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Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: March 11-13

Home & Garden Show    

It’s going to be a homeowner’s paradise this weekend with the Owensboro Home & Garden Show bringing you all the homebuilding and remodeling tips and tricks you could ask for. Located at the Owensboro Convention Center, the Home & Garden Show will convert over 44,000 square feet of convention space into a land filled with exhibitors showing off the latest innovations in remodeling and home design. Hosted by the Home Builders Association of Owensboro, this show will bring you both indoor and outdoor home design experts. The Home & Garden Show is free to attend and will take place March 11-13, starting on Friday from 5-8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. All aspects of remodeling will be on display, so get all your ideas together before heading out and prepare to be inspired!

State Fiddle Championships 

You’ll have the chance to see some of the best fiddle players in the state perform their craft this weekend, with the Kentucky State Fiddle Championships coming to you live on March 12 at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum. As a music-centric cultural center, those at the Bluegrass Museum love celebrating rich history and great stories behind Bluegrass music, which is why they brought the State Fiddle Championships to their site in 2021. With a new, updated format and greater emphasis on fiddling than ever before, this event is expected to once again evolve into one of the major competitions in the southeastern US in the coming years. Fiddlers will be playing all day long and the event is $10 to attend!

Hot Brown Smackdown   

Get ready to boogie on down to Owensboro as Hot Brown Smackdown takes the stage at Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville for a night of live music. This six-piece, Newgrass-fusion ensemble from Louisville has delighted concert- and festival-goers for years by combining brightly textured, hard-driving, powerful Bluegrass polyphony with high-energy groove and soul. The band will play from 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 12 and there will be a cover charge at the door.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: July 22-24

Daviess County Fair    

It’s that time of year again, folks! The Daviess County Lions Club Fair will be bringing you all the rides, food and good times you could ask for July 20-23. You can click here to check out the four-day schedule, which will include events such as an open dairy show, petting zoos, inflatables, laser tag, live music and a monster truck show. Trust us – no matter which day you attend, you’re guaranteed to have a blast. Be sure to bring some cash and pack some sunscreen because it’s expected to be warm and sunny this year! 

Splash Pad at Horse Fork Creek Park      

You can find one of the best spray parks in Owensboro at Horse Fork Creek Park, located on the east side of the city. This spray park opened only a couple years ago and is a guaranteed hit for anyone traveling with kids. The 80-by-60-foot splash pad is nearly double the size of other splash pads in the area and includes 23 individual spray features – 13 ground-mounted sprays and 10 above-ground features. Kids can also enjoy a frog, Cattail Twirl and a 20-foot dumping bucket. You could spend the entire day at this splash pad and have so much fun, without spending a dime!

Dinner at Sassafras     

Owensboro’s newest restaurant is garnering tons of positive reviews, and there’s good reason for that. Located at 420 Frederica Street, Sassafras was named after Owensboro’s famous Sassafras tree (the largest in the world!) and focuses on authentic southern and Appalachian dishes made from scratch. Whether it’s smoked meat, charcuterie, chicken and dumplings, or Kentucky succotash you’re in the mood for, Sassafras has it all, and then some. 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: May 6-8

Dailey & Vincent  

If you’re in the market for a concert from some high-profile, multi award-winning musicians, then we’ve got you covered this weekend. On May 6, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum will host Dailey & Vincent to perform live for a night of amazing Bluegrass music. Individually, Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent have won five Grammy awards each and, together, they’ve taken home three Grammy nominations. They’re also four-time DOVE Award winners, and the pair have earned 35 IBMA Awards altogether. Backed by one of the best bands on tour today, Dailey & Vincent are some of the most reputable and elite entertainers in American music, with songs and styles that range from bluegrass to traditional country, to gospel. Tickets are $40.50 each and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Downtown Cruise-In      

It’s that time of year again, and we know you can’t wait for it! Car shows are back in downtown Owensboro, and we’ve got a full lineup of top-notch vehicles for you to see this summer. This weekend’s Downtown Cruise-In will feature all things Mopar (any Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Ram or Jeep vehicle with an emphasis on classic or vintage models). Head to the entrance at the corner of Third and Daviess Streets to see some of the hottest classic cars in the tristate. There will be great food, prizes, activities and more at this family-friendly event. The show runs from 4-8 p.m. on May 7.

Tours at Western KY Botanical Garden   

One of the most beautiful places in Owensboro, Western Kentucky Botanical Garden is the perfect place to escape the daily hardships of life and take some time to relax, reflect and regroup. Check out the historic WeatherBerry house before taking a tour along the beautiful pathways that meander through the garden’s landscape. Here, you can find herbs, roses, daylilies, a huge variety of plants and trees, ponds, cottages and so, so much more! And this year, WKBG has implemented a new system of QR codes that can be scanned via phone to provide information to tourists. You can visit the garden Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Sundays from noon-4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and veterans, and $1 for students and children.

 

Date Night on a Budget

Every couple needs a good date night. But the one thing about date nights is, they can be costly. Once you’ve tallied up the costs for dinner, drinks, a show and/or an experience for a night on the town, you end up with a lighter wallet and, sometimes, a tighter budget to get through the week.

But that’s where we step in. Date nights don’t always have to cost that much!

We’re breaking down the best date night experiences for those times when you don’t want to break the budget, starting with live music.

Friday After 5 is a great opportunity to catch, not one, but multiple concerts across our downtown riverfront FOR FREE. There is absolutely no cost that comes with attending Friday After 5, making it the perfect place to spend quality time with your loved one in the great outdoors.

Friday After 5 kicks off May 20 and runs through September 3 from 5 p.m.-midnight for 16 Fridays straight!

And it only gets better, because Owensboro is now home to another free concert and entertainment series that runs all summer as well! Downtown Live will be held at the RiverPark Center, with the first night kicking off May 13. It will run for 12 Fridays, bringing you a different theme each week. You can find six different spaces utilized for live entertainment, a full bar, and so much more. This event is for those 21 and older.

Another option for your low-budget date night is a trip to Western Kentucky Botanical Garden. This is literally one of the most beautiful places in Owensboro, and its growing season runs all summer and fall. A tour only costs $5 per person, giving you an affordable, intimate experience that also connects you with nature.

With more than 25 different parks spread across the city and county, there is no shortage of fishing ponds, picnic spaces and walking trails that are all free to use, and just as romantic as a big night out.

For those who love the arts, the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is the perfect place to peruse a handful of galleries featuring a wide range of artistic styles. While touring an art museum can be pricey in some cities, here in Owensboro, you can tour OMFA for free (though donations are always appreciated). This would be more of an early evening date, as the museum’s gallery hours run from noon-1 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

 

West KY Boat & Outdoor Show a one-stop-shop for fishing, boating, camping and more

With warmer weather just a couple of months away, the West KY Boat & Outdoor Show has everything you need to start planning out your spring and summer. The event will run February 11-13 at the Owensboro Convention Center and will feature all the pontoons, fishing boats, jet skis, campers, golf carts and other outdoor equipment you could ask for!

The West KY Boat & Outdoor Show allows exhibitors to display their products and services in one spacious area. This gives boat, fishing, camping and outdoor enthusiasts a chance to see a variety of items without having to travel elsewhere to find what they’re looking for.

This event is not only huge for the local economy (as it’s expected to bring in over 6,000 attendees), but FREE to all those who come!

The West KY Boat & Outdoor Show runs on three different dates, starting Friday, Feb. 11 from 4-8 p.m. The show will be open Saturday, Feb. 12 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 13 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Your Two-Day Itinerary for Owensboro

Owensboro is the perfect place to spend a weekend getaway. Whether you’re on a cross-country roadtrip to a city like St. Louis (only three hours away) or Nashville (only two hours away), or you’ve just decided to get out and explore the great state of Kentucky, our northwestern city should absolutely be a destination on your radar. 

In a matter of 48 hours, there is so much to do, see, hear and experience in Owensboro. We’ve crafted a two-day itinerary for those wanting to get in as many sights, sounds and smells as possible. 

Day One: 

Once you arrive in Owensboro, you’ll probably want to drop off your luggage at your hotel of choice. We have so many amazing hotels to choose from here – many of them new! You can find a list of hotel properties here, including two that overlook the Ohio River and are located in our beautiful downtown area. 

Now that you’ve started settling in, it’s a great time to get out and try something new. That’s the whole reason you traveled to a new place, right? 

One of the top spots on your list should definitely be Green River Distilling Co. After launching their flagship bourbon (to great reviews, mind you) in 2022, there’s never been a better time to take a tour of our historic bourbon distillery. You can book a tour for $20 Monday-Saturday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. These one-hour tours include a tasting of three different bourbons produced at the facility and are led by some of the best tour guides in the state. 

While you’re in the downtown area, there are some great places to check out for lunch. We often hear the question, “Where should we eat?” from tourists. And honestly, it depends on what you like! But you can find amazing lunch and dinner options at Mellow Mushroom (known for its pizza and craft beer), The Famous Bistro (Greek cuisine – amazing food, but a little pricier), Fetta (pizza by the slice – including mashed potato pizza), Don Mario’s (Mexican cuisine and amazing outdoor dining), Lure Seafood and Grille (seafood on the riverfront), The Brew Bridge (a brewery featuring southern-style cuisine), The Creme Coffee House (coffee and great breakfast/lunch sandwiches) and Colby’s (American cuisine). 

After lunch, head downtown to Smothers Park to explore one of the greatest playgrounds on the planet, along with a beautiful riverfront that includes fountains, a walking trail and Bluegrass music played on speakers along the way. 

This is also a great chance to check out The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum (when planning your trip, check their schedule to see if a concert will be playing!) in downtown Owensboro, as well as Western Kentucky Botanical Garden. 

At night, grab a ride on the Downtown Trolley to Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville for some live music. Stop in at the Pub on Second for a beer or a specialty martini before. If you’re visiting Owensboro over the weekend, you don’t even have to leave downtown for a night of entertainment, as Friday After 5 and Downtown Live will both be in full swing on Friday night. 

Day 2: 

After seeing all that downtown Owensboro has to offer, it’s time to get out and explore a little further! 

Head to Preservation Station for breakfast and one of the coolest shopping trips you’ll ever take, as this retail venue is housed in a former elementary school and includes more than 60 different shops! 

While you’re out that way, stop by The Cottage for a quick lunch on your way back to town, and take the bypass to the other side of Owensboro (only a 15-minute drive) to Reid’s Orchard, famous for its annual Apple Festival. You can shop at the onsite market for all kinds of farm grown goodies you just won’t find anywhere else. 

 

When you get back to the city, be sure to swing by the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art for one of the best art museums in the state of Kentucky. Not only is admission free (though donations are appreciated), but one of the largest folk art galleries in the country can be found right here. 

And once you’ve entered city limits again, it’s time to try our world-famous barbecue for dinner. Whether you swing by Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, Old Hickory Bar-B-Q or Ole South Bar-B-Q, you will not be disappointed by the array of mutton, pork and ribs we offer here in Owensboro. Our annual Bar-B-Q Festival is famous for a reason, and these restaurants have garnered worldwide fame for their delicious flavors. 

If your second day in Owensboro is a Saturday, head back downtown to enjoy Live on the Banks, a free summer outdoor concert series held at Smothers Park from 7-9 p.m. You can grab a drink from any establishment and ask for a plastic green cup to carry it in to and from different sights within The District, if you prefer. This is your chance to take in the color-changing lights on our downtown bridge while you sip a cocktail and enjoy everything that makes our city so wonderfully unique and beautiful.

 
 
 
 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: January 14-16

2A State Championships

The 2A Kentucky State Basketball Championships are kicking off this week at the Owensboro Sportscenter. Featuring eight girls’ and eight boys’ teams from schools with 500-900 students, the 2A Championships will bring hundreds of student athletes to Owensboro for some exciting competition. The tournament runs Thursday-Sunday, with the state championships taking place on the final day. This is the third year in a row that Visit Owensboro has hosted the 2A State Championships, and hotels across the city will be filled with athletes, families and fans from all across the state! 

Rodney Dillard & The Dillards  

Rodney Dillard & The Dillards are coming to you live at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum on January 15. A founding member of The Dillards along with his brother Doug, Rodney was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 and his band garnered recognition for playing The Darlings on The Andy Griffith Show. The Dillards were also known for “modernizing and popularizing the sound of bluegrass in the 1960s and 1970s,” so if you want to check out a band with a unique sound and historical relevance to boot, this is the show for you. Tickets are $20 and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Lonestar 

Known best for their love songs you love to slow dance to (“Amazed” surely rings a bell), Lonestar is bringing that soothing, melodic sound to Owensboro on January 15 at the RiverPark Center. Known for merging their country roots with strong melodies and rich vocals, Lonestar has amassed RIAA-certified sales in excess of 10 million album units since their national launch in 1995. The concert kicks off at 8 p.m. and tickets are only $21 each, so grab them while you can!

Head to Owensboro in September for a Month of Amazing Shows, Concerts

This fall is going to be exploding with talent and amazing performances at the RiverPark Center, and we cannot wait to share this lineup of artists with you. 

 

The month of September is going to be one of RPC’s busiest (and best) months for live entertainment, so it’s the perfect time to catch a rock concert, a country concert or even be part of a live studio audience for one of America’s greatest televised games when you’re visiting our northwestern Kentucky city. 

 

Wheel of Fortune LIVE! Will hit the RPC stage on September 8, bringing you an all-new theatrical experience that is the one-and-only way fans can experience “America’s Game” in person outside of Sony Pictures Studios. Guests can audition to go on stage and feel like they’ve stepped into the game show itself. Prizes include $10,000 cash, trips to Paris and Hawaii, and more at every show! Tickets are only $35 each! 

 

The Oak Ridge Boys will be hitting the RPC stage as part of a nationwide tour, showcasing dozens of country music hits and Grammy-winning songs. They will perform live in Owensboro on September 9 from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $43 and can be purchased right here. 

 

Are you a fan of the legendary Meat Loaf? Then head on down to RPC on September 10 for BAT: A Meat Loaf Celebration, featuring The Neverland Express + American Idol Winner Caleb Johnson. You’ll get to hear Meat Loaf’s hit songs performed brilliantly by The Neverland Express (which includes world-class alumni of Meat Loaf’s official band) and Caleb Johnson – one of the best rockers to ever hit the American Idol stage. BAT will kick off at 7 p.m. and tickets are $34. 

 

On September 15, Brett Michaels will take the RPC stage to bring you all the best hits this multi-platinum global superstar has accumulated during his career. With over 32 million records sold and three generations of loyal fans, Brett Michaels will bring you a night of rock music you’ll never forget. The show runs from 7-9 p.m. and tickets are $65. 

 

In a storied career dotted with smash singles, platinum albums and countless honors and acclaim, you won’t want to miss country music star Clay Walker perform live at RPC on September 24. You can purchase tickets right here.

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: July 29-31

Artifact Show     

Head to the Owensboro Convention Center on July 29 and 30 to experience the 2022 Owensboro Artifact Show. This event has gained popularity over the years for providing and selling some of the coolest Native American artifacts from all over the country. You can also enjoy an Ethnography Show at this two-day event. Vendors will have everything from coins and knives to fossils, jewelry and arrow heads. The show runs July 29 from 2-8 p.m. and July 30 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is $20 on Friday and free on Saturday.

Coffey Anderson at FA5     

Owensboro’s free outdoor concert series is bringing you Texas native Coffey Anderson on Friday, July 29 for a night of amazing country music. Anderson mixes mainstream country with pop, R&B and hip-hop beats for an innovative mashup of today’s best hits. Anderson’s known best for hits such as “Mr. Red, White, And Blue,” ”Better Today” and “Bud Light Blue,” but he’s also garnered fans through his popular YouTube videos. You can see Anderson perform live from 7-10 p.m. at the Jagoe Stage in McConnell Plaza. 

Cruise Ship Viewing    

One of the coolest things about living in a river city is getting to see the boats dock from our downtown riverfront. On July 30, you can see, not a boat, but a huge cruise ship dock at English Park! The American Queen will be swinging through Owensboro to give its passengers a day to experience our beautiful city, and you can see the amazing, multi-story ship yourself from 8 a.m.-noon.

Head to Owensboro to explore a variety of outdoor murals

With so many talented artists living in Owensboro, outdoor murals are becoming more widespread across the city. You can take a stroll through downtown Owensboro and see most of these murals for yourself, but we thought we’d break some of the locations down for you to make your journey a little easier. 

Owensboro’s “Be the Change” mural was spearheaded by New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services and encourages people to step up and intervene in dangerous situations when they see them. Those situations may include sexual harassment and assault, bullying and negligent or abusive behavior by families, spouses and caregivers. The lion represents the courage one needs to step up and say something, while the green dots represent the Green Dot Program—a training program that teaches residents what to look for and how to respond to potentially dangerous situations involving other people around them. 

The Be the Change mural is located at Third and Allen streets in downtown Owensboro. 

The “Owensboro” mural that scales the east side of the Visit Owensboro building (215 East Second St.) depicts a number of banjos and other instruments, with the word “Owensboro” painted across the top. The mural highlights Owensboro’s rich Bluegrass Music heritage, as well as its designation as the Bluegrass Music Capital of the World. 

The mural at Kendall-Perkins Park is still in the works, but it’s absolutely gorgeous so far. Depicting Black history and empowerment through historical figures and famed Owensboro residents, this massive mural will stretch 700 feet across a former “segregation wall” and include local talent from artists all across Owensboro. 

The Osprey mural was created by Italian street artist Hitnes. The large mural depicts a bird catching a fish with its talons. You can find it on the west side of the building at the 100 St. Ann building at Riverfront Crossing. The piece is part of a bigger project called “The Image Hunter” which traces the adventures of naturalist John James Audubon when making the book “The Birds of America.” Hitnes’ goal was to travel to more than 20 cities to view birds and create large-scale murals for the self-financed project. 

Cars glisten in this mural as they drive past it on the Glover Cary bridge, making it a beautiful spectacle to see from the ground level. 

The downtown Mirror Mosaic Mural is being brought back to life by artist Gary Bielefeld. Bielefeld had to remove two tons of glass and adhesive from the original mural to begin work on the new one. Stretching 110 feet by 43 feet, this mural shows the entire state of Kentucky and all the geographical regions within it. Bielefeld said the state of Kentucky will be lined with lights and that Owensboro will get its own special spot on the mural, just like before. 

winged butterfly mural at Simply Chic Home Accents is the perfect place to take a selfie. This colorful work of art was painted by Paige Owens and also features a garden scene that winds along the brick wall.  

The vintage Coca Cola Mural can be found at 210 Allen Street. Obviously, you have to take its old-school messaging and advertising (5 cent sodas?!) with a grain of salt, but that’s what makes it so fun! 

“The Whiskey Without Regrets” mural at Green River Distilling Co. was painted by artist and creative director Aaron Kizer. It’s such a cool mural because, first of all, it’s huge. And secondly, it pays homage to Green River Distilling’s 100-plus year history, when original founder J.W. McCulloch named his bourbon “The Whiskey Without Regrets” as part of a very lucrative advertising campaign. And that slogan is still being used by the distillery to this day.

 

 

 

Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining

When the sun’s shining, the humidity is low, and the temps are warm, there’s nothing like a good lunch or dinner on an outdoor patio. Luckily for all those traveling to Owensboro, we’ve got tons of great restaurants that offer outdoor seating. 

 

Since everyone loves a waterfront location, we’ll start with some of the best outdoor seating options in downtown Owensboro – many of which give you amazing views of the Ohio River and the amazing entertainment venues located along it. 

