2021 Bar-B-Q Block Party

As vaccinations roll out and Owensboro begins to recover from Covid-19, we’re all looking to the warmer months for the return of our favorite events. One of Owensboro’s most beloved traditions, The International Bar-B-Q Festival, will look a little different this year. 2021 introduces the Bar-B-Q Block Party, a one-day event on May 8.


The International Bar-B-Q Festival brings everyone together on Owensboro’s beautiful riverfront and foreshadows the summer’s events. In order to keep everyone safe, the iconic event, which brings thousands to downtown Owensboro each year, will be scaled down. We’ll deliver all the same sights, sounds, smells and the taste of good ole Owensboro, KY barbecue, and in the safest and healthiest way possible.


Bar-B-Q Fest traditions like the Backyard Cooking Competition, as well as top-secret recipe barbecue from local churches, will be available. Over thirty teams will be competing for the grand prize. In addition to the delicious barbecue, our downtown restaurants will be open to serve you a wide variety of tasty food and drink and the district allowing you to take alcoholic beverages to go with you when you leave an establishment will be active.


In order to allow for social distancing and comfortable outdoor seating, Second Street will be closed, and picnic tables will be available throughout the street. Masks will be required.


It’s back to the basics this year, but that doesn’t mean any less barbecue. We can still have fun and support local businesses and restaurants in the downtown area as we wait for normalcy to return. See you at the block party! Don’t forget to bring your appetite.