 pm. The competition is open to Men and Women 18 years and older.

Where: Festival Plaza Entertainment Area

When: Saturday | 2 pm

CLICK HERE for more information.

Bench Press & Deadlift Competition

$40 per person per event

Calling all weight lifters! The International Bar-B-Q Festival offers a Bench Press & Deadlift Competiton for weight lifting athletes. Special Olympic Athletes lift for Free.


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

Where: Owensboro Convention Center

When: Saturday | Registration starts at 8 am | Competition starts at 9:30 am

CLICK HERE for more information.

Arts and Crafts Vendors

The International Bar-B-Q Festival has a large number of arts and crafts vendors where you can find unique, hand-made goods. There is a wide range of items including jewelry, decorative items, clothing, leather goods, wood carvings, paintings, and more.

Where: Veterans Boulevard and North/South Streets from Veterans to 2nd Street

When: Friday, 5 – 10 pm | Saturday, 10 am – 10 pm

CLICK HERE for more information.

Picnic Pavilion

Need to place to sit and enjoy your bar-b-q? Head to the picnic pavilion.

Where: Corner of 2nd & Daviess St.

5K Run/Walk

The 5K Run/Walk is put on by the Owensboro Family YMCA.

Register online, here.

Where: McConnell Plaza | 100 St Elizabeth Street, Owensboro, Ky

When: Saturday | 8:00 AM CST