 

Lure Seafood and Grille has one of the biggest and best outdoor seating venues in Owensboro. Located one street over from the river, you can enjoy crab legs, pasta, and tons of home-cooked seafood and steak while dining on Lure’s expansive outdoor patio area. Make sure to check their Facebook page for live music as well! 

 

Also located downtown, Burger Theory has every kind of gourmet burger you could possibly imagine (as well as a great Bloody Mary for brunch). You can see the Ohio River in all its beauty from Burger Theory’s outdoor patio and, even better, there’s lots of seating options available.

 

The Miller House offers southern cuisine and one of the largest collections of bourbon in the country, but you can really live the southern experience by dining on the restaurant’s enormous porch. The Miller House also offers a beautiful outdoor patio for dining. 

 

Don Mario’s Mexican Restaurant provides enough outdoor seating to wrap around the entire building! Located in downtown Owensboro on 2nd Street, you can sip a cold margarita in the warm sunshine as you take in all the hustle and bustle of downtown Owensboro. 

 

Fetta Specialty Pizza offers pizza by the slice, and you can hang out for hours on their back patio, where live music is often performed. Mellow Mushroom Owensboro also serves an array of unique, delicious pizza, and you can enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown Owensboro as you sip a craft beer at one of their outdoor tables. 

 

Other great places that offer outdoor seating in Owensboro include SIP Wine Room (with excellent views of the Ohio River), Pub on Second, The Famous Bistro, Legends Sports Bar & Grill, Drake’s Owensboro and Colby’s.

Free rides on the downtown Trolley are a must when visiting Owensboro

One of the coolest (and most convenient!) things about being an out-of-town tourist in Owensboro is the downtown Trolley service. 

One thing that makes the Trolley stand out most–aside from the old-school look of the bus itself–is that it’s FREE to ride. And yes, you heard that right!

The Trolley provides free transportation on both weekdays and weekends in downtown Owensboro. How often do you see free public transit in the cities you travel to these days?! 

You can catch a ride on the trolley at tons different areas across downtown Owensboro, with stop times around every 20 minutes: 

 

  • Walnut and 3rd Streets
  • 3rd and Locust Streets
  • 3rd and Frederica Streets 
  • 3rd and St. Ann Streets
  • 3rd and Daviess Streets
  • 2nd and Crittenden Streets
  • 2nd and Daviess Streets
  • 2nd and Allen Streets
  • 2nd and St. Ann Streets
  • 2nd and St. Elizabeth Streets
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Waterfront 
  • Holiday Inn Downtown 
  • Owensboro Convention Center 

 

The great thing about the Trolley is that both visitors and locals can experience everything downtown Owensboro has to offer, without ever having to move their car. You can simply hop on the trolley from your hotel and be taken to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum if you’d like. From there, you can hop back on the trolley and be taken to one of our local bars or restaurants for a fun night out. Or to our riverfront walk. Or to our historic shopping district. And then, once you’re done exploring, catching a show–whatever it is you’ve made plans for–you can catch a ride on the trolley back to your hotel!

The trolley schedule changes with the seasons, but from April-October, you can catch free rides Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. AND from 4-8 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the trolley’s hours are extended to 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-10 p.m. 

From November-March, the downtown trolley runs Tuesday-Thursday from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 

And if you ever find yourself wondering where the trolley is, you can simply check out this live map that shows you exactly where the trolley is, and where it’s headed next! 

The downtown Trolley has been a staple in Owensboro for years, and there’s good reason for that. From the jingle of the bells as it makes a stop to the amazing drivers who chauffeur you around the beautiful riverfront, it’s one of the best experiences our city offers to visitors and locals alike.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: March 18-20

We Banjo 3     

This quartet is comprised of Galway, Irish and Nashville roots, and that combination has proven to be a major success in the U.S. since their 2012 debut! We Banjo 3 has quickly risen to superstardom in the Bluegrass music world as they continue to push boundaries while maintaining an unwavering devotion to everything that entails a great, live performance. Combining their instrumental expertise of the banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and percussion with lead singer David Howley’s amazing voice, this band has performed at shows all over, including Merlefest, BattleRock, Summercamp, ROMP and Wintergrass. You can catch them live at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum on March 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $38 and selling fast, so grab yours today!

Tracy Lawrence & Clay Walker  

What’s better than hearing two country music icons perform live at the same show?! You can do that very thing on March 19 at the Owensboro Sportscenter, where country legends Tracy Lawrence and Clay Walker will bring you a night of amazing hits and a full band onstage to help them do it. The two artists have more than a dozen #1 hits on the Billboard country music charts combined and have racked up more than 12 million albums sold. Special guest Randall King will be joining Lawrence and Walker for this concert too! Tickets start out at $39, and the show kicks off at 7:30 p.m.

Mary Poppins Live  

You’ll have two chances to see Owensboro Dance Theatre perform this weekend, as they bring “In Concert featuring Mary Poppins: Homecoming” to the RiverPark Center stage on Saturday, March 19 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 20 at 3 p.m. Based on the 1930s eight-book series by P.L. Travers, this show presents a tale of magic and wonder through dance. Mary Poppins will take flight onstage and leave you ready to dance on the rooftops! Incorporating moving, digital backdrops, special flying effects, professional guest dancers, and many local dancers, this is a show that’s guaranteed to exceed your “Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious” expectations. Tickets for this family-friendly event are $16.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: May 13-15

Bar-B-Q Block Party  

This is for all the mutton, pork and burgoo fans out there, because this event is ALL about the barbecue. Bring your family, your friends, or just yourself to downtown Owensboro May 13 and 14 for Owensboro’s Bar-B-Q Block Party. Both similar to, and different from, our previous Bar-B-Q festivals, this year’s event will feature church cooking teams, the Backyard Cooking Competition, and delicious meals from all your favorite local BBQ restaurants, just like before. World Champion Competitive Eater Joey Chestnut will be back in town for a meet-and-greet on Saturday from noon-1 p.m., and there will be plenty of fun rides and midway games for the kids to enjoy. Live music will also be played both days in front of the Owensboro Convention Center! The Bar-B-Q Block Party will be held Friday from noon-9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Dan Tyminski Band      

If you’ve ever seen the movie O, Brother Where Art Thou? then you are very familiar with Dan Tyminski, whose voice famously accompanied George Clooney’s for the song, “I’m A Man of Constant Sorrow” for the film. The great news is, you’ll have the chance this weekend to see Dan Tyminski and his band perform live in Owensboro for an amazing concert! Held at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum on May 14, this 14-time Grammy winning musician (who has collaborated with artists such as DJ Avicii, Alison Kraus, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney and Reba McEntire) will mesmerize you with his extraordinary skills on the guitar and mandolin, as well as his “burnished, soulful tenor voice” that’s helped propel him to superstardom. Tickets to see the Dan Tyminski Band are $34 and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Kentucky Fried Pickin’    

Hundreds of pickers, pluckers and strummers from all over the country will put on a free show this weekend at the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront. Kentucky Fried Pickin’ will be held May 12-14 – the same weekend as this year’s Bar-B-Q Block Party, so there’s never been a better time to visit downtown Owensboro for some of the best barbecue and Bluegrass you’ll find anywhere! Those who are participating in KY Fried Pickin’ have rented rooms at the Holiday Inn, so those interested in watching and listening can hang out and travel room-to-room to see them play. There will be between 1,000-1,500 pickers joining in the fun, making it the biggest KFP event ever held. You won’t want to miss it! 

 

Spring Break events in Owensboro

Whether you’re a visitor or a local, spring break in Owensboro is a great experience. Not only is there a ton of stuff to do during the week, but the Dogwood trees and Azaleas have started to bloom. The days are getting warmer, outdoor patio seating is getting fuller, and the entire city comes alive with the excitement of getting out and experiencing it all.

With our spring break running April 4-8 this year, we’ve got you covered on what to do, what to see, and where to go. From sporting events, to petting zoos, to live music, there’s no better time to check out what Owensboro has to offer than during Spring Break 2022.

Maybe you’re in the market for a little athletic competition this spring break, but don’t know where to find it. We’ve got you covered here in Owensboro with the 2022 Showdown in the Bluegrass Quads Indoor Volleyball Tournament. The tournament is only one day—Sunday, April 3–and there’s cash prizes to be had, so why wouldn’t you sign up?! There’s also a 6 vs. 6 Co-Ed tournament the day before on Saturday, April 2! Both events take place at the Owensboro Convention Center.

Experience Artrageous at the RiverPark Center on April 2. What is Artrageous, you ask?

Imagine an artist creating a masterpiece before your eyes in mere moments, coupled with a palette that mixes captivating vocals, intricate choreography and exciting audience interaction. This show takes you on a unique, visual journey packed with inspiration, creativity and fun! This one-of-a-kind experience brings you a crossover of artists, musicians, singers and dancers. Even better, tickets are only $12.

Kids will have two chances to see some super cool animals at Daviess County Public Library’s “Exotic, Aquatic and Backyard Creatures with Brad Reynolds.” The first show will take place from 2-3 p.m. and the second from 4-5 p.m., both on April 5.

There’s a weeklong Spring Break Camp (#KidsCamp) at the Owensboro Family YMCA running April 4-8. Kids can spend the week swimming, doing crafts, playing games and sports. Children 5-12 years of age are welcome and the event costs $28 per day for non-members and $35 per day for members.

Music legend and multiple Grammy Award winner Dwight Yoakam is performing all of his greatest hits (and there are a lot of them) at the Owensboro Sportscenter on April 7. Tickets are $100 and selling fast!

A fun event for adults and kids alike, an Easter Scavenger Hunt and Petting Zoo will be held at Cecil Farms Produce on April 8 and 9. Get out and explore the farm before taking a scavenger hunt! Be sure to check out your favorite ferns or plants from the greenhouse while you’re there! Tickets are $5 per person and the event runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. both days.

The Boro Brawl Nationals is pretty much exactly as it sounds. It’s a national wrestling competition bringing in roughly 500 student athletes to Owensboro to duke it out on the mat. Held at the Owensboro Convention Center on April 9, this is a great event for anyone interested in wrestling. And for those who participate, the Boro Brawl Nationals is also a great way to impress college recruiting scouts who will be in attendance!

Trunnell’s Farm Market is kicking the spring season off with its Egg-Ceptional Easter Egg Hunt & Bunny Fun. And who can say no to bunnies?!

This event will take place at the Utica location, where kiddos of all ages can hunt down Easter eggs and get all their bunny cuddles on April 9 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are $14.99 per child and $10.99 per adult. Those 12 months and younger get in free!

Tickets include a meet-and-greet with the Easter Bunny, face painting, a close look at tons of baby animals and nonstop egg hunts with prize packs for kids!

While you’re in town, be sure to check out Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville for a weekend of live music, as well as Escape Today for some of the best axe-throwing and escape rooms you can find anywhere in the state!

 

 

Visit Owensboro bringing back Mocktail/Cocktail Crawl

What better way to celebrate the start of summer than with a delicious cocktail? Whether it’s a frozen margarita or a non-alcoholic strawberry daquiri, there’s something magical about sipping a fruity drink on ice under the warm sunshine.

Bringing back a fan favorite, The District Mocktail/Cocktail Crawl will run for two weeks from May 13-27. It will kick off on the first day of the downtown Bar-B-Q Block Party (May 13-14) and continue through the first two Friday After 5 events of the season (May 20 and 27) and Downtown Live.

Several bars and restaurants located within downtown Owensboro’s entertainment area – dubbed “The District” — will offer featured specialty cocktails and mocktails at prices ranging from $2.50-$10.

Be sure to check out Visit Owensboro’s social media channels on Monday, May 9, where you can find a Drinks Guide and a list of bars/restaurants participating. You can also check out a list of kid-friendly bars, hours of operation for each place, and the cost of each drink.

SIP Owensboro General Manager Regan Neal said her team was exciting to participate in this year’s Mocktail/Cocktail Crawl with Visit Owensboro.

“Through this, we are able to cater to those who want a drink, and also to those just wanting something refreshing to sip on while enjoying downtown,” Neal said.

Friday After 5 Director Francine Marseille echoed that statement, saying she couldn’t wait to see the community come together for the event.

“Starting the crawl with the Bar-B-Q Block Party, and then keeping the community engaged and involved in our downtown – it’s perfect timing to roll right into Friday After 5’s 26th anniversary celebration,” she said.

Visit Owensboro’s Dave Kirk said The District Mocktail/Cocktail Crawl will offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at each location so that everyone can participate.

You don’t have to drink to have fun, which is why Visit Owensboro wants to make it clear that you don’t have to drink alcohol to participate in the Mocktail/Cocktail Crawl. And if you do choose to drink alcohol, we ask that you drink responsibly and have a designated driver at the ready.

With the event running for two weeks, there will be plenty of time to try all the different drinks, so don’t forget to space them out!

Participating restaurants and bars include:

∙ The Pub On Second

∙ Lure Seafood and Grille

∙ Brasher’s Little Nashville

∙ The Crème

∙ Don Mario’s

∙ The Brew Bridge

∙ SIP Owensboro

∙ The GhostLight Lounge

∙ Burger Theory

See Grammy-Winning Oak Ridge Boys Live in Owensboro

With a huge fan base that spans decades, the Oak Ridge Boys will be bringing you a night of Grammy-winning country music at the RiverPark Center on September 9. 

 

The Oak Ridge Boys have been touring and making music together for 50 years, creating one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. Their four-part harmonies and upbeat songs have resulted in dozens of country music hits, many of which have earned Grammy, Dove, CMA and ACM awards. 

 

Some of the Oak Ridge Boys’ most popular songs are “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Leaving Louisiana in Broad Daylight,” “Thank God for Kids” and “American Made,” but there are many, many more classics this quartet is famous for. 

 

Also members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Oak Ridge Boys have also been performing songs from their recent album “Front Porch Singin’” on this tour. This album was produced with one of the hottest producers in Nashville, Dave Cobb, at the historic RCA Studio. 

 

Tickets to see the Oak Ridge Boys perform live in Owensboro are $43 and the show runs from 7-9 p.m.

Experience a real winter wonderland with Owensboro’s 12 Days of Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas are coming to life this year, and it’s going to be lit (with Christmas lights, of course).

Downtown Owensboro will be transformed into a north pole wonderland, bringing the riverfront to life every weekend with different holiday-themed activities from November 26 through December 19.

For visitors and locals alike, this experience will be worth your while. You can go ice-skating on the Energy on Ice outdoor synthetic ice rink all 12 days behind the Owensboro Convention Center. The rink will be set up on the Kentucky Legend Pier and includes festive holiday lighting, music, food, drink concessions and skate rentals. If you’re not into ice-skating, you can watch as a spectator!  The ice rink is made possible by Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Atmos Energy, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, and the Staton Family Foundation.

1st Day of Christmas

The 1st Day of Christmas will also feature “Friday After 5: Christmas Edition” from 5-8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront, where you can enjoy food, drinks and the sounds of the holidays with live music.

2nd Day of Christmas

The 2nd Day of Christmas (Saturday, Nov. 27) will feature the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce’s Shop Owensboro event on Small Business Saturday. This all-day shopping event is centered around the city’s blooming boutique industry, and shoppers can stop by the Owensboro Convention Center at 9 a.m. to pick up a shopping bag full of coupons and discounts!

3rd Day of Christmas

Enjoy Energy on Ice on the 3rd Day of Christmas (Sunday, Nov. 28) with the holiday movie Elf playing on the big screen.

4th Day of Christmas

On the 4th Day of Christmas (Friday, Dec. 3), bring the kids and family to downtown Owensboro for Holiday Photo Night! You can get FREE professional photos taken by Wonder Boy Media at Smothers Park. Christmas backdrops will be provided, and the iconic blue bridge will be lit up in the traditional Christmas colors.

Also on the 4th Day, stop by the Owensboro Convention Center for the Holiday Market, which offers free grab bags to the first 100 people who show up, as well as free stockings or Santa hats to the first 60 kids! The event is free to attend and runs from 3-7 p.m.

Oh, and you can also enjoy another Friday After 5: Christmas Edition at the Holiday Inn Riverfront on the 4th Day of Christmas!

5th Day of Christmas

The 5th Day of Christmas (Saturday, Dec. 4) will kick off at 8 a.m. with the Care Net Reindeer Run 5K. But if you’re not a runner, no worries! You can also walk this 5K, and participants are encouraged to dress up in ugly Christmas sweaters, Santa hats, and anything resembling the holidays.

The Holiday Stroll will run from noon-8 p.m. on the Fifth Day of Christmas, where you can enjoy perusing the different local shops and restaurants in downtown Owensboro. Even more, the City of Owensboro will unveil the Christmas tree lights and Dancing Lights Show at 5 p.m. Head to Smothers Park to see the brand new Dancing Lights at Smothers Park—an interactive lighting experience where the lights dance to a different Christmas classic every 15 minutes!

The Lanham Brothers Christmas Jamboree will take place at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum at 7 p.m. and the German American Bank Nutcracker will take the RiverPark Center stage at 7 p.m. as well, so there will be plenty of entertainment options to enjoy throughout the evening.

6th Day of Christmas

The Sixth Day of Christmas (Sunday, Dec. 5) will feature another Nutcracker performance at 3 p.m., the Holiday Market from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., the Dancing Lights from 5-9 p.m. and Movie Night at Energy on Ice from 2-7 p.m. A Christmas Story will be the featured movie.

7th Day of Christmas

Get ready for some hot chocolate on the Seventh Day of Christmas (Friday, Dec. 10) because the Hot Chocolate Hop is coming back to downtown Owensboro in a big way. Various local businesses will be selling different specialty hot chocolate drinks, and you can enjoy ice sculptures along 2nd Street as you sip!

Another Friday After 5: Christmas Edition will also be held on Friday at the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront from 5-8 p.m.

8th Day of Christmas

Did you think we’d leave Santa out of the 12 Days of Christmas? No way! He will be live and in-person on the 8th Day of Christmas (Saturday, Dec. 11) from 7:30-10 a.m. at the Owensboro Convention Center for the 4th Annual Breakfast with Santa.

Later that evening, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra will present Home for the Holidays at the RiverPark Center. This concert will mesmerize listeners with traditional holiday favorites and fresh new music as well. The concert kicks off at 7 p.m.

9th Day of Christmas

On Sunday, Dec. 12, enjoy the Dancing Lights from 5-9 p.m. and Energy on Ice from 2-7 p.m. This weekend’s featured movie will be the Polar Express.

10th Day of Christmas

Santa’s Sweets is a new event that will run from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17. Satisfy your holiday sweet tooth with some indulgent specialty treats from downtown restaurants and businesses. The Dancing Lights and Energy on Ice will both take place, and Friday After 5: Christmas Edition will kick off at the Holiday Inn from 5-8 p.m.

11th Day of Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a Downtown Scavenger Hunt, which will take place on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Graphics depicting all 12 Days of Christmas will be hidden downtown. Look up, look down, look all around for those graphics! Maps will be given out that morning to help start your search and clues will be posted to Facebook throughout the day.

12th Day of Christmas

The last of the 12 days will feature the Dancing Lights and Energy on Ice from 2-7 p.m. The holiday classic Christmas Vacation will play outside on the big screen for all to enjoy.

For more information on the 12 Days of Christmas, click here

Beat the Summer Heat in Owensboro

Here in Kentucky, summer likes to stick around all the way through September, and it’s no secret that it can get really, really hot. But here in Owensboro, we’ve got tons of amazing ways to help you beat that summer heat and have a good time doing it. 

 

If you’re looking for a great swimming pool to cool down in, check out Atlantis Swim Club. Not only can you enjoy a full-length swimming pool with 25-meter lanes, but you can splash around in a wave pool, a gigantic water slide and a gated baby pool for the little ones! 

 

You don’t have to be a member to swim at Atlantis either. Adults can swim for a full day at $16/person, $11/child and kids 2 and under get in free. And prices drop after 3 p.m. to $11/adult and $7/child. 

 

If you don’t have time for a day at the pool, there are tons of parks across Owensboro-Daviess County with spray parks. And, hey, who says you have to be a kid to cool off at a spray park? 

 

You can find spray parks at Smothers Park in downtown Owensboro, Horse Fork Creek Park on the east side of the city, Legion Park and Yellow Creek Park

 

And if you didn’t bring a bathing suit with you on your trip – no worries. You can spend a day indoors enjoying all the amenities Owensboro has to offer. Kids will have a blast at Elite Air (an indoor trampoline park), Escape Today (escape rooms and ax throwing), the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, Ozone Laser Tag and Southern Lanes Bowling (complete with an arcade and bumper cars). 

 

Adults and kids alike can beat the summer heat with trips to Green River Distilling Co., the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Preservation Station, Pixel Palace (selfie museum) or a show at the RiverPark Center.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: January 21-23

Fear Expo Live

Those who love everything horror-related and those who supply everything horror-related will come together this weekend at the National Haunted Attraction Industry’s Fear Expo, taking place at the Owensboro Convention Center January 21-23. The Fear Expo will feature tons of activities and memorabilia for fans of the scary, including Haunt Master Classes, hands-on workshops, a vendor showcase show, live music, haunt tours, a costume ball and a Friday night After Party. Fear Expo Live is dedicated to connecting “attraction owners with the latest products and services from the industry’s leading vendors early in the year to ensure products are delivered on-time, ahead of schedule and at some of the best prices of the year.” The Expo is free to attend, but you need to register online ahead of time for buyer, exhibitor, seminar, speaker and events tickets.

Step Afrika!   

Touring all across the country, Step Afrika! is making a stop in Owensboro on January 24 at the RiverPark Center to showcase the tradition of stepping. Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities; traditional African dances; and an array of contemporary dance and art forms into a cohesive, compelling artistic experience. If you’ve never seen a step show, this is the perfect opportunity to experience something new, educational and uplifting from some of the best steppers on the planet. This show has won tons of awards and in 1994 became the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. Tickets for Step Afrika! are $27 each and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Live Music at Lil’ Nashville  

If you wanted some live music to snap you out of the wintertime blues, Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville is the place for you this weekend. The bar will have live performers every night of the weekend, with the Music City Dueling Pianos taking the stage Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m., along with a daytime performance on Sunday at noon. Opening for them will be live performances from Paul Montgomery at 6 p.m. Friday and Jerred Green at 6 p.m. Saturday. Happiness Jones will follow the Music City Dueling Pianos on Sunday at 4 p.m. Even better, Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville will be offering a Bloody Mary Bar at 11 a.m. on Sunday, so head downtown this weekend for drinks and a good time, no matter which day (or days!) you make it out.

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: January 28-30

Night at the Oscars

Who hasn’t dreamed of hearing the songs from their favorite films performed live? You’ll have that very chance on January 29 at A Night at the Oscars, where the Owensboro Symphony will roll out the red carpet and transport you right onto Hollywood Boulevard for a night of live music from some of the most iconic Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated films of our generation. Songs and scores from movies like The Godfather, La La Land, The Lord of the Ringsand Titanic are just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended) for what this fabulous concert has to offer. Even better, the Owensboro Symphony will be joined by “the world’s most recorded piper in history,” Eric Rigler, as the featured soloist, making this a family-friendly show that you absolutely should not miss! Tickets are $42.50 and are selling quickly, so be sure to grab yours as soon as possible.

Your Perfect Day Wedding Show  

Everyone always thinks they’ll have plenty of time to prepare for their wedding, but the process can be stressful, time-consuming and just flat-out overwhelming at times. But the brides and grooms out there need not worry, because Your Perfect Day Wedding Show is coming to the Owensboro Convention Center on January 30, giving you the chance to collaborate with all the vendors you’ll need in a single setting. The show will feature a collection of area wedding professionals that are eager to meet you and help plan out your special day. You can sample food from caterers, design your bouquets and table settings and peruse through a variety of dresses and accessories. Plus, all brides can register to win some pretty snazzy door prizes, so it’s a win-win. Admission is $3 for adults and tickets will be available at the door. The exhibition runs from noon-4 p.m.

Live Music at Lil’ Nashville  

Andy Brasher’s done it again, packing his bar with country music talent through the entire weekend. Kicking off on Friday, Jan. 28, Jarred Green will open up at 6 p.m., followed by Randy Cruse & Reynolds Station—a band that blends country and southern rock—at 9:30 p.m. On Saturday, you can catch country artist Josh Mitcham performing live at 6 p.m. before the Rye Davis Band takes the stage at 9:30 p.m. And finally, you can treat yourself to Lil’ Nashville’s Bloody Mary Bar on Sunday at 11 a.m. with live music from Troy Miller kicking off at 4. This new music venue has already garnered a reputation for creating good times, good drinks and good sounds, so head to downtown Owensboro this weekend for these amazing performances!

 

Goodwood Brewing to open this year on downtown riverfront

It’s time to get excited, because Goodwood Brewing is coming to Owensboro! 

Located at 101 Frederica Street on the Ohio River, Goodwood is going to soon become a hot spot in downtown Owensboro, and we are here for it. 
 
The brewpub will be offering a variety of their specially-crafted beers all day and night, but Goodwood will also be serving a full menu of southern-focused food for brunch, lunch and dinner. Already, Goodwood has started posting photos of what its menu will include on Facebook and, all we can say is, the sooner they open, the better. 
 
 
The brewpub will be opening its doors this year and will soon announce an official date. So be sure to follow them on Facebook and keep an eye out for more announcements! 
 
Located right next to Smothers Park and the Owensboro Convention Center, we can’t think of a better fit for Goodwood Brewing than downtown Owensboro, and we can’t wait to see you there!  

Hops on the Ohio bringing good beer, music and food to the riverfront this summer

Hops on the Ohio is one of Owensboro’s biggest beer festivals of the year, bringing you all the craft beer, wine and spirits you could ask for at this all-day event. This year’s event will be held at RiverPark Center on Saturday, July 9 from 3-7 p.m.

Local and regional breweries will supply tons of craft beer while live music and food trucks will supply the good sounds and food.

Honestly, this beer festival is one of the best experiences you’ll have in Owensboro, standing outside on the beautiful patio, drink in hand, overlooking the Ohio River. Everything about Hops on the Ohio is executed well, from the venue, to the beer selection, to the music.

The festival has been a huge success in past years, bringing more than 600 people downtown in 2019. Hops on the Ohio serves as a fundraiser for RPC, with tickets covering the costs of the venue’s array of free educational programs for children.

The 2022 festival will include local breweries and distilleries such as Brew Bridge, Goodwood and Green River Distilling Company. But there will be tons of other breweries and wineries from the regional area offering tastes and pours, so you can sample all kinds of drinks while you’re there!

Hops on the Ohio co-founder Cody Anderson said his team is very excited to be back in Owensboro for the festival’s third edition.

“Expect an afternoon full of brews, tunes and food trucks,” Anderson said. “You can also expect a handful of other events before and after at surrounding bars and restaurants.”

Tickets for Hops on the Ohio are $48 for general admission, and you can order them online right here! 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: May 20-22

Friday After 5   

Friday After 5 is kickin’ off its summer concert series this weekend with TONS of amazing music, entertainment and food for the whole family to enjoy. This weekend’s theme is “City Night,” and all proceeds from the FA5 5K will go toward Brescia University’s Track & Field department. You can find live music at multiple venues across the downtown riverfront, including The Beatles Rock Band Show from 6-9:30 p.m., Disc Daddy’s from 4:30-7:30 p.m., Lillie May & Rische Family Circus from 7-10 p.m., Platinum 78 from 7-9 p.m. and Usual Suspects from 8:30-11:30 p.m. Score tons of treats from our amazing food trucks and enjoy a delicious drink from participating downtown restaurants and bars during the Cocktail/Mocktail Crawl. Friday After 5 runs from 5-midnight beginning May 20. 

Owensboro Symphony      

The Owensboro Symphony is pulling all the stops this Saturday with five-time Grammy nominated pianist and vocalist Michael Feinstein joining them as the featured artist. “One Fein Night” will hit the RiverPark Center stage on May 21 at 7 p.m., bringing you a night of music from some of the greatest Broadway and Hollywood classics to date. Feinstein himself performs over 200 shows a year, with performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, the Hollywood Bowl, the White House and Buckingham Palace. Need we say more?! You can score tickets for this show at $42.50 apiece. 

The Nashville Songwriter    

Enjoy a night of music and stories under the stars as the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame holds the Nashville Songwriter series on its outdoor stage on May 19. This series highlights the stories and lives of three artists working to create the soundtrack of America, featuring Nashville-based songwriters that offer the backstory on their work by sharing personal experiences that shaped their songs. You can hear from Derik Hultquist, Nick Donley and Jaida Dreyer this week, with the show kicking off at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10, and guests should bring their own chairs for this outdoor concert. 

 
 

This is not the same Owensboro you visited before

Owensboro is not the same place you visited in the past. And for natives of Owensboro who’ve since relocated, this is a very different city than the one where you grew up.

While Owensboro remains a family-friendly place known for great parks, great food, and great people, a lot of aspects about our city have changed, and for the better! And we think that’s something to write home about. 

You can see the growth and evolution of our northwestern Kentucky city all around you in the form of new development and businesses, yes, but you can also see it in the sheer volume of visitors we see traveling to Owensboro. We meet, get to know, and share stories with tourists from all over the world (as well as all 50 states) on a regular basis, and there’s good reason for that!

You can see the changes in the form our beautiful downtown riverfront, and in the world-renown playground at Smothers Park. You can see it in the lighted bridge in downtown Owensboro that changes colors at night.

You can see the changes in the form of new hotels being built across our city, with the newest one – a Home2 Suites by Hilton – currently being developed across from the Owensboro Convention Center and expected to take shape by late 2023.

The evolution of Owensboro’s growing business sector includes tons of new coffee and tattoo shops, boutiques, restaurants and skin, hair and cosmetic companies. The number of locally owned businesses owned and operated by minority groups has also grown exponentially – a testament to the progress Owensboro’s made in embracing its diversity.

Ellis Entertainment has begun work on opening a new historical racing machine (HRM) entertainment venue in Towne Square Mall, with over 60,000 square-feet of space to include a wide selection of HRMs, a simulcast betting and viewing area, and a new race and sports themed restaurant.

Here in Owensboro, artwork on buildings in the new beige. New murals are constantly being painted, public art is being placed, and world-renown artist Aaron Kizer is opening Owensboro’s first art gallery dedicated to local artists at our very own visitor center.

You can now take your fur babies with you to Castlen Dog Park, newly opened in 2020, and you can enjoy the first completely inclusive playground in Daviess County at Horse Fork Creek Park, where children of all abilities are able to play together.

Downtown Owensboro is also home to tons of new breweries and bars that are located within walking distance to the Ohio River and a number of entertainment venues.

“The District” was developed in 2020, allowing patrons to carry alcoholic beverages within its boundaries through downtown Owensboro. This open container policy has seen enormous success in bringing more visitors and locals out to enjoy themselves (responsibly) while they explore all our downtown has to offer.

On Highway 54, Gateway Commons features a state-of-the-art movie theater – Malco Owensboro Cinema Grill & MXT – complete with reclining seats, a restaurant, and a bar for those who like a beer or glass of wine with their movie. There’s also a ton of shopping opportunities at Gateway Commons, with more to come. 

Newly opened selfie museums – Pose and 3DX Selfie Expressions – have given individuals, families and groups of friends the chance to take high-quality photographs in a fun, creative way thanks to some innovative business minds in Owensboro.

Escape rooms, axe throwing, and more than 50 arcade games can be enjoyed at Escape Today, while RiverPark Center’s brand new Downtown Live summer event series will coincide with Owensboro’s famous Friday After 5 outdoor concert series each Friday night.

Meanwhile, you can enjoy live music at new venues like Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville, Ten.O.Six., and Shiloh’s Lounge. You can catch year-round concerts from Grammy-winning artists at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and you can take in beautiful sounds, vibes and views at Live on the Banks each Saturday night on the riverfront.

Green River Distilling Co. has undergone a complete transformation to become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state (with one of the best new bourbons, as well), and the Daviess County Gun Club’s recent reopening has seen unprecedented success at its shooting range.

While this might be a longer blog than usual, it’s only because there has been so much growth, change and development across Owensboro-Daviess County. And because of that, there’s never been a better time to visit. 

 

Owensboro Burger Week returning in a big way

After a very successful inaugural event in 2021, Owensboro Burger Week is back! And it’s already bigger and better this second time around, with over 30 different restaurants across Owensboro-Daviess County showcasing their best burger and selling it to customers for $7 March 1-5.

This year’s event is sponsored by the Kentucky Beef Council, Independence Bank, Hill View Farms Meats and Green River Appliance.

“With more than 11,000 burgers sold last year, we knew Burger Week needed to become a staple here in Owensboro, Daviess County.  It brought so much joy to customers and a much needed boost to our local restaurants during the pandemic,” said Dave Kirk, Visit Owensboro Destination Management.

According to Tim Ross, the City of Owensboro’s Public Events Director, Burger Week was a “tremendous success” last year, setting an example of the Owensboro community coming together for a good cause.

“Thousands of people were able to enjoy some amazing burgers and they helped our restaurant owners during a much-needed time.  We are excited about Burger Week 2022 and look forward to some more scrumptious creations from our restaurants,” Ross said.

During Owensboro Burger Week, each participating restaurant will sell a burger of their choosing for $7 including tax.  Each restaurant will decide how large the burger will be and if it comes with any sides.

“We are so excited to be able to participate in Burger Week this year.  Although every week is Burger Week at Wonder Whip, this event gives us an opportunity to think outside the box and create something special for our guests.  Most importantly, Burger Week is the perfect event to showcase all the wonderful dining options in Owensboro,” said Seth Woodward, Owner at Wonder Whip.

A tasting panel of local celebrities and food critics will blindly judge all the burgers from each of the participating restaurants throughout the week without knowing which restaurant the burger came from. 

Judges will tally all of the scores to select an overall winner who will receive a traveling trophy and bragging rights for the Burger of the Year.  Last year’s winner was O’Bryan’s Bar & Grill.  Burger Week will also have a contest featuring a fabulous prize for everyone who participates and shares their Burger Week experience on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #owensboroburgerweek.

For more information and a map of the participating restaurants once they are finalized, check out Owensboroburgerweek.com.

If your restaurant would like to participate, please email Dave Kirk at [email protected] to enter by February 5. 

 

OMG!Con bringing cosplay, gaming and anime to Convention Center in June

OMG!Con is returning to the Owensboro Convention Center this summer, bringing you all the cosplay, gaming and nerding out you could ask for.

Running June 24-26 this year, OMG!Con has been held in Owensboro for the last several years, bringing a huge turnout of visitors to our area for previous conventions.

This year’s OMG!Con will include several special celebrity guests, including Greg Ayres, who has over 376 voice acting and production credits to his name. Director, actor, voice actor and scriptwriter Micahel Sinterniklaas will also make an in-person appearance at this year’s Con.

Other guests slated to appear at OMG!Con 2022 include Fighting Dreamers Production – a cosplay group from Vancouver, along with a number of other well-known cosplayers and actors.

New to this year’s convention, OMG!Con attendees will have the chance to check out an amazing lineup of Japanese video games that have never been sold in America. According to the organization’s Facebook page, some of the “best, worst and weirdest games Japan got that we didn’t” will be available to play at OMG!Con’s huge video game room.

Attendees can also enjoy outdoor boffer games, a weekend dance party, and tons of entertainment throughout the three-day event.

You can pre-register for OMG!Con 2022 right here! Tickets are $50 during renegotiation and $55 at the door.

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: May 27-29

Memorial Day Rodeo and Terry Lee Ridley  

Diamond Lake Resort will be celebrating Memorial Day weekend with a bang this year. On May 26, head to the beautiful outdoors for a touching flag-raising ceremony in front of the Pit Stop Grill at 11 a.m. before heading to the campground’s Golf Cart Rodeo in the afternoon. You can bring a golf cart of your own or rent one onsite! On May 28, you can catch Terry Lee Ridley & Million Dollar Band from 7:30-10:30 p.m. for a night of live music and fun entertainment. Campers can watch the show for $10 and the general public can see the band perform for $15 apiece. 

Downtown Live      

The RiverPark Center is hosting Downtown Live this weekend from 6-11 p.m., bringing you all kinds of exciting entertainment for the adults to enjoy. This weekend’s theme is “Race Into Summer,” and RPC is celebrating all the local educators out there! If you have a school ID, definitely bring it with you, because you can get a drink discount at the bar. You can also enjoy a selfie station in the lobby, the Community Jukebox at Truist Plaza, live music at the Atmos Courtyard from 6-8 p.m. and even a Drunk Spelling Bee at the GhostLight Lounge from 8 p.m.-midnight. Outdoors, RPC will be holding the Owensboro 500 Tricycle Race, where teams can win all kinds of awards for competing. 

Live on the Banks    

Owensboro is all about live music, and you can catch two performances this Saturday night at Live on the Banks! Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the downtown riverfront as you listen to the 101st Airborne Rock Band at the Overlook Stage, then swing over to the Allen Street Gazebo to hear Madeline Wilkerson perform. Both performances are free to the public and will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Smothers Park.

 

Check out the Lewis and Clark trail in Owensboro

Did you know the famous Lewis and Clark Trail runs through Owensboro? 

In fact, the trail Meriweather Lewis and William Clark blazed two centuries ago was made along the Ohio River. The duo’s journey had to start in the Ohio River to begin the two-year trip to the Pacific Ocean and back. 

On June 19, 1803, Lewis wrote that he planned to meet some “good hunters, stout, healthy, unmarried men accustomed to the woods, and capable of bearing bodily fatigue in a pretty considerable degree: should any young men answering this description be found in your neighborhood I would thank you to give information of them on my arrival at the falls of the Ohio.” 

That message was actually written to Clark, who’d lived in Kentucky for nearly 20 years. Clark, of course, said yes, and word of the expedition traveled, bringing volunteers from all across Kentucky to help. 

According to experts, Kentucky has about 660 miles of the eastern portion of the Lewis and Clark Trail – its entire border with the Ohio River. 

“This gives Kentucky the longest section of the trail in the east and one of the longest overall, taken together with the 400-mile return route,” says James Holmberg, chair of the Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission. 

It’s believed that Owensboro was a stopping point for Lewis and Clark after they left Louisville. Whether or not they did is up for debate but, without a doubt, the pair definitely traveled through the bend in the Ohio River that lines Daviess County – and now, our downtown riverfront. 

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: February 4-6

East Nash Grass

Dubbed the “hottest young band of pickers” in the entire city of Nashville is pretty cool, and that’s why East Nash Grass is blowing up all across the country right now. And their backstory—being founded in 2017 as a part-time pickup gig band—makes them even cooler, if that’s possible. East Nash Grass has a unique sound that includes banjo riffs and dobro slides coupled with a warm and stable low-end, giving their music a tender touch not often heard in traditional Bluegrass music. The band will play at Owensboro’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum on February 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets are only $20, so grab them while you can!

Champions of Magic

Who doesn’t love a night of good magic? On Monday, February 7, you can treat yourself to a super unique event at Owensboro’s RiverPark Center with Champions of Magic taking the stage at 7 p.m. First of all, this group is known as the only team of musicians in the entire world. Secondly, they’ve sold out shows across the entire globe and have been featured on every major TV network in the nation. Thirdly, the Champions of Magic cast presents an incredible variety of interactive magic, along with levitation, escapes from a water torture cell and mind-blowing predictions. It can’t get more exciting than that! Tickets for this family-friendly event are $35.

Dinosaur World Live  

If you love all things Jurassic, we’ve got the show for you this weekend. Dinosaur World Live will hit the RiverPark Center stage on February 8 at 7 p.m. for a night of fascination and exploration that includes these massively impressive creatures. These dinosaurs are remarkably life-like, and you can see all of your favorites, from the legendary Tyrannosaurus Rex to the Microraptor. A special meet-and-greet after the show gives you the chance to meet the dinos too! Tickets for Dinosaur World Live are only $13!

 

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: March 25-27

Red Hot Chili Pipers      

A little background story: The Red Hot Chili Pipers are a Celtic rock band from Scotland. Formed in 2002, the group gained international popularity after winning the BBC talent show, “When Will I Be Famous?” The band’s lineup features three highland bagpipers and traditional marching snare, backed by a five- to seven-piece band consisting of guitars, drums and keyboards. Shows also include impressive vocal performances and highland dancing! The band performs a fusion of traditional pipe tunes and contemporary pieces, so there’s a little bit of music for everybody here. Notable covers performed by the Chili Pipers include “We Will Rock You,” “Clocks” “Smoke on the Water” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” The group even appeared on the How to Train Your Dragon 2 soundtrack! This Scottish bagrock band will perform at the RiverPark Center on March 25 from 8-10 p.m. and tickets are only $19, so get them while you can!

Diamond Lake Easter Egg Hunt  

Campers, grab your camping gear—and your Easter baskets–because Diamond Lake Resort is throwing its annual Easter Eggstravaganza! Not only will the kids get to participate in a massive Easter Egg hunt, but the ADULTS will get to this year as well! Diamond Lake will be throwing down Easter-style March 25-27, April 8-10 and April 15-17, so you’ve got plenty of chances to register and experience the fun. Aside from the egg hunts, you can participate in egg coloring, Easter movies, Bunny Games in the field, Free Friday Night S’mores for the kiddos, and a flashlight Easter Egg hunt. This event is only open to those camping at Diamond Lake, so if you’ve never booked a stay at this fantastic resort, now’s the time!

Murder at the Abbey   

As part of an interactive Murder Mystery Dinner series being held at the Owensboro Convention Center, “Murder at the Abbey” will be the latest installment on March 25. A cocktail hour and first course will be followed up by an interactive murder mystery before the rest of the dinner is served. Guests can dress up in their best Edwardian attire for this murder investigation, and the doors open up at 6 p.m. Tickets are $69 per person or $120 for two adults. Children can also attend for $49. Reservations are required, so be sure to book your seat today!

 

Jewelry, flowers, candy and more: Where to shop for your Valentine in Owensboro

Valentine’s Day comes but once a year, and those who celebrate it (willingly or not) know that, usually, the big V-Day comes with a price tag. And that’s OK because, here in Owensboro, we have you covered on gifts for that special someone. From chocolates and flowers to jewelry and champagne, our city has everything you need to make your Valentine feel all the love this holiday season.

First off, it’s time to start thinking about flowers. There’s nothing more hectic than Valentine’s Day for florists, so getting those orders in ahead of time is key. Some of the best florists in the business can help you design the perfect bouquet at Welborn Floral, Gary’s Fleur De Lis, Ivy Trellis Floral, Petal & Pine and Whitesville Florist.

But, hey, not everyone is a flowers person. Some people prefer the sweeter things in life, and how can we not support a holiday that supports chocolate?

Here in Owensboro-Daviess County, there are tons of bakeries and sweet shops where you can find everything from chocolate-covered strawberries to rose-covered red velvet cakes. Here’s a list of some of the best local spots for sweets: 

Trunnell’s Farm Market

Reid’s Orchard

Dalisha’s Bakery & Café

The Cup Cakery

Great Harvest

Great American Cookie & Marble Slab Creamery

Koehler’s Bakery

Rolling Pin Pastry Shop

The Crème Coffee House

Molly’s Mixins

The Family Bakery

Maggie’s Cakes & More

The Cottage Farm Stand & Baking Company 

 

There are a ton of great shopping opportunities in Owensboro, but let’s be honest. Valentine’s Day is all about the jewelry.

Some of our favorite places to shop rings, necklaces, and all things sparkly include Nick T. Arnold Jewelers, M & M Jewelers, Lance & Co. Jewelers, Ultra Gems, Riley & Co. Jewelers, HorseFeathers Gifts  and Lodan Jewelry Design Studio. 

And finally, you can’t forget the drinks. Whether it’s wine, beer or champagne you’re sippin’ on, Owensboro has an amazing variety to choose from sold by local retailers.

At SIP Wine Room, all the wines available for tastings are also available for retail sale! So you can drop in the riverfront venue and purchase a bottle for your loved one. The venue has an extensive wine list too, so if you’re not exactly sure which one to pick, grab two!

And for the beer drinkers out there, Brew Bridge sells their craft beer and cocktails packaged and ready to take home. You can purchase single servings, Growlers and four-packs of beer, wine and cocktails! The local brewery is even hosting a Valentine’s-themed Silent Disco on Saturday, Feb. 12, which is open to anyone and everyone, whether you’re single, engaged or married. Tickets are $10 at the door for couples and $5 for singles. 

And for those who appreciate the wonderful female friends in their life, Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville is hosting “50 Shades of Pink Galentine’s Day” on Sunday, February 13 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Featuring local female-owned businesses such as Grindstone Trading Co., M. Porium and Hampton & Co. Designs, this event has all the bottomless mimosas you could want. Wear as much pink as possible and enjoy balloons and decorations for days! 

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: February 11-13

Green River Bourbon Launch 

After more than five years in the making, Green River Distilling Co. is launching its Green River Straight Bourbon Whiskey at the distillery on February 10 and available for purchase beginning Feb. 11. The 90-proof bourbon has been aged for over 5 years in Owensboro, is rich in color with an amber hue, and made with all Kentucky-grown corn, mostly from Daviess County. With an aroma comprised of warming spice notes, cinnamon, dried cherries and light leather and tasting notes of cinnamon, vanilla, caramel and chocolate mint, this is expected to be a bourbon to brag about for the long haul. The distillery will be open on Feb. 11 with a celebration of Bluegrass, BBQ and Bourbon from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. You can expect to see Green River Straight Bourbon Whiskey at select retailers in Kentucky after Feb. 11 and at select retailers in Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana and northwest Florida in the coming months.

Aaron Lewis Live 

Aaron Lewis will be hitting the RiverPark Center stage on Friday, Feb. 11 for his “Frayed at Both Ends” tour. Lewis boasts an impressive music career and is known best as the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and founding member of the rock band Staind, with whom he released seven different albums. Lewis has pursued a successful solo career in country music with his debut “EP Town Line,” which was released in 2011. Lewis’ “Frayed at Both Ends” acoustic tour has played all across the country, and this is a great chance to see this famous musician play some of his newest hits, all of which are streaming on multiple platforms right now. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets for this show are almost sold out, so grab them while you have the chance!

The Kody Norris Show  

A blend of retro, hillbilly, bluegrass and rockabilly, The Kody Norris Show is bringing you all the live music and entertainment you could ask for on February 12 at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Deeply rooted in North American folk music, Norris has crafted a performance that harkens back and tips a hat to the traditions created by Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin’s showmanship, the Stanley Brothers’ harmonies, performances of the Grand Ole Opry and a bit of Vaudeville. Expect to see top-notch picking coupled with humor and visual flash, including colorful, tailored suites adorned with rhinestones, ties, classic hats and ornate boots. Tickets for The Kody Norris Show are $20, so grab your best hat and a pair of boots, and head on down to Owensboro for a good time.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: June 3-5

Downtown Car Show  

Sunset Cruisers is hosting an excellent car show in Owensboro this weekend at the Downtown Cruise In. On Saturday, June 4, you can check out the coolest makes and models from General Motors from 4-8 p.m. While the cars will be the highlight of the show, guests can also enjoy a variety of door prizes (and it’s only for the ladies this round!), a GM Recognition Award, and all of the restaurants, bars and boutiques spread across downtown Owensboro. You can enter the Downtown Cruise In at 3rd and Daviess Streets. 

Live on the Banks      

You can catch, not one, but two live musical performances in downtown Owensboro this Saturday at Live on the Banks! Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the riverfront and take in the melodic sounds from some of the tri-state’s most talented performers at this event. This weekend, you can hear Rufus & Julia Trio play live at the Overlook Stage, while Skylar Cain will perform at the Allen Street Gazebo. Live on the Banks will take place on June 4, and this free outdoor concert series runs from 7-9 p.m. 

Friday After 5     

This weekend’s Friday After 5 is going to be absolutely incredible! This free outdoor concert series will take place in downtown Owensboro on June 3 from 5-midnight, bringing you live music from tons of talented artists. Tailgate will perform a blend of country and rock from the Atmos Amphitheater from 5:30-7:30 p.m., while country music stars The Hobbs Sisters will play from 6-9:30 p.m. at the Jagoe Homes Riverfront stage. You can also enjoy classic 70s rock from 8 Track at the Romain Subaru Overlook Stage from 7-9 p.m. and soul music from Tony & The Tan Lines at the Ruoff Party Stage from 8:30-11:30 p.m. 

 

Go Back in Time Visiting Our Historic Buildings

Owensboro is a city full of historic relevance. Founded in 1817, our city has a ton of structures and buildings that date back to the 1800s, many of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. 

 

So if you’re one of the many travelers seeking out historic places for your next destination, we’ve got you covered right here. From churches to houses to pioneer villages, Owensboro is a fascinating place to travel back in time. 

 

Odd Fellows Building

200-204 West Third Street 

 

Built in 1895, the Odd Fellows Building served historically as a professional building, a clubhouse, and a specialty store. At three stories high, the Odd Fellows Building represents the Renaissance Revival and Italian Renaissance Revival architectural styles, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s also been deemed one of the most architecturally complex buildings in downtown Owensboro.  

 

The Yewell House

630 Clay Street

 

The Yewell House, built in 1894, represents the Queen Anne architectural style. It was deemed significant in 1986 as “an outstanding example of Queen Anne style of architecture.” It was built by wealthy tobacco farmer Franklin Yewell, who constructed the house when he was 70 years old. It remained in the Yewell family for 72 years and is now used as a multi-family residence. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. 

 

Temple Adath Israel 

429 Daviess Street

 

This synagogue in Owensboro was built in 1877 and is the longest-running synagogue in the entire state of Kentucky, and one of the oldest synagogue buildings still standing in the United States. The Moorish Revival facade of the building features a gothic-arched door flanked by a pair of gothic-arched windows punctuated by four pilasters. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you can see the inside of the building on Thursday nights, when services are held weekly. 

 

Trinity Episcopal Church

403 West Fifth Street

 

The Trinity Episcopal Church was built in 1875 and is deemed “a good example of the English influence on early church architecture in the United States.” The church was in regular use until 1964, when the parish built a new building due to overcrowding. The old church serves as an example of 13th century Lancet-style architecture and is laid out in the Classic Anglican design of a nave, chancel and sanctuary. It is now used by Theatre Workshop of Owensboro and, rumor has it, it’s also haunted. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. 

 

Union Station

1039 Frederica Street

 

This historic railroad station was built in 1905 and represents the Victorian architectural style. At its height in the 1920s, the station served 18 passenger trains. In 1958, the station stopped being used for passenger traffic as the L&N trains claimed annual losses of $130,000 for continuing passenger service. Since then, it’s been used as a disco, a pizza parlor, an architectural design group, a preschool, an adult daycare and a Hilliard Lyons office. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

 

Le Vega Clements House

1500 North Highland Avenue

 

This home was built in 1894, and was constructed in the Queen Anne style of architectural design. It is a two-story, double-pile brick house with a projecting three-story hexagonal tower. It was deemed notable as “the finest example of Queen Anne domestic architecture in Owensboro.” The house was named “Highlands” by its builder because of the commanding position on a hill overlooking the Ohio River. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. 

 

Callas Sweet Shop

420 Frederica Street

 

This building was built in 1921 in the Beaux Arts style. The National Register nomination deemed it “elegant,” adding that “the buff color terra cotta and tile decorative elements, such as brackets, shields and cornices created a simple, classical appearance.” The word CALLAS is carved into terra cotta panels directly above the storefront. It was also deemed significant for having the only surviving example of complete terracotta tile fronts in downtown Owensboro. The original owner was typical of European immigrants’ families who came to Owensboro and operated small businesses. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 and will soon be home to Sassafras – a local restaurant serving a variety of Appalachian- and Kentucky-focused dishes. 

 

St. Stephen Cathedral 

610 Locust Street 

 

The seat of the Diocese of Owensboro, St. Stephen was built in 1926. The same year that St. Stephen’s became a cathedral – 1939 – its first parish school opened on Frederica Street with five grades. St. Stephen is built in the Italianate architectural style and also serves as a Roman Catholic Church. 

 

Jim Lambert Pioneer Village

Yellow Creek Park

 

Located in the back section of Yellow Creek Park, the Pioneer Village is designed to look like a frontier community around 1890-1910. The Friends of Pioneer Village have added a gardening project highlighting historically correct plants like flax and cotton. The foundation for Pioneer Village was laid decades ago, when Rosenwald Schoolhouse, a one-room school that served Black students at Pleasant Ridge from 1909 to 1936, was moved to the nature center in the back of the park in 1992. You can find the Jesse Jones house – a log cabin made of 15-by-15 inch square poplar logs, original clay caulking mixed with horse and pig hair, and the fireplaces made of original brick fired on the property – at the site. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. 

 

Fourth Street Baptist Church

821 West Fourth Street

 

Recently designated a Kentucky Historical Marker, Fourth Street Baptist Church celebrated its 190th anniversary in 2020, and is considered the oldest Black church in Owensboro and the surrounding area. The primarily Black congregation was once part of First Baptist Church before being given their own church to practice their faith. According to former City Commissioner Pam Smith-Wright, “The slave owners would bring their slaves to First Baptist, and the slaves had to sit in the balcony. After a while, the slaves started to outnumber the members, so they gave them their own church.” 

 
These are just a few of Owensboro’s many historical locations to check out, but a great way to get started. 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: April 1-3

Artrageous     

Imagine watching an artist create a masterpiece (in only a few minutes!) before your eyes. For those who love art and entertainment, Artrageous is the show for you. Held at the RiverPark Center on April 2 from 7-9 p.m., Artrageous captivates audiences by combining impressive vocals, intricate choreography and exciting audience interaction with beautiful artwork, taking you on a unique, visual journey that you won’t find anywhere else. This one-of-a-kind crossover experience is guaranteed to awe and inspire, so make sure to grab your tickets before they sell out! At only $12 apiece, you won’t find a better deal for a fun night out. 

Downtown Cruise-In  

Get excited because it’s officially car show season in the Boro again! It’s time to plan your schedules accordingly because downtown Owensboro will soon be hosting the first Downtown Cruise-In of the year. Held by Sunset Cruisers on April 2, this car show will feature trucks from 3-7 p.m. You’ll have the chance to see some of the coolest classic, vintage and tricked-out trucks ever made along with live music, tons of giveaways and great restaurants and bars in the area to keep the party going afterward. This event is free to the public! Once you’ve parked, head to the corner of 3rd and Daviess streets for entry. 

Showdown in the Bluegrass   

This youth volleyball tournament will bring in hundreds of players from dozens of travel volleyball teams from all over for two days of competitive tournament play. Held at the Owensboro Convention Center on April 2-3, you can head downtown to see one of the very first volleyball tournaments to be held using the Convention Center’s brand new sports floor! The tournament is hosted by by the Audubon Volleyball Association, and each team is guaranteed five games, with pool play on Saturday and bracket play on Sunday. 

 

Owensboro’s public art tour one of the best in the Midwest

Owensboro has been a city focused on the arts for decades, and the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art has rolled out a new method of making sure that reputation sticks.

Highlighting the 21 different public art displays across downtown Owensboro and beyond, the OMFA’s River Artes tour brochure provides photos, maps and information about each and every statue and sculpture that’s been erected to enhance the community through artistic expression.

The brochure takes visitors and locals alike on a visual journey through Owensboro-Daviess County’s outdoor public art installations. With an easy-to-use legend numbering each piece, you can use the brochure to hunt down each individual work of art through a 1-21 numbering system that’s reflected on a detailed map.  

According to officials who put the brochure together, River Artes is a public art collection acquired for the City of Owensboro by the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.

This public art collection is “designed to celebrate the vitality of the City; complement its create placemaking efforts; enhance its cultural tourism image and enrich the lives of its residents and visitors,” OMFA states in their brochure.

“This visual additive creates an atmosphere of community pride, excitement and celebration for this culturally progressive community,” the museum adds.

One of the coolest things about River Artesan outreach program of the OMFA designed to broaden the scope of the community’s access to the visual arts–is that the city’s municipal art collection features some of the best artists in the business. These monumental works of outdoor art in bronze, stone, aluminum, steel and glass were made by nationally- and internationally-recognized artists.

Since River Artes’ inception, the program has acquired 11 works of public art.

These artists have entered proposals in biennial exhibitions sponsored by Owensboro Health Regional Hospital (where one of the sculptures is located!) at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art from 2014 to 2020.

The River Artes brochure features famous works of art created by the Lundeen Family, such as “Lincoln” by Mark Lundeen and “Nicky Hayden” and “Hometown” by George Lundeen. Other well-known works include “Strength of the Maker” and “White Deer of Autumn” by Denny Haskew, “Celebration” by Gary Alsum, “Meadowlands Pair” and “Into the Wind” by T.D. Kelsey and “Beside Still Waters” by Owensboro’s very own Bill Kolok.

And to make things even more exciting, OMFA Director Mary Bryan Hood and Director of Operations Jason Hayden said, “The River Artes V is going to take place in 2022, and the community will once again have the opportunity to choose a work of public art to be added to the collection.” 

These works of public art can be found from the Owensboro riverfront to West 12th Street, from East Parrish Avenue to Frederica Street. Pick up a copy of the River Artes brochure at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art or at our Visit Owensboro office and take a journey on one of the best tours of public art in the Midwest.  

 

Experience the beauty of spring at Owensboro’s Dogwood-Azalea Trail

Starting in mid to late April each year, Owensboro-Daviess County becomes a sea of white and pink. The Dogwood trees begin sprouting beautiful flowers, and the blooms take over the entire area for at least a month.

In fact, Owensboro’s Dogwood trees have become so popular with tourists and locals, an entire trail throughout the city has become dedicated to them. Owensboro’s Dogwood-Azalea Trail brings the splashes of spring color that you’ve only ever seen in movies and photographs.

Though the trail meanders through much of the neighborhood off Griffith Avenue, some people say you can see the heart of the Dogwood-Azalea Trail on Littlewood Drive—a curvy road with beautiful homes and a grass-covered median that boasts dozens of Dogwoods and Azalea bushes along the way.

Other streets where you can see intense colors from the Dogwoods and Azaleas is between Frederica Street and Robin Road, Lexington Avenue and Miller Court.

But even if you don’t drive or walk the Dogwood-Azalea Trail while you’re here, there is a 100% guarantee you will see tons of pink and white Dogwood lining city sidewalks, county roads and neighborhoods all throughout the Greater Owensboro area. It’s truly a sight unlike anything you’ve seen before, so be sure to book a trip during the peak blooming season from April to early May.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: June 10-12

Strawberry Festival   

This is a festival for all the strawberry connoisseurs out there! Held at the Cottage Farm Stand & Baking Co. on June 11 and 12, Owensboro’s first-ever Strawberry Festival has already gotten the attention of thousands of people and is guaranteed to be a huge hit. Celebrate the great outdoors and strawberry-flavored everything from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at one of the prettiest places in west Daviess County at this two-day event. We’re talking strawberry shortcakes, ice creams, smoothies, lattes, muffins, cheesecakes, preserves, salsas and, of course, good ole’ fashion homegrown strawberries. There will be activities for the kiddos and live music as well! 

Nicky Hayden Day at FA5      

Friday After 5 is dedicating an entire night to commemorating the life of one of Owensboro’s hometown heroes. Nicky Hayden, “The Kentucky Kid,” will be honored with a night celebrating all the things Nicky loved – kids, giving to others and bikes. You can donate to the Nicky Hayden Foundation and enjoy live music from bands Fat Box and Insulated, as well as Karaoke Night at VFW Post 696. Friday After 5 will run from 5 p.m.-midnight on June 10. 

PorchFest   

This annual outdoor music festival is incredibly unique, bringing you a day and night of free live entertainment from the front porches of some of the most beautiful homes in Owensboro! Spend the day listening to the music from over 40 different bands, enjoying refreshments from a variety of food trucks, and walking along Owensboro’s famous Griffith Avenue corridor. PorchFest will be held on June 11 from 3 p.m.-11 p.m. This family-friendly event will showcase the best musicians in the tri-state, so be sure to move around and take it all in! 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: November 26-28

Shop Owensboro  

Powered by Independence Bank, Shop Owensboro is kicking off this weekend on Saturday, November 27. However, the event–which focuses on supporting local businesses–will run through December 4 for a full week! The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce has pulled all the stops to make the event fun and festive. On Saturday at 9 a.m., head to the Owensboro Convention Center to pick up your FREE shopping bag full of goodies that include a map of all participating stores, Shop Owensboro BINGO cards and coupons and special offers. These offers are valid the entire week. Bags are limited to 500, so get ready early that day to ensure you get one! 

My Bluegrass Heart 

My Bluegrass Heart is a can’t miss concert featuring the best musicians Bluegrass music has to offer, including Bela Fleck, one of the best banjo players in the world. Joining Fleck for two concerts different performances of My Bluegrass Heart on November 26 will be Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Bryan Sutton. Fleck, who has won 15 Grammys across a number of musical genres, is returning to his Bluegrass roots for these shows, so you won’t want to miss this historic moment in his long-running musical career. The first show will kick off at 5 p.m. and the second one at 8 p.m. at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Get your tickets now before they sell out! 

Energy on Ice 

Get ready to lace up those skates because Energy on Ice is making its winter debut this weekend! This portable ice rink will be installed on the Kentucky Legend Pier behind the Owensboro Convention Center the entire weekend, starting on Friday, November 26 from 6-10 p.m. This outdoor skating experience includes festive holiday lighting, music, food and drink concessions, skate rentals and outdoor seating for spectators. Admission is $10 including skate rental or $8 if you bring your own skates. All tickets must be purchased at the venue. Energy on Ice will be a recurring event on weekends through December 17, after which it will be open daily (except for December 24 and 25) until January 3. Hours of operation will be Sunday-Thursday from 2-7 p.m., Fridays from 6-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 1-9 p.m.

 

Where to find healthy food options in Owensboro

Healthy food options can be difficult to find, but here in Owensboro, we’re home to a lot of restaurants focused on the greener things in life. 

 

From homegrown vegetables to salads to juices that help you detox, you can find anything and everything in our city to live a healthy lifestyle.  

 

One of the original health food stores in Owensboro, Gene’s Health Food offers a ton of natural supplements, organic produce and fresh, healthy food. You can order everything from their famous tuna sandwich to Curry Chicken Salad to homemade peanut butter. And if you’re looking for a fresh veggie or fruit juice to drink, Gene’s has it all. 

 

The Owensboro Regional Farmers’ Market is another great way to pick up some healthy food during your stay. You can shop from dozens of vendors each Saturday and Tuesday from 8 a.m.-noon through September. Not only can you find all the fresh fruit and veggies you could ask for, but you can find prepackaged healthy food items and farm-raised meats as well. 

 

A new health food restaurant in Owensboro, The Boro Nutrition offers herbal teas, metabolism boosting drinks, healthy shakes and even “Aloe Shots” that help support healthy digestion and nutrition absorption. 

 

Another great place to pick up a healthy drink is Wheatgrass Juice Bar, where all products are made-to-order from fresh ingredients. This restaurant offers chef-crafted soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps along with a variety of juices, smoothies and wheatgrass and ginger shots. 

 

Green River boasts historic DSP-KY-10 title

Green River Distilling Company is one of the most historical landmarks on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Established in 1885, Green River holds the title of DSP-KY-10, meaning it is literally the 10th oldest registered distillery in the entire state of Kentucky.

That includes all the distilleries that have ever been registered in the state, including those which have come and gone over the years, smaller-scale distilleries and all the well-known brands that continue to thrive across the Bluegrass State.

Owensboro’s DSP-KY-10 went through fire, Prohibition, multiple owners, abandonment, and a long period of dormancy before being revitalized in 2014. Two years of renovation and modernization later, the distillery was back up and running, producing more than 90,000 barrels of bourbon and rye a year.

With that much history comes a lot of pride, which is why eighth-generation Master Distiller Jacob Call and his team have spent the last five-plus years creating a bourbon whiskey that supersedes even their own expectations.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: June 17-19

Dazzling Daylilies Festival    

This five-day festival celebrates one of the prettiest flowers in Kentucky with live music, family fun and, best of all, the chance to take home your own daylilies from Western Kentucky Botanical Garden. Running June 13-18 this year, the Dazzling Daylilies Festival will feature a Lunch, Listen, Learn event on the 14th, where you can learn all about daylilies from an expert. Bourbon Revival will perform live Bluegrass music on June 16, complete with a cash bar for food and drinks, while a Family Fun Day will be held at the garden on June 18, bringing you a petting zoo, food trucks, a magician, face painting and a kid’s hike. 

Live on the Banks       

This free outdoor concert series will bring you live music from the banks of the Ohio River on Saturday night at two different locations. You can enjoy drinks, food and the sounds of great music at the Overlook Stage, where singer-songwriter Carly Moffa (of American Idol fame) will perform alongside Rockturnal Emissions at the Allen Street Gazebo. Both performances will be held on June 18 from 7-9 p.m. and are free to the public. 

Games on the River   

If you’re looking for the perfect family-friendly outing this weekend, Games on the River is definitely the place to be! From noon-8 p.m. on Sunday, June 19, you can enjoy free GIANT games of checkers, Jenga, Connect 4 and more. Held at Smothers Park on the beautiful Ohio RIver each weekend through September 4, Games on the River is hosted by Owensboro Parks & Recreation.

Hundreds of firefighters to visit Owensboro in February

Owensboro will welcome hundreds of Kentucky firefighters to the area February 25-27 for the Bryant Stiles Officers School, hosted by the Green River Firefighters Association. 

This weekend event will create a huge economic impact for Owensboro-Daviess County as these first responders dine in local restaurants, stay in our hotels and hold workshops and training courses at our very own Owensboro Convention Center. 
 
The Green River Firefighters Assoc. has held its annual conference in Owensboro since 2015. In fact, they were the very first organization to book the Owensboro Convention Center for a conference! And they’ve come back every year since. 
 
Back in 2015, president of the Green River Firefighters Assoc. Ricky King said, “This type of event is precisely why Owensboro is building this first-class facility, to host these types of positive economic events in the community, We are thrilled to have our first signed convention contract and look forward to many more as we move closer to the 2013 opening.” 
 
Before the convention center opened, the GRFA held its annual conference at the downtown Executive Inn. When that closed in 2009, the school was relocated to Lexington. However, King said the GRFA never wanted to hold its event anywhere other than Owensboro. 
 
“We never wanted the officers school to move from Owensboro in the first place,” he said. 
 
 
Visit Owensboro is so excited to see GRFA back in our city, and be sure to thank a firefighter for their service if you see them out! 

Haunted places to explore in Owensboro

For those who love being scared and exploring the paranormal, Owensboro is the place to be. There are more than a dozen locations throughout the city and county that have sparked hundreds of ghost sighting reports over the years and, to be honest, the stories are pretty creepy.

From stories of a ghost that pushes people down the basement stairs to the mysterious “Lady in White” that haunts the RiverPark Center, there are a lot of spooky places to check out around here. That is, if you believe in ghosts enough to go for it. And if you don’t, well, you have nothing to worry about. Right?

Haunts of Owensboro Walking Tours

Owner David Wolfe II has been sharing the city’s local hauntings since 2007. You’ll hit a handful of the haunted places on this list by taking Wolfe’s tour, which is convenient. Wolfe engages his audience with not only stories, but enthusiasm. I took Wolfe’s tour in 2018, and one of his creepiest stories involved a couple that lived above The Crème Coffee House on the second floor.

“That second floor is so haunted, literally, they could put it on a movie or a documentary itself,” he’s said.

That building first opened in the 1800s. Originally a music store, the current coffee shop has been using the upstairs floor as a rental space. On the very first night of the first tenant’s stay, Wolfe said, the girl experienced the front door opening and shutting on its own, as well as a series of “clomping footsteps” walking from the first floor to the second. Upstairs in her living room, Wolfe said the young girl heard the sound of someone sitting down on a squeaking couch cushion in her studio apartment.

She was so scared she called the cops. Then she moved out. A second person moved in, experienced the same series of hauntings as the first girl, and moved out too. She documented her experience and submitted it to Wolfe, who said it was legit.

Other haunted places on Wolfe’s tour were the front lawn of the Daviess County Courthouse and the Famous Bistro on 2nd Street.

Theatre Workshop of Owensboro

Wolfe has called TWO “one of the most haunted sites in western Kentucky.” According to legend, there are five spirits haunting the Old Trinity Centre (now TWO). Many people have reported seeing a young lady who allegedly took her own life by hanging herself in the shower. As the story goes, when a priest walked into the church and saw her corpse, he took his own life in the basement because he was so haunted by the image.

To this day, reports of lights constantly flickering on and off, the sound of a ringing bell (where there no longer is a bell) and cold drafts that come out of nowhere are often made. Even scarier, you want to be cautious standing in front of the basement because you might get pushed down the stairs. Many others have in the past.

Daviess County Middle School

The sounds of screams and slamming doors are enough to scare anyone, but reports of a dark figure that roams the premises makes DCMS as haunted as it gets.

Ben Hawes State Park

According to legend, a girl was burned at the stake for witchcraft in the 1700s, and now, she meanders (or floats?) through the very woods in which she was killed. It’s true what they say about Ben Hawes…it’s hauntingly beautiful.

Civil War site in Deanefield near the Daviess/Ohio County line

Anytime you can hear shots fired in the middle of the night at a former Civil War site, it’s pretty much a guarantee the place is haunted. The place to check is located at Highway 1414, where confederate soldiers hid from the Yankees behind a small cliff. Rumor is, the Yankees found those soldiers and…you guessed it. They killed them. On nights when the moon is full, you can hear gunshots, sounds of laughter, a fire crackling and horses galloping. I’m no expert, but that sounds haunted enough to me.

Owensboro Catholic Middle School

From “mysterious red stains” on the floor to reports of creepy laughter, screams and doors flying open, it feels safe to say there’s something peculiar happening at OCMS. Does that mean it’s haunted? Yep, pretty much.

The Turley Building

The Turley building, located at the corner of 2nd and Daviess streets, used to house the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Now, it’s rumored to house ghosts. The Turley building was built in 1873 and RiverPark Center Executive Director Rich Jorn told the Messenger-Inquirer that it’s one of the five most haunted buildings in Owensboro.

Even better, RPC is hosting “Terror at the Turley” throughout the month of October. The “PG-13” haunted house opens on Friday, October 15 from 7:30-10:30 p.m., and it will also be open on Oct. 22, 23, 30 and 31. Admission is $12 per person.

According to Jorn, “I wouldn’t bring small children.”

The RiverPark Center

At RPC, you’ve got your classic, “Woman jumps from a catwalk into the Ohio River to her death” haunted building story. This happened in 1927. So, it’s more than a little weird that, 100 years later, you can see a woman in white—water dripping from her clothes—walking over the edge of the catwalk to the river below.

The Miller House

The spirit of a little girl is rumored to haunt the local eatery and loves to play with a ball she bounces up and down the restaurant’s wooden staircase. I mean, she doesn’t sound like a malevolent spirit, per se, but creepy is an understatement.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: April 8-10

Dwight Yoakam     

Kick your weekend off a day early by seeing country music legend Dwight Yoakam perform live at the Owensboro Sportscenter on Thursday, April 7! Yoakam, a 21-time Grammy winner, has sold over 25 million albums worldwide, and his legacy over the last three decades includes 10 gold, platinum or triple platinum albums. The artist also boasts 14 Top 10 Billboard hits, including “Streets of Bakersfield,” “Ain’t That Lonely Yet,” “Honky Tonk Man” and “Fast as You.” This is going to be a concert to remember, so treat yourself to a night out in Owensboro and score tickets for this show at $100 a pop.

Easter Scavenger Hunt & Petting Zoo  

Spring Break is the perfect time to check out an Easter Scavenger Hunt & Petting Zoo that will be a blast for children and adults alike. Held at Cecil Farms Produce for two days on April 8 and 9, this event gives you a great reason to get out of the house after a long winter and enjoy the beauty of spring! Explore the farm with an Easter-themed scavenger hunt, pet and feed the farm animals, then head to the greenhouse to pick out your favorite ferns and plants. The event will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. both days and the cost is $5 per person.

Boro Brawl Nationals    

The Boro Brawl Nationals is pretty much exactly as it sounds. It’s a national wrestling competition that’s bringing in more than 100 student athletes from seven different states to duke it out on the mat for a day of physical skill and strength. This tournament gives wrestlers the chance to compete in more than two matches apiece, using pool play and brackets to place wrestlers at the end. The Boro Brawl will feature both boys and girls and will be held at the Owensboro Convention Center on April 9. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and free to those five and under.

Help RPC celebrate its 30th Birthday in August

The RiverPark Center will be celebrating a big birthday this summer, and it’s the perfect opportunity to swing by and show our downtown performing arts center some love! RPC will be turning the big 3-0 in August, and Downtown Live will be honoring that birthday with a night full of festivities. 

 

On August 5, you can head to RPC’s 21-and-older entertainment complex to commemorate its 30th birthday from 6-11 p.m. 

 

Have you or your loved ones ever been in a play held at RPC? You’ll have the chance to relive those memories by enjoying a lobby stocked with RPC memories from years past, celebrating the plays, events, dances and shows from the last 30 years. 

 

In the Truist Plaza, you can enjoy a community jukebox, while The Forgotten Tree will play live music at the Atmos Courtyard from 6-8 p.m. 

 

Inside the Jody Berry Theatre, you can rent a pair of light-up headphones and dance to your own beat with a silent disco, while the GhostLight Lounge next door will host karaoke from 8:30 p.m.-midnight. 

 

This is a night to celebrate all the amazing things RPC has provided our community with over the last 30 years, and a perfect opportunity to have a fun night out while doing it. 

Trace Adkins to perform live in Owensboro

If you’re looking for some high-quality country music to get your spring and summer started, there’s no better place to find it than the upcoming Trace Adkins concert in Owensboro. Adkins will perform live at the RiverPark Center on April 28 at 7 p.m.

With 11 million albums sold across the world since his debut in 1996, it’s fair to say Adkins has a huge following already, but his most recent album, “The Way I Wanna Go,” showcases the multi-Platinum country star’s newfound freedom in the country music business.

“I am at the top of my game right now,” Adkins said. “I’m better at this than I’ve ever been in my life, and I like the way my voice sounds better than 25 years ago…I’ve got to the point where it’s all up to me now. I can do whatever I want. And that’s a beautiful place to be.”

Adkins’s illustrious career includes 14 singles that have earned their place on the shelves of the Billboard’s Top 10. With two billion streams to his name, it’s no wonder his “fiery live performances” have garnered millions of fans over the course of his 25-year career.

In fact, Adkins’ latest album contains 25 brand new tracks that pay homage to the 25th anniversary of his “Dreamin’ Out Loud” debut. The newest album is also steeped in the culture and history of the musician’s Louisiana upbringing.

According to those at RPC, “The Way I Wanna Go finds him leaning into a lone-wolf spirit, and continuing down the road which made him a shapeshifting member of the Grand Ole Opry.”

This album features some amazing collaborations between Adkins and a number of high-profile artists, including Luke Bryan, Melissa Etheridge, Snoop Dog, Pitbull, Blake Shelton, and Stevie Wonder on the harmonica. I mean, does it really get better than that?

Tickets for this performance are selling quickly at $53 apiece, so be sure to grab them while you can!  

 

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: February 18-20

KY State Archery Championships  

Archery—both indoor and outdoor—is a sport that’s quickly gaining popularity across the country, and Owensboro will be hosting the 2022 KY S3DA Indoor State Championship Feb. 18-20 at the Owensboro Convention Center. The S3DA program’s mission is to foster, educate and guide youth in the areas of indoor target, 3-D and outdoor target archery as well as safe, ethical bowhunting practices. Whether you’re a longtime archery enthusiast or a newbie who wants to learn more, this is a great chance to see some of the best kids in the state of Kentucky shoot for the title! Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for those under 18.

Green River Distilling Tour 

After launching its first self-branded bourbon in over a century last week, there is no better time to visit and tour Green River Distilling Co. than right now! Even better, the distillery’s Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is available for purchase at the site. This bourbon whiskey is 90-proof, with a rich, amber hue and a mash bill made up of 70% Kentucky-grown corn, 21% winter rye and 9% malted two and six-row barley. You can smell and taste notes of cinnamon, dried cherry, light leather, vanilla, caramel and chocolate mint which, to be honest, sounds a little bit like heaven. You can take a $15 tour of the historic property and participate in a bourbon tasting Monday-Saturday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.  

Art from the Heart   

This art exhibit features some of the most prominent artists of the mid to late 20th century and celebrates the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art’s collection as an important documentary on this aspect of American art. The collection is great for professional and rookie artists alike as it showcases the diversity of creativity expressed by contemporary artists and craftsmen working outside the academic tradition. You can find and explore innovative styles, techniques and nontraditional media used by these artists—from woodcarving, to painted wood construction, to gourd and polychromed carving. The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is open Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: June 24-26

ROMP   

Owensboro’s biggest Bluegrass music festival of the year is happening THIS WEEK, y’all! If you haven’t already bought your tickets, now’s the time, and if you’re interested in hearing music from some of the greatest Bluegrass musicians on the planet, this is the place. Held at Yellow Creek Park on June 22-25, you can bring the entire family (and your fur babies!) to this outdoor music fest. Check out the full concert lineup right here! 

OMGCon!      

This is a convention for anyone and everyone who enjoys anime, cosplay and gaming. Held at the Owensboro Convention Center on June 24-26, attendees at OMGCon! will have the chance to meet actors, voice actors and famous cosplayers at this three-day event. There will be plenty of dancing, gaming and outdoor activities to enjoy at this family-friendly con as well. You can register for a weekend pass right here! 

Green River Distilling Co. Tour    

There’s never been a better time to check out Green River Distilling Co. After releasing their Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (and receiving amazing reviews for it) just a few months ago, people are lining up to check out this historic facility to see how some of the best bourbon in Kentucky is made. You can learn the ins and outs of the bourbon production industry along with Green River’s rich, fascinating history on a one-hour tour. After that, you’ll get to taste three different bourbons produced at the distillery. For only $20, you can book a tour Tuesday-Saturday at 10 a.m., noon or 2 p.m.

Sweetest Places to Grab an Ice Cream in Owensboro

Is there anything better than a cold ice cream cone on a hot summer day? 

With the heat ticking up a few notches over the last couple weeks, we wanted to highlight all of the amazing ice cream options available to you in Owensboro. 

Whether it’s vanilla covered in sprinkles or chocolate drizzled in chocolate syrup, there’s no wrong way to enjoy your favorite ice cream, and Owensboro has you covered with some amazing local options you just can’t find anywhere else. 

At the Big Dipper, you can find ice cream cones, sundaes and a variety of flavored milkshakes to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Lic’s Deli & Ice Cream is known for providing some great frozen treats. Not only can you buy ice cream there, but they have a ton of flavors for those who like to mix it up! Lic’s Ice Cream menu includes over 20 different flavors, such as cappuccino, buttered pecan, Dutch chocolate, fresh coconut, fresh strawberry and birthday cake batter. 

Wonder Whip also makes the list for a great ice cream selection. You can snag a soft serve cone or cup, sundae, banana split or ice cream float at Wonder Whip, with flavors ranging from chocolate and vanilla to pineapple and butterscotch. 

Fun fact: Owensboro is home to the only two Ritzy’s in the country. How cool is that?! Ritzy’s is an ice cream haven, where you can get single scoops, double scoots and even a whole pint of ice cream to take home with you. Flavors at Ritzy’s range from Wild Mountain Blackberry to Amaretto Cherry to Mint Chocolate Chunk, with everything you can imagine in between. 

If you’re in the mood for a snowcone, check out Pinky’s SnowCones & Snacks, where you can choose from over 20 snowcone flavors for one of the best drinks in town to cool you down. 

 
 
 
 

Visit Owensboro launches Santa’s List

As a part of the City of Owensboro’s 12 Days of Christmas events, Visit Owensboro is launching Santa’s List.  The list which is a 4×6 card has all of the events which are a part of the 12 Days of Christmas.  Not only does it serve as a list of the events, you also can take the card and get it stamped when you attend an event on one of the 12 Days of Christmas.

“Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt and we wanted a way to help track how many people are participating in the 12 Days of Christmas and what events are the most popular.  We thought a fun Santa’s list would be the perfect way to gather that information,” said Dave Kirk, Visit Owensboro Destination Management.

The lists can be picked up at four locations.  The Owensboro Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Owensboro Convention Center, the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront and the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Waterfront.   The two hotel locations offer 24/7 pickup.  There are two versions of Santa’s list.  One for locals where you must attend an event six out of 12 Days of Christmas and one for visitors where you must attend one out of 12 days and stay in a downtown hotel.

“Each of the participating locations in the 12 Days of Christmas have been given stamps so just tell them you want your list stamped when you attend the event.  Of course there are multiple options for getting your stamp for Energy on Ice as it’s open multiple times during the 12 Days of Christmas,” added Kirk.

Once you’ve completed Santa’s List, you must write your name and phone number on the back of the list and drop it off at either the Owensboro Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Owensboro Convention Center, the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront or the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Waterfront.   Completed lists will be entered in a drawing for a gift basket featuring an array of Owensboro items.

“The Christmas season will be coming to life in downtown Owensboro with a wide range of activities for all ages as part of our 12 Days of Christmas.  We are excited to be highlighting so many different types of activities for both locals and visitors to enjoy this holiday,” said Tim Ross, City of Owensboro Public Events Director.

If you have any questions, please contact the CVB at (270) 926-1100 or by email at [email protected]

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: April 15-17

Owensboro Symphony: Superheroes      

Superhero fans, this is your time, because Troy Quinn and the Owensboro Symphony are taking you on a visual and auditory journey this weekend with their latest concert, “Superheroes: Avengers, Superman, Mahler, and More.” The Symphony will perform heroic selections from some of your favorite superhero films, from Batman to The Avengers. This is a great opportunity to introduce your kiddos to the Owensboro Symphony, as they will probably recognize several of these songs and scores! Tickets are $42.50 each and the show will be held at the RiverPark Center on April 16 at 7 p.m. 

Trunnell’s Easter Egg Hunt & Bunny Fun  

What’s a better combo than an Easter Egg Hunt and real, live bunnies to play with?! Trunnell’s will have it all this weekend with their “Egg-Ceptional Easter Egg Hunt & Bunny Fun” event at the Utica location. The egg hunt will feature non-stop egg hunts with prize packs for kiddos, a meet-and-greet with the Easter Bunny (plus photo opps), and all the adorable little bunny cuddles you could ask for. This family-friendly event will be held on April 16 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and tickets are $14.99 for those 13 months-17 years of age. Don’t forget your camera and Easter basket! 

Loose Wheel at Lil’ Nashville     

Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville is continuing to pull all the stops with another great round of live music this weekend. Head to downtown Owensboro to catch Loose Wheel perform their blend of country, blues and rock music on Saturday, April 16 at 9 p.m. Before Loose Wheel takes the stage, you can see Madeline Wilkerson perform at 2 p.m., followed by Drew Aud at 6 p.m. There is a minimal cover charge at the door, so be sure to bring some cash and plan for a fun night out! 

 

Owensboro restaurants serving food from all over the world

Owensboro is undergoing an evolution in the restaurant industry, and that is something to get very excited about. While Owensboro has always been known for its impressive lineup of culinary treasures, the growing diversification of restaurants and food options in our city is something that should definitely be on your radar when planning your trip.

It wasn’t until recently that the first Thai restaurant opened in Owensboro, and it didn’t take long to become one of the local favorites around here. Thai Food Owensboro has a wide range of dishes to choose from and a frequently changing menu, so you always have the chance to try something new! From their Thai Noodle Soup to their Chicken Curry entree, you can find the sweet, the spicy, and the savory on this delicious menu.

The Gyro House is another new restaurant offering a diverse menu in Owensboro, and it’s received rave reviews from almost everybody who’s tried it. The Gyro House is a Mediterranean restaurant that serves falafels, gyro, beef and chicken platters, and something called a Tornado Potato, which, let’s be honest, sounds like a lot more fun than french fries!

A few miles beyond Owensboro city limits is yet another new restaurant that’s making waves–both with its food and its backstory. Owensboro Karen Restaurant serves Burmese and Thai cuisine and was opened by chef Hser Wah. She and her family are members of the Karen (KAH-ren) ethnic group of Myanmar, which was called Burma until 1989.

Hser Wah and her sister Tee Moo resettled in Owensboro in 2010 before opening their restaurant, which serves dishes ranging from Pad Thai, to noodle stir fry, to tea leaf salad, making it the perfect place to try some authentic recipes from the Southeastern Asian country.

Owensboro is also home to dozens of authentic Mexican restaurants that can be found all over the city and county, with dishes ranging from street tacos, to enchiladas, to homemade soups. You can also find a handful of traditional Japanese and Chinese eateries that offer everything from sushi to hibachi.

But since we’re focusing on some of the newer restaurants in our city, Bubba Gandy Seafood Cajun Market makes the list of diverse food options as well. Serving a wide variety of fresh seafood, prepared foods, Cajun seasonings, homemade dips and boiled platters, you can also find some of the best jambalaya, chicken and sausage gumbo, dirty rice and crawfish cornbread dressing in the state at this amazing seafood establishment.

As Owensboro’s only location for authentic Caribbean cuisine, Jamaican Yard Vibes offers tons of Jamaican dishes, including jerk chicken, curry goat and mutton, stewed chicken, rasta pasta and more.

Spend a summer weekend in Owensboro at the HydroFair

If you’re in the market for some loud, exciting action on the riverfront this summer, the Owensboro Hydrofair should definitely be on your radar. 

 

This year’s event will take place August 19-21 in downtown Owensboro, bringing you a weekend of hydroplane racing that will be bigger and better than ever before. More than 60 teams from across the US and Canada will be making the trek to Owensboro to compete for three days of high-speed hydroplaning on the water. 

 

These boats are fast, powerful and loud. With speeds topping 170 MPH, they’ll spray water high into the air as they rip through the Ohio River. 

 

For those who’ve never attended the Owensboro HydroFair, the 60 teams competing are separated into seven classes in which they compete for titles. Each race takes place on an oval-shaped track that spans 1.25 miles across the river, with the start and finish set up in front of the Owensboro Convention Center. 

 

This incredibly exciting event will be accompanied by a number of other downtown activities that will take place over the weekend, including Friday After 5 on Aug. 19, Owensboro Bridge Day on Aug. 20 and Lights on the Ohio – which features a pyromusical performance of synchronized lighting on the Blue Bridge, music and a fireworks display – on Aug. 20 at 8:15 p.m. 

 

Hydroplane testing will kick off Friday from 1-5 p.m., followed by races on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 

 

When it comes to the Owensboro HydroFair, words really can’t do this exciting event justice. If you really want to experience the thrill of seeing these boats fly through the water, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience you just have to see for yourself. 

 

Reserved seating tickets are located in several different areas at the Owensboro Convention Center and have several price points for spectators to choose the level of amenity they would like, including:

  • food & drinks
  • banquet tables
  • shaded areas
  • access to indoor restrooms
  • extra space to spread-out and experience all the racing action

Hundreds of archers from across country heading to Owensboro for national championship

Some of the best youth archers in the country will come together for a one-of-a-kind event that will bring hundreds of archers and their families to Owensboro. The Scholastic 3-D Archery (S3DA) organization is holding its 7th annual S3DA Eastern Indoor National Championship at the Owensboro Convention Center March 3-6 for some exciting tournament play.

Students will compete against S3DA members from across the country for the title of “National Indoor Champion” in their respective divisions.

This competition is “NFAA Five-Spot Style,” which includes two rounds of 30 arrows and six shooting ends of five arrows each. These shots will be contested over a two-day period.

The S3DA program is super beneficial to youth who have an interest in indoor target, 3D and outdoor target archery. The program also fosters, educates and guides youth on ethical bowhunting practices.

According to officials with S3DA, participation for this growing sport is expected to increase even more than it already has.

“We provide an effective after-school archery program, focusing on indoor five-spot, 3D and outdoor target archery, and the certification and tools to deliver the instructions to youth,” the organization says. “As a result, S3DA expects to see increased participation in 3D and target archery by youth and parent archers using compound bows and traditional archery equipment, while also helping to increase participation at the local, state and national archery events.”

Anyone and everyone is welcome to come out and see this archers compete! Competitions will run all day from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: July 1-3

First Fridays   

The first concert series of its kind in Owensboro, you can catch some of the biggest names in contemporary Christian music at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s outdoor stage on the first Friday of each month. On Friday, July 1, you’ll hear from Cochren & Co. on the Michael E. Horn Family stage from 5-8 p.m. This free event will feature a lineup of food trucks and activities for the kiddos as well! All you need to bring is a chair or blanket to this family-friendly concert for people of all ages. 

Downtown Cruise-In      

This weekend’s downtown car show will be nothing short of spectacular. Held on Saturday, July 2 from 4-8 p.m., the upcoming Downtown Cruise-In will feature modern muscle cars. The Sunset Cruisers always puts on a great show, and this free event is guaranteed to bring out some of the coolest cars you’ve ever seen. There will be ladies-only door prizes, awards and tons of makes and models to scope out. All you have to do is head downtown and find the entrance at 3rd and Daviess streets, and you’re set for a family-friendly night out.

4th of July Fireworks    

One of the biggest events of the year (and one of the best fireworks shows you’ve ever seen) will be held in Owensboro on Monday, July 4 from 5-10 p.m. The All-American Fourth of July Fireworks will feature, not one, but four different fireworks shows spanning the city of Owensboro. You can see fireworks light up the night sky from every direction, and it’s a unique opportunity to be surrounded by the sights and sounds of freedom on Independence Day. Live music will be played at Smothers Park starting at 5 p.m. and a 15-minute fireworks show will kick off at 9:15 p.m. 

Head to Owensboro for your next cozy date night

Owensboro is famous for a lot of things, but one thing on our radar this week is what a great place it is for a cozy date night. And because it’s still cold outside, cozy—for now—means indoors.

But being cozy is about more than escaping the frigid wind. It’s about ambience, the soft glow of a flickering candle, comfortable booths and chairs where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy spending time with your loved one.

While The Miller House is famous for its food and three-story dining experience, it’s also famous for its super cozy basement. On the bottom floor, there’s just enough tables to keep your conversations from being overheard while also giving you the space and privacy you hope for when out with your loved one. With low lighting and over 700 different bourbons to choose from, you’ll find yourself warmer and cozier than you ever thought possible in a basement.

There are several other restaurants that provide that warm and fuzzy atmosphere by dimming the lights and lighting the candles, including Niko’s Italian Restaurant, Famous Bistro and, for those who’ve mastered the art of watching the game on TV when their significant other isn’t looking, Bar Louie and Drake’s.

After dinner, you might want to grab drinks at a bar. But for a cozy date night, you’re not looking for loud music and crowded dance floors, right?

Right.

No worries, because you can cuddle up in comfortable booths and enjoy an inviting, intimate atmosphere at the Pub on Second (as well as amazing, handcrafted martinis and all the craft beer you could ask for).

And at SIP Wine Room, you can enjoy each other while overlooking the Ohio River. They also offer a variety of beer and mixed drinks. If you’re in the market for locally-crafted beer, The Brew Bridge has all of that and more, as well as private, outdoor seating areas that are heated.

Malco Owensboro Cinema Grill & MXT is the perfect place for a cozy date night, with comfortable, reclining chairs, an impressive food and drink menu, and an ever-changing lineup of amazing movies to watch on the big screen.

And for those who appreciate the arts, Owensboro has date night covered. Theatre Workshop of Owensboro (TWO) puts on some of the best local plays in Kentucky, and you can see that for yourself at either the Trinity Centre or TWO’s Empress Theatre—both of which are cozy, intimate places to catch a show.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: October 29-31

OMG!con Halloween Party 

The team at OMG!con is bringing one of the biggest parties in town to Owensboro during Halloween weekend from October 30-31 at the Owensboro Convention Center. The organization’s first mini-con event will feature tons of video gaming, costume and cosplay contests and an OMG! Halloween Ball like no other. There will be drinks, food and music playing all night. A trolley will be provided Saturday and Sunday to carry passengers to and from TownePlace Suites, to the Convention Center, to The Brew Bridge. Owensboro’s Ghostly Productions will have the Con decorated for Halloween, so be prepared for some major spook vibes and a whole lot of fun! On Saturday the event runs from 10 a.m.-midnight and from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Go ahead and get your tickets ahead of time!

Steeldrivers

This is a show for those who appreciate good, quality music, because that’s exactly what the Steeldrivers deliver. The Grammy-winning band is an absolute superstar in the Americana/Bluegrass music world, with their “The Muscle Shoals Recordings” album reaching the #1 spot on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts in 2015. The group made history in 2018 at the Grand Ole Opry as they performed alongside Bluegrass legends John Prine and Bill Murray, and the band’s music was recently featured on the hit TV series Yellowstone. You can see the Steeldrivers perform live at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.

Terror at the Turley

The Turley building, located at the corner of 2nd and Daviess streets, used to house the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Now, it’s rumored to house ghosts. The Turley building was built in 1873 and RiverPark Center Executive Director Rich Jorn told the Messenger-Inquirer that it’s one of the five most haunted buildings in Owensboro. Even better, RPC is hosting “Terror at the Turley” throughout the month of October. The “PG-13” haunted house opens on Friday, October 15 from 7:30-10:30 p.m., and it will also be open on Oct. 22, 23, 30 and 31. Admission is $12 per person.

According to Jorn, “I wouldn’t bring small children.”

 

 

Kentucky Fried Pickin’ bringing hundreds of musicians to downtown Owensboro

One of the biggest Bluegrass jam sessions in the state is making its way back to Owensboro this year for the fifth time since its inception. Kentucky Fried Pickin’ will bring in Bluegrass pickers and strummers from all over for a weekend of live music at the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront.

Kentucky Fried Pickin’ will be held May 12-14. According to Mark Hargis, founder and creator of the Bluegrass music festival, the 12th will serve as “Early Bird Pickin’” for anyone and everyone who wants to come out and bring their instruments for a day of play.

“We’ll have a huge group that day for a big, community pickin’ event,” Hargis said.

Those who participate May 13-14 have rented rooms to play in at the Holiday Inn, where anyone interested in listening to the musicians can hang out and travel room-to-room to get the full Kentucky Fried Pickin’ experience.

“There’s three to four pickin’ floors at the Holiday Inn,” Hargis said. “You can pick outside too. Last year we had 200-300 people pickin’ outside when the weather was good.”

Hargis said he expects a huge crowd of pickers for this year’s event – anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500. With the event taking place on the same weekend as the Bar-B-Q Block Party, this year’s event has the potential to bring in tons of spectators.

“We had a fantastic turnout last year, and I think this year will top that,” Hargis said. “The restaurant at the hotel – Burger Theory – will be serving specials throughout the weekend for those in attendance. We call this event a big together – a big Bluegrass family reunion.”

There are still a few rooms left at the Holiday Inn for those who want to participate! Use Holiday Inn code “KFP” or call 1-270-683-1111 to book your room now. 

 

Owensboro home to longest-running synagogue in KY

The Temple Adath Israel is a gorgeous structure that serves Owensboro’s Jewish community, and it’s also one of the most historic sites in the entire state of Kentucky. Constructed in 1877, the synagogue of Temple Adath Israel is one of the oldest American synagogues in use today. It is the 13th longest-running synagogue in the entire country, and holds the No. 1 spot for oldest synagogue still being used in the entire state. 

“It’s been there since the late 1800s,” said local Lay leader Stuart Spindel. “So we’ve been in there for 140 years.” 

The synagogue, located at Fifth and Daviess streets in downtown Owensboro, is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, providing sanctuary for generations of Jewish families and housing the light of Torah for the entire community.

The historical relevance of Adath Israel goes back to 1858, when it was established as one of Kentucky’s earliest Jewish congregations and a charter member of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Adath Israel’s founders were mostly immigrants from the German states of central Europe.

When Owensboro’s Jewish community reached over 200 members, a house of worship was erected and, to this day, there it stands.

According to Spindel, the Temple was in some ways built similarly to other houses of worship, but there were distinctive features that made it stand out.  Moorish domes that graced the top of the building “evoke the Near Eastern origins of Judaism and also bring to mind the medieval ‘golden age’ in Spain.” 

For those first several decades, the Jewish community in Owensboro thrived.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the community supported not only a rabbi but also a synagogue school with four classes, a Jewish social club and a chapter of B’nai B’rith.

As the years progressed, however, the Owensboro Jewish community went into decline, with the Temple citing better opportunities (both educationally and professionally) elsewhere that led to more and more young adults leaving. After World War II, the Temple writes, shopping malls, expressways and chain stores led heavily to the demise of the downtown businesses the Jewish community had leaned on economically.

However, there are still families of the Jewish faith that call Owensboro home, and those who belong to the Temple Adath Israel congregation are very open and welcoming of visitors and newcomers. Every Thursday night at 6:30, a Torah, or Bible Study, is held, and Spindel said he encounters visitors and locals from a variety of different backgrounds and religious beliefs. 

“It would be correct to assume that everyone who visits is more than welcome,” Spindel said. “The first Friday evening of the month is a simple Shabbat service. “More than half of the people who come aren’t Jewish, and that’s OK. Everyone is welcome.” 

Bar-B-Q Block Party bringing music, rides and delicious fun to downtown Owensboro in May

Visitors far and wide have traveled to Owensboro for the annual International Bar-B-Q Festival for decades. Following a decision to scale down the Bar-B-Q Festival last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Owensboro’s first-ever Bar-B-Q Block Party turned out to be a major success and, in the future, it’s expected to evolve into something bigger and better than ever before.

This year’s Bar-B-Q Block Party will be both similar to, and different from, last year’s event. Running for two days on May 13 and 14, this festival will be heavily focused on good old-fashioned barbecue, the way the original Bar-B-Q Festival was designed to be.

The block party will include your favorite Bar-B-Q Festival elements from years past, such as the church cooking teams, and the Backyard Cooking Competition presented by Kentucky Legend.

More than 30 cooking teams will compete for pride and prizes in the Backyard Cooking Competition. They’ll apply their home-grown skills to cook up some of the best beef, chicken and pork you’ll ever taste. Awards are presented in each category and an overall Backyard Cook Grand Champion gets to take home the biggest prize of all.

New to this year’s festival, live music will be played both days on the front lawn of the Owensboro Convention Center! You can catch performances on the stage in front of the building on Friday, May 13 from 5-9 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

The 2022 Bar-B-Q Block Party will also have fun stuff for the kiddos to do, including a carnival and midway games. The Block Party will also be adding a dozen more Bar-B-Q food trucks and vendors to 2nd Street this year, giving those who attend the chance to try tons of different recipes, styles and flavors from a variety of creative culinary talent.

This family-friendly event will include seating in the form of picnic tables placed all along 2nd Street, as well as side streets that surround the area, so you’ll have plenty of room to hang out with your family and friends and sit down to eat all the amazing food and drinks that are offered.

World Champion Eater Joey Chestnut will be back in Owensboro for the Bar-B-Q Block Party on Saturday from noon-1 p.m. for a “Meet & Greet” presented by Kentucky Legend! You can find Chestnut at the Kentucky Legend sampling tent on 2nd Street and snag an autograph and photo with the legendary eater. Chestnut will also be a celebrity judge for the Backyard Cooking Competition.

And if you’re in the market for a good run before you eat all that delicious food, you can sign up for the BBQ 5K! This road race will kick off on Saturday at 8 a.m. and proceeds will support Owensboro’s local YMCA.

The Bar-B-Q Block Party will take place on Friday, May 13 from noon-9 p.m. and on Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. in downtown Owensboro.

 

Coffey Anderson headlining FA5 on July 29

Friday After 5 has long been known for bringing amazing, unique talent to Owensboro, and the free outdoor concert series is doing it again this year with a performance from Coffey Anderson! 

 

For those who don’t know, Anderson is a Texas-born singer/songwriter who mixes mainstream country music with pop, R&B and hip-hop beats. He came to fame through his YouTube videos and has released eight albums over the course of his career. 

 

You may know Anderson best for some of his hit songs, which include “Mr. Red, White, And Blue,” “Better Today,” “Bud Light Blue” and Blessed.” 

 

Anderson just released a new album, “Come On With It,” in June, so he’s going to have a whole lineup of new songs to mix into some of his greatest hits for this event. Coffey himself has said that this album is “me, 100%.” 

 

“I want a singalong,” he said. “I tell anyone, ‘If you want to hear a Coffey song, think of the male Shania.’ We’re talking about big fiddles, big guitars, loud drums – stadium country.” 

 

This is going to be a show for anyone and everyone who enjoys innovative country music, and we cannot wait to see you there. 

 

You can see Anderson perform live at FA5 on July 29 from 7-10 p.m. at the Jagoe Stage in McConnell Plaza. 

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: July 8-10

Downtown Live    

This weekend’s Downtown Live will be focused on all things beer! RiverPark Center will host a “Beer Snobs”-themed event at its 21-and-older entertainment complex on Friday, July 8 from 6-11 p.m. A “Know Your Hops” Beer Competition will be held in the lobby, while beer pong, giant Jenga and other bar games will be played in the Jody Berry Theatre. Cornhole and DJ2Smuve will play all evening in Truist Plaza and Latasha Shemwell will perform from 6-8 p.m. at the Atmos Courtyard. To add to all the fun, the Chicago Improv Group will be taking the stage at the GhostLight Lounge, so be prepared to drink, laugh and dance all night! 

Hops on the Ohio     

In alignment with a beer-themed weekend at RPC, Hops on the Ohio will be bringing you all the craft beer and bourbon you could ask for on Saturday, July 9 from 3-7 p.m. Hundreds of people are expected to attend this fan-favorite event, described as a “four-hour tour of local Kentucky breweries and an exploration of the nation’s favorite brands.” You can expect an afternoon of brews, tunes and great vibes at this indoor/outdoor event, and tickets can be purchased right here!

Battle of the Blue Bridge    

Held at the Owensboro Convention Center on July 9 and 10, Battle of the Blue Bridge will bring you an amazing basketball tournament like you’ve never before seen in Owensboro! Featuring both boys and girls divisions, players range from 3rd to 12th grade for this tournament. With tons of teams from across a variety of states expected to play, this is a great chance to check out the indoor sports floor at the Owensboro Convention Center and see some of the best student athletes in the region perform as well. Click here to check out the tournament schedule. 

Owensboro: Home of ‘The Kentucky Kid’

One of our most treasured hometown heroes, Nicky Hayden – who was also known as “The Kentucky Kid” in the motosports world – was born and raised right here in Owensboro. 

 

The racing world lost one of its greatest athletes when Hayden was killed in a bicycle crash in Italy in 2017. Hayden had risen to fame after winning his first Grand National Championship in 1999 and being named Rookie of the Year. 

 

In 2002, Hayden set a record in becoming the youngest rider to become an AMA Superbike Champion and was immediately propelled into the Moto GP circuit’s premier league. 

 

As if Hayden wasn’t already impressive enough, he joined the Repsol Honda Team in 2003, where he earned Rookie of the Year accolades for Moto GP and, in 2006, he won the Moto GP Championship. 

 

He was the last American to do so. 

 

Here in Owensboro, we celebrate Nicky Hayden all the time. Not only was he a great racer, but a great person who cared deeply about others. The Nicky Hayden Apartments were built in 2020 to serve as temporary housing for those trying to better their lives after seeking rehabilitation for drugs and alcohol addiction. Owensboro celebrates Nicky Hayden Day every year with an event dedicated to Hayden on June 9, and many events are dedicated to and held by the Nicky Hayden Foundation – an organization with the goal of helping children in various ways. 

And one of Owensboro’s most beautiful statues depicts both Hayden’s loving persona and love for racing. The Nicky Hayden Memorial was erected in front of the Owensboro Convention Center in 2018. Standing 10 feet tall, it is reminiscent of Hayden’s legendary win at Laguna Seca in 2005, and it’s the perfect way to remember and reflect back on everything “The Kentucky Kid” achieved as one of the greatest racers to hit the pavement. 

Owensboro to host hundreds of visitors with city’s first Futsal tournament

In some big news for Owensboro’s sports tourism industry, the inaugural Bluegrass Futsal Cup is coming to the Owensboro Convention Center Dec. 17-19, marking the first use of the highly anticipated indoor sports flooring and the first tournament of its kind in Owensboro-Daviess County.

The three-day tournament is expected to bring in around 30 different teams from across the Midwest to Owensboro, including 300 athletes and 450-500 visitors in total.

Hosted by Owensboro’s SportsTutor Futsal Academy, this tournament should create an estimated $165,000 impact on the local economy.

Now what the heck is futsal?

Well, according the United States Youth Futsal program, “Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small-sided soccer game that is played across the world and is officially recognized by both FIFA and UEFA.”

Basically, futsal is indoor soccer with a few unique aspects of its own. It’s a five vs. five game played on a hardback, surfaced, basketball-sized court with a smaller, low bounce ball. The game is played with touchline boundaries and without walls.

“Futsal places a large emphasis on technical skill in high pressure situations, which can be translated into the outdoor game,” the USYF says. “The sport is a great skill developer as it demands quick reflexes, fast thinking and pin-point passing.”

According to Chris Gendek, Visit Owensboro’s director of destination development and sports management, the indoor sports flooring for this futsal tournament will be installed early this week.

“This indoor flooring allows us to extend our sports tourism beyond the warmer months, during what is typically a slower time of year for hotel room-producing athletic events,” Gendek said. “This opens the door for more opportunities, and a wider timeframe, to create an economic impact on our local economy.”

For the inaugural Bluegrass Futsal Cup, Gendek said there will be separate boys’ and girls’ tournaments in age divisions that range from U-8 to U-19. 

Even if you don’t know much about the sport, this is the perfect opportunity to come see it in action! Tickets for the event are $5 for adults and $3 for children under 8 years of age.

As Gendek noted, this tournament is a huge opportunity for our community and, hopefully, this will be the first of many futsal events to come.

“Our restaurants win. Our shops win. Our hotels win,” Gendek said. “And when they all win, everyone wins.”

 

Make Owensboro your next destination for live music

Here at Visit Owensboro, we’re always looking forward to Spring.

The Dogwoods will start blooming all around town, the baseball and softball fields will start coming alive with tournament play, and live music will be played at outdoor venues all across the city.

And this year, we’ve got so many events to look forward to, we’re going to break them down by section. And this week, we’re starting with live music.

Concerts:

Be sure to keep an eye and ear out for other live music performances at Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville, Shiloh’s Lounge, O’Bryan’s Bar & Grill, Lure Seafood and Grille, Ten O Six, Club Unks and Bar Louie. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for more details!

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: February 25-27

Winter Dance Party   

Let’s start off with this cool fact: John Mueller’s Winter Dance Party is the official live and authentic recreation of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper’s final tour. What makes it even cooler, it’s the only show of its kind endorsed by the Holly, Valens and Richardson estates. Each live concert includes over two hours of hit songs from the 1950s. We’re talking the likes of “That’ll Be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Oh, Boy,” “Rave On,” “La Bamba,” “Chantilly Lace,” and many, many more. The Winter Dance Party has performed in front of over 2 million people on national TV and toured extensively throughout the US and Canada. You can catch this critically-acclaimed concert at the RiverPark Center on Friday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, and this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity in Owensboro, so swing on by and join the fun!

Brennen Leigh Concert 

An American songwriter, guitarist, mandolin player and singer whose “to-the-point” storytelling style has elevated her to cult icon status in Europe, Scandinavia, South America, the UK and the US (wow!), seeing Brennen Leigh perform live in Owensboro is a huge deal! Leigh’s songs have been recorded by some of the greats, including Lee Ann Womack, Rodney Crowell, Sunny Sweeney, Charley Crockett and many others. With writing described as “tender, violent, sentimental, foolish and wise,” Leigh has a lot to say, and right now’s a great time to hear it. Tickets are on sale for $20 and the show kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, Feb. 26.

Mardi Gras Party   

O’Bryan’s Bar & Grill is throwing down this weekend with its annual Mardi Gras Party! It doesn’t get more fun than this, with tons of drink specials and live music playing all night on Saturday, February 26. The band Kalico—featuring a blend of country and southern rock–will take the outdoor stage at 9 p.m. and the party continues until 2 a.m. A locally-owned bar and grill located about 10 miles outside of Owensboro city limits, O’Bryan’s offers a huge variety of amazing food and drink options. This party is strictly for the adults, and there is a $10 cover charge at the door.

 

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: December 17-19

Santa’s Sweets 

This brand-new event is coming at you from downtown Owensboro, where local businesses and restaurants will be selling homemade holiday treats to satisfy your sweet tooth! As part of the 12 Days of Christmas, Santa’s Sweets is for the dessert lovers out there, and you will NOT be disappointed. They’ll have everything from fudge brownies, to sprinkled sugar cookies, to delicious pieces of pie. Find out which Santa’s Sweet (or Sweets!) is your favorite on Friday, Dec. 17 from 5-9 p.m. Participating locations include Byron & Barclay, Burger Theory, Pub on Second, Lure Seafood and Grille, Energy on Ice at the Owensboro Convention Center, Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville, Simply Chic Home Accents, Willow and Pine and Brew Bridge.

Ice Skating on the River 

If you haven’t already tried out Energy on Ice, this weekend is the perfect chance to go for it. Lace up those skates and glide across the synthetic ice rink with your kids, friends or even by yourself! Located behind the Owensboro Convention Center on the Kentucky Legend Pier, Energy on Ice is all about the location, with dazzling Christmas lights overhead and the Ohio River surrounding you on three sides. And if you’re not into skating, that’s OK! Sit from the spectator’s area on Sunday, Dec. 19 to enjoy the featured film Polar Express on movie night. It will be playing on the big screen for all to enjoy. It costs $10 per person (including skate rental) and $8 per person if you bring your own skates. 

Sanders Family Christmas 

If you’re in the market for a fun, humorous Christmas play for the entire family to enjoy (and who isn’t?), then you’ll love the production, “Sanders Family Christmas.” Coming to a stage near you and presented by Owensboro’s very own Encore Musicals, this holiday show is a return of the beloved “Smoke on the Mountain” series and will run for three performances. Local audiences have come to love the music and delight in the Sanders’ down-home humor and “gospel sing” at the fictional Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, which sits in the shadow of the Mt. Pleasant Pickle Factory. You can catch the show at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17 and Saturday, Dec. 18, as well as a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on Dec. 19. All performances take place at Third Baptist Church in Owensboro.

 

Owensboro Burger Week featuring every burger imaginable March 1-5

Owensboro Burger Week is back, ya’ll! And this time, it’s bigger and better than ever, with more than 30 different restaurants selling their delicious burgers—many of which were created just for this event–for an entire week.

We’ve got every kind of burger on the list you can possibly imagine this year—and some you probably haven’t imagined, but should definitely try. 

We’ve got a breakfast burger loaded with eggs and a French toast bun. We’ve got burgers dripping with sriracha, warm beer cheese and pickled carrots. We’ve got burgers stacked with fried pickles, jalapenos and crispy onion rings.

For the barbecue lovers out there (and who isn’t?), we’ve got burgers topped with pulled pork and braised pork belly, slathered in sauces ranging from Tomato Bourbon Jam to smoked paprika and homemade coleslaw.

We’ve got a pizza burger loaded with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and shiitake mushrooms, and we’ve got more varieties of bacon on this Burger Week lineup than you could hope for.

One exciting thing about this year is we’ve even got a couple of vegetarian burgers on the menu, and they look and sound AMAZING. A Greek Lentil Burger served with gochujang on Koulouri? Yep. We’ve got it.

Don’t forget to check out as many of these local restaurants as possible from March 1-5 during the 2nd Annual Owensboro Burger Week! All burgers are $7 and, if we’re being honest, it’s impossible to know which burgers are taking home prizes this year. That’s how good they all sound! 

Speaking of prizes, everyone who participates in Burger Week 2022 has the chance to win an awesome one! All you gotta do is take a photo of your burger at three different places (at least) and use the hashtag Owensboroburgerweek (#Owensboroburgerweek) to be entered into a drawing for a Mini Green Egg Max and wonderful meat package from Hill View Farms Meats. 

You can see a full list of burgers and participating restaurants at owensboroburgerweek.com. 

 

 

Sing your way back to the 1960s at Happy Together Tour

If you’re looking for a blast from the past that includes some great bands from the 60s and 70s, then the RiverPark Center has exactly what you need. 

 

The Happy Together Tour will hit the RPC stage on August 13, bringing you a lineup of rock, folk and pop bands that’ll bring you some of the best feel-good music you’ll find anywhere. 

 

This concert will feature Gary Puckett & The Union Gap – an American pop/rock group from the late 60s, along with The Turtles – an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965. 

 

Joining those two groups will be Chuck Negron – known best as one of the three lead vocalists in Three Dog Night (formed in 1968)– and The Association, an American sunshine pop band formed in the 1960s. 

 

As if it could get any better, the Happy Together Tour will also bring you 1960s rock group The Vogues and The Cowsills – known as a group of six siblings who harmonized together on tour beginning in 1965. 

 

The Happy Together Tour travels across the country each year to bring fans from all over a dose of happiness in the form of reminiscent musical performances. But even if you didn’t hear these songs growing up, this concert is a great chance to get an authentic experience of a generation that created a brand new genre of rock, pop and folk music. 

 

Tickets for the Happy Together Tour start out at $70, and the show kicks off at 8 p.m. 

Head to Owensboro’s beautiful riverfront for Friday After 5

It’s Friday After 5 season, ya’ll!

For those who don’t know, Friday After 5 (FA5) is a multi-award-winning series of free outdoor concerts held every Friday for 16 weeks. It brings thousands of people to Owensboro each week to enjoy the sights and sounds of our beautiful downtown and includes live bands, family events, food trucks and a kid-friendly street fair with costumed characters running about.

You can find live entertainment across five different venues each week, as FA5 stretches across the riverfront on Veterans Boulevard from Frederica Street to the Holiday Inn Downtown Riverfront.

Friday After 5 will host several big-name performers this year, and we couldn’t be more excited to see them in-person!

On opening night (May 20), you can catch The Beatles Rock Band Show from 6-9:30 p.m. on the Jagoe Homes Riverfront Live stage. This group will perform a high energy, full-length rock show featuring hits from The Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney for an experience you will never forget! This band has graced some of the biggest festival stages across the world and has scored countless TV and movie credits over the years, and they’ve sold millions of albums all over the world.

On May 27, local musician-turned-local celebrity Dakota Hayden will sing all the country music hits you could hope for from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Atmos Amphitheater at McConnell Plaza. This singer garnered fame for his performances on the most recent season of American Idol, where he earned the golden ticket to Hollywood!

Rising country music stars, The Hobbs Sisters, will perform live from the Jagoe Homes Riverfront Live stage on June 3 from 6-9:30 p.m.

You can catch another country music star on July 29 as Coffey Anderson takes the Jagoe Stage at the Atmos Amphitheater in McConnell Plaza from 7-10 p.m.

If you don’t know “The Git Up” song, you’ll know it after you see Blanco Brown perform it live at FA5. Brown, who has produced for celebrities such as Chris Brown and Pitbull and blurs the line between country music and hip-hop, will put on a show on the Owensboro Convention Center front lawn on August 19 from 7-10 p.m. for the “Git Up Challenge to Make a Difference.” It’s pretty much guaranteed that everyone in attendance will be doing the “two-step then cowboy boogie” by the end of the night. Or, at least attempting it.

And on Sept. 2, Grammy-winning band The Motels — known for popular gold records and Top 10 singles “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer” — will grace the stage with performer Bow Wow Wow — famous for the songs “I Want Candy” and “When In Rome” — taking you back to the 1980s for a night full of fun memories! 

Friday After 5 will run May 20-September 2 this year, and it looks like it’s going to be a season for the books! Click here to see the full musical lineup, stage locations and events for each week.

 

Owensboro Symphony’s ‘Night at the Oscars’ featuring music from famous films

One of the things that makes a good movie GREAT is, of course, the music. And for one night only, you can have the chance to hear that music played live and in-person at the RiverPark Center. 

The Owensboro Symphony will roll out the red carpet and transport you right onto Hollywood Boulevard as they perform songs from Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning movies on January 29. 

This concert is going to have songs from SO many iconic films, including The Godfather, La La Land, Titanic and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, among many, many others. 

Not only will you get to see OS Music Conductor Troy Quinn work his magic, but Eric Rigler – the world’s most recorded piper of all time – will be joining the symphony for this legendary concert as the featured soloist. 

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so make sure to grab your tickets before they sell out! The Owensboro Symphony takes the stage at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $50 to $42.50 each. 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: July 15-17

Supporting Heroes Tribute Gala   

This is a night dedicated entirely to celebrating the heroes in our lives. Whether you work in public safety, are the survivor of a fallen hero, or simply appreciate the service and sacrifice made by heroes on a daily basis, this is the perfect event for you to show your support. Held at the Owensboro Convention Center on July 16 at 6 p.m., doors will open and seating begins at 5:20 p.m. Seats can be purchased right here for $60 each. There is never a cost to immediate survivors of fallen heroes.

Friday After 5     

Owensboro’s summer music series is supporting heroes as well this weekend. On Friday, July 15, you can head to the downtown riverfront to celebrate first responders from 5:30-11:30 p.m. A live music performance by The Consoulers will be held from 6-9:30 p.m. at the Jagoe Homes Riverfront stage, while No Governor will perform from 7-9 p.m. at the ROMAIN SUBARU Overlook Stage. You can also enjoy food trucks, the second round of WBKR Fight Night auditions and even more live music from Tyrone Dunn & Kinfoke at the Ruoff Party Stage from 8:30-11:30 p.m.

Games on the River   

Sunday is a great day for families and friends, and there’s no better way to spend time together than with a game night. But this is no ordinary set of checkers we’re talking about. Games on the River brings you a variety of FREE giant games the whole family can enjoy! From checkers to Connect Four to Jenga, you can play these larger-than-life games at Smothers Park from noon-8 p.m. on July 17.

What to look forward to in 2022

With the new year coming in strong, there are a lot of reasons to look forward to what’s coming in 2022. Owensboro-Daviess County is producing more and more exciting reasons to visit our area each year, and we are absolutely pumped to see so many concerts, events and programs in the works for the year to come. 

There are literally so many events going on this coming year that we can’t possibly name them all, but here’s a quick list to get you started on planning your next visit (or visits!) to Owensboro in 2022. 

First off, Goodwood Brewing and Spirits is opening a new location in Owensboro, bringing you all the craft beer and cocktails you could ask for! The brand new brewpub will feature a full kitchen and brewery onsite with their award-winning beers and diverse, southern-focused food menu. A spacious patio (complete with a fireplace setting overlooking the Ohio River) will be everything you ever hoped for in a place to grab food and drinks. The brewpub will open at 101 Frederica Street in early 2022. 

On the topic of good beer, Hops on the Ohio is coming back to Owensboro this year after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we couldn’t be more excited! This indoor/outdoor beer festival will take place at the RiverPark Center on March 12, and you can snag TONS of craft beer, wine and spirits at this all-day event. 

Now let’s touch on some of the amazing concerts Owensboro is hosting in 2022, beginning with ROMP. This Bluegrass Music festival will run June 22-25 at Yellow Creek Park and the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum JUST dropped the initial lineup for this year’s event! Some of Bluegrass music’s biggest names will hit the outdoor stage, including Punch Brothers, The Del McCoury Band, Rhiannon Giddens, Tommy Emmanuel, We Banjo 3, The Gibson Brothers, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys and East Nash Grass. And there are still more artists to be added! 

Make sure to keep an eye out for other amazing performances held locally at PorchFest 2022, Shiloh’s Lounge and Andy Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville in downtown Owensboro. 

Other concerts we can’t wait for include Lonestar at the RiverPark Center on January 15, Rodney Dillard & The Dillards at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum on January 15, Tracy Lawrence and Clay Walker at the Owensboro Sportscenter on March 19, Trace Adkins at RiverPark Center on April 28, One Fein Night featuring Michael Feinstein at RPC on May 21 and the Red Hot Chili Pipers at RPC on March 25. 

As for Broadway shows, Owensboro has some amazing talent coming to our city in 2022. So far, we’re super excited to see Hairspray coming to RPC on March 10, Waitress at RPC on April 11 and Jersey Boys hitting the RPC stage on April 24. These award-winning Broadway shows are hugely popular and we could not be more pumped to see them live and in person!

We can also expect a record-breaking year at the Owensboro Convention Center, as well as the highly-anticipated launch of Green River Distilling Company’s barrel-aged bourbon hitting shelves. With so much to look forward to, we’re ready for one of the most exciting years to date in Owensboro! 

 

Top 6 Destinations to Visit in Owensboro

Green River Distilling Co. 

 

Enjoy and explore over 100 years of history at this newly renovated facility located on the Ohio River. After restoring the distillery to its original glory in 2014, Green River Distilling Co. has continued to impress and amaze visitors with one of the top-ranked bourbon tours in the state of Kentucky. Even better, Green River’s new Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has received amazing reviews since its launch in 2021, and you’ll get to taste the distillery’s name-brand bourbon at the end of your tour. You can schedule one-hour tours Tuesday-Saturday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. for $20. 

 

Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum

 

Nowhere else in the world can you find a facility dedicated solely to Bluegrass music. After being declared the “Bluegrass Music Capital of the World” in 2021, there’s never been a better time to visit the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum at our city’s downtown waterfront location. You can play instruments at a pickin’ parlor, shop at an amazing gift shop and catch live performances from the best Bluegrass artists in the world at the facility’s indoor and outdoor theaters. 

 

Smothers Park

 

Smothers Park has everything you could dream of in a world-class park, and then some. Stretching over a mile along the downtown riverfront, you can enjoy a nice walk with amazing sunset views, lit-up water fountains at night, and a color-changing lighted bridge that connects Owensboro to Indiana across the Ohio River. Even better, Lazy Days Playground was named one of the best parks in the world in 2015, so you don’t want to miss it. With a spray park and more slides than you count, we can’t recommend the playground enough to anyone traveling with kids. 

 

Western Kentucky Botanical Garden 

 

This 12-acre facility is located only minutes from downtown Owensboro, but you will feel like you’ve entered a whole new world once you arrive. With plenty of beautiful walkways, event spaces and, of course, gorgeous trees, flowers and plants, it’s hard to name a more beautiful place to explore. With a new entrance and visitor center located at the historic WeatherBerry house, you can tour the garden Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is super affordable too – $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and veterans, and only $1 for children. 

 

Preservation Station 

 

One of the coolest places to check out in the entire state of Kentucky, Preservation Station Market, Restaurant and Event Center is a 39,000 square-foot retail marketplace housed in a former elementary school. The school was converted to include more than 60 shops and a gymnasium that has all kinds of unique treasures inside. Preservation Station is open Thursday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and a 100-seat restaurant serves southern favorites Thursday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 

 

Barbecue

 

A barbecue-lovers paradise, Owensboro has long been famous for some of the best mutton, pork and other delicious dishes on the planet. You can visit historic barbecue restaurants like Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn and Old Hickory Bar-B-Q, or newer establishments like Ole South Barbecue, for a meal that you will never forget. 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: December 31-January 2

Goldie’s Final Reunion  

If you want to celebrate a local legend and also hear a reality TV star sing live on stage, then Goldie’s Final Reunion is the place for you this New Year’s Eve. This show will take place on December 31 at the RiverPark Center from 8 p.m.-midnight. THe show will include Goldie, the guys and gals of the Backstage Band, backup singers and other “friends of the show.” Those friends will include Jon Brennan (who is currently starring on a Real World: Los Angeles Reunion season!), Katie Herron, Tara Estes, Travis Estes, Janie Jett Mason and many others. This will be Goldie’s final NYE Show in Owensboro, so make sure you make it to his historic event! Tickets are $30. 

Glow Year’s Eve Party 

If you’ve never been to a glow party, now is the time to do it! You can get your glow on and celebrate the start of the new year at the Owensboro Convention Center’s Glow Year’s Eve Party on December 31. This party will have you dancing into 2022 with your favorite party anthems from Blue Line Entertainment. Grab your free glow swag and enjoy themed drink specials and concessions throughout the night! Live music runs from 9 p.m.-1 a.m., so be sure to wear your best “glow attire” (i.e. white, neon and fluorescents) and purchase your $20 tickets in advance! 

NYE Bash at Shiloh’s Lounge 

This hot spot for big parties is ringing in the new year in style. Shiloh’s Lounge is hosting “the biggest NYE event in the Tri-State” with Sada Baby performing live in Owensboro! The Detroit native is gaining recognition across the country for his rap music, and this event at Shiloh’s Lounge is expected to bring in tons of fans from all over. Tickets for this New Year’s Eve Bash are $50 each and are expected to sell out, so grab them while you can! Doors for this event open at 9 p.m.

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: March 4-6

Owensboro Burger Week   

It’s finally here, and we hope you’re as ready as we are! This week, it’s all about the burgers. With over 30 different restaurants participating in this year’s Owensboro Burger Week, you’ve got more to try and taste than last year, and these burger choices are looking better than ever. From breakfast burgers, to pizza burgers, to barbecue-inspired burgers, to vegetarian burgers—we’ve got it all, and every burger is only $7 from March 1-5. Check out a list of participating restaurants at Owensboroburgerweek.com, and take at least three photos of different burgers using the hashtag Owensboroburgerweek to be entered to win some amazing prizes. If there’s ever been an excuse to eat as many burgers as possible, this is it, so come hungry!

Stairway to Schumann  

You may have heard of a rock opera, but a rock symphony? Well, you’re about to. In one of the most unique performances of the year, the Owensboro Symphony will bring you “Stairway to Schumann,” fusing rock with orchestra to create an experience fused with inspiring and iconic music. Troy Quinn and his team of musicians will perform Led Zepplin’s masterpiece, “Stairway to Heaven,” along with Schumann’s legendary Fourth Symphony. Blending these two different styles of music is a feat in and of itself, and there’s no group better at exceeding challenges than the Owensboro Symphony. The show kicks off on March 5 at 7 p.m. and tickets are $42. 

Jonah Leatherman Live   

Musician Jonah Leatherman and his band are bringing all the rock music you could ask for to Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville on Saturday, March 5 from 9:30-midnight. Hailing from Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Jonah Leatherman band released its first album last year and has been heavily influenced by artists such as Tom Petty and the Black Crowes. Jonah Leatherman’s music is a blend of blues-based rock and roll, so be sure to head to downtown Owensboro this weekend to check them out!

 

Red Hot Chili Pipers bringing unique blend of bagpipes and rock music to Owensboro

You’ve heard of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But…have you heard of the Red Hot Chili Pipers?

We know they’re not the band you grew up listening to and collecting posters of, but with tours stretching from NYC to Beijing, this band of pipers/rock stars sure is trying to get on your radar. And honestly, they’re a solid group of musicians with a really cool sound.

A little background story: The Red Hot Chili Pipers are a Celtic rock band from Scotland. Formed in 2002, the group gained international popularity after winning the BBC talent show, “When Will I Be Famous?”

The band’s lineup features three highland bagpipers and traditional marching snare, backed by a five- to seven-piece band consisting of guitars, drums and keyboards. Shows also include impressive vocal performances and highland dancing!

Even better, the Red Hot Chili Pipers have used this blend of instruments and bagpipes to create a new sound called “bagrock.” First of all, cool move. Secondly, cool name.

The band performs a fusion of traditional pipe tunes and contemporary pieces, so there’s a little bit of music for everybody here. Notable covers performed by the Chili Pipers include “We Will Rock You” by Queen, “Clocks” by Coldplay, “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple and “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.

The group even appeared on the How to Train Your Dragon 2 soundtrack!

So, if you’re in the market for something fun and different to listen to, the Red Hot Chili Pipers is a pretty sweet chance to expand your horizon and take a chance on something new. This Scottish bagrock band will perform at the RiverPark Center on March 25 from 8-10 p.m. and tickets are only $19, so get them while you can!

 

Top 3 Things to Do in Owensboro This Weekend: January 7-9

Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters will perform live at the Owensboro Sportscenter for their Spread Game Tour and slam dunk contest with the Generals on January 6 at 7 p.m.! Known for their unbelievable athleticism and funny personalities, seeing the Globetrotters in person is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! What’s new about this year’s event? Well, the Globetrotters always rattle the rim with the best slam dunks in the country, but this year, they’ll face off against the Generals for a dunk contest. This year’s event also features a ton of LOL-worthy moments due to some extensive training the Globetrotters received from Broadways experts. After the game, fans get the chance to snag autographs from team members! Tickets are $23 and are available at the Owensboro Convention Center Box Office, by phone at 270-297-9932 or online.

Cornhole Tournament  

The American Cornhole Organization (ACO) is the worldwide governing body for the sport of cornhole, and they will be in Owensboro this weekend to hold the ACO Owensboro Major as part of its 17th season. The tournament will run January 7-8 from 9-6 p.m. for most events, featuring some of the country’s best cornhole players in womens’, seniors’, co-eds’ and juniors’ divisions. Over $5,000 guaranteed purse for majors means these players are competing for some big cash, so come out to see them play!

Downtown Pub Crawl  

What better way to enjoy the weekend than grabbing a drink and supporting an amazing cause? Because that’s what the Downtown Pub Crawl is all about this Saturday, with all ticket sales going directly to Owensboro’s Puzzle Pieces, a nonprofit focused on providing a safe environment and promoting independence for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Brasher’s Lil’ Nashville, The Pub on Second, The Brew Bridge and Don Mario’s will all be participating in this event. Those who participate will get arm bands and a free koozie! The Downtown Pub Crawl kicks off January 8 from 4:30-11 p.m. To purchase tickets, simply Venmo $10 to @HoseHandlers. 

Green River Distilling Co. earns glowing reviews for newly released bourbon

Reviews for Green River Distilling Company’s new Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey are pouring in (we had to do it) from bourbon enthusiasts and experts all over. So far, we’re hearing words like “excellent,” “superb,” and “very, very good.”

And this is just the beginning.

To quote one of the most well-known bourbon reviewers and a tough critic, Fred Minnick said only one word after his first taste of the new Green River bourbon: “Wow.”

“My hat’s off,” Minnick said during his self-recorded review. “My hat’s absolutely off to Green River. To Jacob Call, the master distiller there, for putting out what is an excellent bourbon.”

As viewers watch Minnick throughout his four-point tasting process (smell, first taste, second taste, and finish), he recalls a variety of aromas and tasting notes he picks up along the way. Notes of cinnamon were strong on the nose, he said, and he commended the bourbon’s color and clarity as well.

“The color can be an indication of its time in the barrel,” he said. “What we have here—we have a really, really good-looking color there. Nice clarity. You can see there’s some oils still in there.

And it smells great,” he added. “This smells great.”

The 90-proof bourbon tasted better than expected, Minnick noted, saying he picked up a lot of spice and cinnamon on the first and second tastes.

Unlike a lot of 90-proof bourbons, the Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey didn’t feel watered down, Minnick said. It tasted like it was proofed “exactly where it needed to be.”

Notes of tapioca pudding, “chewing on straw,” black pepper and a subtle hint of vanilla icing were also mentioned during Minnick’s tasting process. And though the finish wasn’t quite as long as he’d expected, he said the bourbon’s “short-to-medium finish” was the only real critique he had based on first impressions.

Minnick, holding up the bottle he’d also complimented earlier (saying it was one of the prettiest bottles he’d ever seen) finished his review with nothing but good things to say about Green River Distilling Company’s new product.

“This is why you never give up tasting on a distillery. This is why you never give up on a distiller. Because people get better. Processes get better,” he said. “The tasting of this Green River right here is an example of a master distiller continuing their craft to the point where they can put out something that will probably be the likes of Woodford Reserve, probably be competitive with Knob Creek, Wild Turkey 101. It’s in that caliber of bourbon.”

Meanwhile, Bourbon & Banter put out its own glowing review of Green River’s new bourbon, describing it as “a bourbon made for drinking and sharing.”

“It’s been a long time since I could say without any reservation that a new release (not to mention a debut release) is worth the price,” they wrote. “With an MSRP of just $34.99, this is a bottle that everyone should be purchasing to add to their daily drinker lineup.”

Self-described as “hard to please” when it comes to overpriced and limited release bourbons, those at Bourbon & Banter said it took a very special whiskey to impress them upon a first release. 

“I’m pleased to report that after scientifically tasting about half the bottle, I can confirm that it’s beyond good,” they wrote. “A nose of enticing, warm spices greet you, thanks to the high-rye mash bill, which is followed up by the standard trio of bourbon flavors (vanilla, caramel, and a hint of oak) with the addition of cinnamon and sweet, candied fruit. It’s a lighter bourbon, especially compared to what I normally drink, but the mouthfeel is luscious, and the finish is surprisingly long, warming and flavorful.”

Bourbon & Banter went on to say that the Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey would become a “must-have” in their daily drinker rotation.

“2022 has just begun, but Green River Bourbon is leading the pack when it comes to new releases that I’m willing to spend my hard-earned dollar on,” they wrote.

The Bar Belle (out of Louisville) echoed similar thoughts, with the reviewer saying she would “definitely” be adding Green River’s bourbon to its bar as a daily drinker instead of a bottle that collected dust on the shelf.

Calling the bourbon “refreshingly affordable,” The Bar Belle review highlighted the bourbon’s rich flavors of caramel, nutmeg and apricot.

“And the actual bottle design is super cool, rounded to match the horseshoe on the bottom,” she added.

See hundreds of pups compete at Owensboro’s Dog Show

Each year, Owensboro welcomes hundreds of dogs and their owners/trainers to participate in the River Valley Cluster Dog Show, held at the Owensboro Convention Center this year on August 25-28. 

 

The event is an amazing one to experience, especially for dog lovers, as you’ll see tons of different breeds spread throughout the Convention Center’s huge exhibition hall. Even if you don’t have a pup participating in the show, the event also includes over 500 feet of shopping space to satiate every dog lover’s needs! 

 

Four AKC All Breed Shows will take place. Beginning on August 25, the Owensboro River City Kennel Club will host its show, followed by the Southern Indiana Kennel Club on August 26. The Owensboro River City Kennel Club will compete on August 27, and Southern Indiana will finish up the cluster of dog shows on August 28. 

 

An AKC Accredited B Match will also be held on Saturday. 

 

Local dog shows are a great way to meet various breeds of dog and learn more about dogs in general! And while you’re in town enjoying this year’s dog show, be sure to check out the amazing restaurants, shops and entertainment venues downtown Owensboro has to offer. 

 

Click here to see the schedule of events for the River Valley Cluster Dog Show. 

 

Downtown Dining Noon

 

Arrive in downtown Owensboro and have lunch at Famous Bistro featuring yummy salads and one of the best cheesesteak sandwiches you’ll ever eat.

Smothers Park 2 p.m.

Take a stroll at the award-winning Smothers Park. There’s no better place to enjoy the outdoors along the Ohio River in downtown Owensboro than Smothers Park, home of Lazy Dayz Playground named the “Top Playground In The World” by Landscape Architects Network. Then get an afternoon pick me up at The Crème Coffee House. They’re locally owned and operated, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. They have a wide variety of specialty drinks, delicious treats, and yummy sammiches.

Downtown Shopping 3 p.m.

Check out a couple of the downtown boutiques like Byron & Barclay and Simply Chic Home Accents.

Downtown Hotels 4 p.m.

Check in at the Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Owensboro/Waterfront or the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront.

Grab a Drink 4:30 p.m.

Grab a drink at Lure, in the Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Owensboro/Waterfront, or at Burger Theory, in the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront.

The Miller House 5:30 p.m.

Step into your southern side and have dinner at The Miller House. This historic Sears-Roebuck house was brought back to life in 2008 when it was transformed into a fine southern cuisine restaurant.

Friday After Five 6 p.m.

If you’re in town on a Friday between Memorial and Labor Day, don’t miss the free concert series downtown called Friday After Five.  Five free stages of music!

Bourbon Time 6:30 p.m.

Enjoy a rare bourbon at Spirits, one of the largest bourbon bars in the country conveniently located in the basement of The Miller House.

Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum 7 p.m.

Go catch a bluegrass concert at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  Head over early to take a tour of the museum before the concert.

Enjoy a Nightcap 9:30 p.m.

Grab a fresh beer at The Brew Bridge or for a cocktail check out The Pub on Second.